Celebrity SAS : Who Dares Wins | Ferne McCann – Recruit Number 4

Age 32

From: Essex

Occupation: Reality TV Star

Bringing up her four-year-old daughter, Sunday on her own, Ferne has dealt with insecurity, relationship dramas and trust issues. Through the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins course, she would like to find and demonstrate the mental strength she’s had to develop in order to be an independent single mum.

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

It’s a show that I’ve watched ever since the beginning. And it’s always been one of those shows that I always thought I’d like to do but when it came round for me to actually say yes, when I had the conversations and I had an interview and all of that, it just felt like the right time in my life to be tested. I do really welcome a challenge. I get that itch every few years where I’m like, “Right, okay. What can I do now to step outside of my comfort zone?” I had no expectations, but a lot of expectations at the same time, I knew it was going to be really tough, but I think until you’re in that environment, nothing can quite prepare you for how ridiculously tough it actually is. 

Did you feel like you had anything to prove? 

I really wanted to prove to myself to be honest. I kind of went into Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins with exactly the same mindset as when I was leading up to giving birth to my daughter, which sounds ridiculous. But honestly, when you’re in that environment and it’s really challenging, you have to draw from experiences that you’ve been through to find the resilience and the strength to get you through. Everyone talks about labour, but you don’t really realise how painful it actually is, but I really wanted to feel that pain, which may sound  strange. And it was the same with this, I really wanted to see how tough it actually is. And I want to prove to myself that I can do it, but whilst I was in there, I did a lot of proving myself to the DS. I think they questioned every day why I was there!

Did you do any preparation beforehand? 

Yeah, I massively prepared for it. I was running, which is really unlike me because I’m not a runner at all, I normally do weight training and things like that. I knew that I had to get time on my legs, I knew that I had to get out running in my boots, which they send you a few weeks before to soften them, to prevent blister. I’d done research and put in the work. I’m quite a driven person. If I set my mind to something, then I want to make sure that I’m fully prepared. Listen, I’m no athlete, for goodness’ sake, but I want to make sure that I’m at my optimum.

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How would you rate your sort of mental strength going into it? 

I knew that was my strength, albeit crying every given opportunity and finding it a really cathartic, hellish mental experience. But I think that I knew that I had that mental resilience and endurance and I really wanted to play on that strength, because I knew I wasn’t going to be the fittest, I knew I wasn’t going to be the strongest, but I always knew that I’m not a quitter.

What was your biggest fear? 

I haven’t got any specifics, do you know what I mean? I haven’t got fear of heights or anything like that. The lack of sleep didn’t bother me, because when you become a parent, you’re very much used to it. My fear was my emotions getting the better of me. And the reason why I decided to say yes to the opportunity and the experience, ended up becoming the reason that I was really trying to rip my armband off, and that was missing Sunday. And I was like, “Have I made the worst decision? Why am I doing this? How selfish am I? I’m out here, I’m getting screamed at. I hate this. I’m cold, I’m wet, I’m tired. Why have I left my child?”

What did you think when you saw the rest of the line up? 

I’m quite a competitive person, so it’s hard to find the balance to bond with them but at the same time, you want to get to the end and know that not everyone can make it to the end. So you’re waiting to see who’s going to rise to the top. You naturally size everyone up and people play their roles, like natural born leaders, and obviously you’ve got the males who are full of testosterone and they want to be the alpha male, and people play their part. But for me, I’m such a people person and my favourite moments were just sitting around in base camp getting to know them all.

How did you find the Directing Staff? 

It’s almost like the ultimate therapy session in a really messed up way, because the DS bring things to the surface and to the conscious state from the subconscious. When I was a teenager my parents divorced. Even though I’m very close to my dad, I didn’t have a male figure in my life throughout my whole puberty and teenage years. So I found it really strange having men really shout at me. I felt like I was a little girl. Everything that I really pride myself on, being a mother and being an entrepreneur, running multiple businesses, all the strengths that I feel that I have in day to day life, I felt really inadequate, I felt like a child. And it was really hard and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. I’m someone who needs praise!

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So you didn’t like them shouting at you?

No! It very much cast me back to when I was at school and you’re getting told off and you’re trying to hold it in so desperately, the bottom lip quivers and you’re like, “I don’t want to cry.” But yeah, I cried. I cried with meaning and reason as well. Every morning I woke up and I was like, “it’s my time to go. I don’t want to do another day.” 

Who did you want to impress one of them the most? 

I really wanted to impress Billy because I felt he didn’t like me. He would make faces that would be like, “you’re an idiot.” So for some reason I wanted to impress him more because I felt like I wanted to prove him wrong, almost, that I could do it when he expected me to fail. It was so disappointing when you would get something wrong because you just wanted that glimmer of praise. I was so desperate to get a compliment from Billy!

How does Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins compare to I’m A Celebrity?

They are two completely different shows. I’m a Celeb has the element of entertainment, and obviously I know that SAS is entertaining to watch, but it’s not entertaining to do! I’m A Celeb is more fun. There’s nothing fun about SAS but in a weird way, it’s far more rewarding. 

How would you sum up the experience?

Life changing. Honestly, one of the best experiences of my life.

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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.