Celebrity SAS : Who Dares Wins | Amber Gill – Recruit Number 7

Age: 25 

From: Newcastle

Occupation: TV Personality & Influencer

Amber wants to shift the public’s preconceptions of an influencer. Believing people consider her superficial, she wants to demonstrate her real values through the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins course. Regularly finding herself the victim of social media trolling, she considers herself to be mentally resilient and wants to prove this – to herself and the public.

Why did you want to do Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins? 

It provides experiences that you’re not going to get anywhere else, let’s be honest. I kind of wanted to just show that I can do whatever I put my mind to, that I can be tough. I think coming off a show like Love Island and being on Instagram, people have a certain expectation about me and I wanted to show that I’m more than that. That was what I was kind of thinking. You always get tied to these sorts of stereotypes about reality stars and I wanted to prove to everyone that I’m not just a bikini. There’s more to me than that.

Did you get any advice from anyone who’s done the show before? 

Yeah, so I spoke to Vicky Pattison who was on the show last time. I was just like, “I don’t know what to do, what to expect!” She was just basically saying, “Get well into your training beforehand and you’ll be absolutely fine. Just take each day as it comes when you’re on there.” I did watch the show previously as well, so I had a good idea of what kind of things I could be in for, but I just don’t think you really can appreciate how tough it is until you’re living it. 

What was your biggest fear? 

The whole thing! The whole thing, I was scared for. I’ve got really bad claustrophobia and I think that was just taking over my brain and I was like, “Oh my God, they’re going to try and put us in a small space and I’m just not going to do it”. So I was absolutely petrified about that. 

What did you think your strengths are that actually might have helped you on the course? 

My strengths are that I can be really good under pressure. When it’s a high pressure situation, I’m normally okay. And I thought that would work to my advantage. Definitely. But it was my fitness that I was worried about because I had kind of fallen off the wagon with my fitness for a little while because I’d been so busy with work and stuff at the time. So that was the part that I was really worried about. And I’m not very good at long distance running. If I do a workout, I like to keep it fairly short. So putting yourself through something physical 24 hours a day is just not what I’m used to at all. That combined with the lack of sleep and food, it was just not good! I wasn’t built for that at all. 

There are lots of sports stars in the line up, did it bring a competitive edge to the group? 

I think so, yeah. I think they’re all naturally, inherently competitive like that. They’re very much competitive and they’re dedicated, they don’t mind training for long hours. and they’ve got a completely different mindset to what I do. I was like, “I’m out my depth here.” That’s not going to rub off on me. I’ve got athletes in my family and I don’t have that brain that they all had, unfortunately. My dad used to do sports. My brother used to do sports and they used to be very dedicated. And that’s just not me. 

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What did you think the DS were going to be like? 

I thought they were going to be awful! I thought they were going to be horrid. In my life everyone’s nice to me. So I was very scared about being shouted at, because I don’t get shouted at often. I mean maybe when I was in school, but that was a while ago now. I don’t get shouted out in my normal life. So I was really scared because I don’t know anyone similar to these people. They’re so tough. They’re very harsh. I was petrified of them as well. I felt like crying when I first saw them. I got the bag whipped off my head and then they just started shouting at us straight away, started shouting at me. I can’t even remember what the first introduction was. I just remember being shouted out by four massive guys. I was Like, “Oh God, what am I doing? Why did I say I’d do this? I don’t know why I did this. What am I doing? What am I doing?” 

Was there a sense of panic as well because you’re so far out of your comfort zone? 

Oh, absolutely, there was a sense of panic. Yeah. As soon as they put the bag over my head, I was like “Ah!” I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all. I was like “Oh my God.” And that’s probably the easiest part of the whole show, it’s literally the introduction. And as soon as the bag got put over my head, I was like, “Oh no, no, no, I don’t want to do it.” 

How did it feel when they were shouting at you?

I was raging. I was raging. I was thinking, “No!” Because obviously you can’t say anything back, but I was thinking, “if I wasn’t doing this right now, I wouldn’t dare let you talk to me the way you’re speaking to me now”. No one talks to me like that and gets away with it. But I was on the ground, I was thinking, “I’m so angry. Stop calling us pathetic. I’m trying my best. What more do you want us to do?” There were tears, but they were tears of anger. I don’t really cry for any other reason other than the fact that I’m angry and there’s nothing I can do about it. But I think my downfall is that I say too much. I talk too much. If I would’ve just been quiet and not made it as obvious that I wasn’t enjoying it then nobody would’ve known, but I am too loud. I can’t shut up. I was thinking, “why did you have to make it so obvious that you weren’t enjoying yourself? Because now they want to pick on me. Why don’t you just shut up like everyone else?” But I just can’t, it’s not in my nature.

Was there any part of you that wanted to impress them? 

A little bit, because I knew they’d be thinking, “Who the hell is this girl that they brought on here? She’s not going to be very good, whatever.” So I kind of wanted to do well, I wanted to show them, prove them wrong, I guess.

How bad were the beastings? 

I did not like beastings at all. They’re worse than they look. Everything that you see, it’s a million times worse when you are in it. It’s so much worse. Oh my God. It’s just relentless. There’s nothing you can do. They just don’t stop. And it’s not like, “all right guys, we’re going to have a one minute rest now and then we’ll get back in”. You just keep going and going and going. And the more tired you get, the more tripping up you do, they want you to do more and more. There’s no peace. It’s so hard. I wish it was the case we went back to a luxury hotel at the end of the day, no chance!  It was hell 24/7. I thought the DS might be nice sometimes, but no, it was 24/7, we were immersed in the full experience all the time. 

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Did you manage to smuggle in any luxuries? 

Yeah, I had my lip balm with SPF and so it was part of the sun care element, which is how I managed to have that with me. But I didn’t need any other luxuries. I was fine. I was fine without my phone, fine without being glam. I didn’t want to do my hair anyway. I love that I didn’t have to pick an outfit. I just had one outfit that I had to wear. So yeah, that bit didn’t bother me at all. 

Was there good camaraderie in camp? 

Yeah, definitely. That’s definitely what got me through a lot of the time, just how supportive everybody else was and we were a real team and everybody wanted to see everyone do well. That was a big, big part of me staying the length of time that I did, because I just didn’t want to put up with what they were throwing at us. But it was this good group of people who forced me to sort of believe in myself a little bit more. 

How would you sum up the whole experience? 

It’s definitely life changing. I don’t even know what I would say without it. There are so many things to say. It’s just a real test of who you are as an individual, you learn so much about yourself that you wouldn’t expect in such a short space of time and it’s just really fucking hard, to be honest.

If you had one bit of advice for someone thinking about doing the next series, what would you say? 

Build mental resilience. Go in with that feeling, if you believe in yourself, like you’ve never believed in yourself before, believe that you can do everything in the world and you’ll get further than you think you will. Don’t have a shred of doubt in your mind that you can’t do it because that will eat away at you.

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.