Gareth Gates Gets Candid About The Mental Toll Celebrity SAS Took On Him

"After being stretched physically, emotionally, mentally, the thing that tipped me over the edge was the interrogation."
Gareth Gates
Gareth Gates
Channel 4

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins champion Gareth Gates has opened up about the mental toll the gruelling reality show took on him.

During Sunday night’s Celebrity SAS finale, the chart-topping singer outlasted his fellow competitors, including former health secretary Matt Hancock, media personality Danielle Lloyd, Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton and Love Island finalist Teddy Soares to become the show’s fifth winner.

However, while he may have triumphed over his competitors, that certainly doesn’t mean the former Pop Idol runner-up found the experience easy.

During an interview with The Mirror, Gareth disclosed that he’d had weeks’ worth of therapy after Celebrity SAS wrapped filming last year.

After the whole nine or 10 days we were in there and the sleep deprivation, being stretched physically, emotionally, mentally, the thing that tipped me over the edge was the interrogation,” he told the newspaper.

“I had to have quite a bit of therapy afterwards and the show is great for that. When you come out, you’re checked over and I had about five weeks worth of counselling and therapy because it really, really did affect me.”

Gareth pictured after his Celebrity SAS victory was announced
Gareth pictured after his Celebrity SAS victory was announced
Pete Dadds/Channel 4

Gareth also shared that, after being most famous for finishing second to Will Young, it felt good to have won a competition show.

“It actually felt like I’d been preparing for this my whole life,” he said. “The struggle with my speech and having to be mentally strong to hear them say [I had passed]. I was like, ‘Wow, this is incredible’.

“I thought, ‘at last, I’ve actually won a talent TV show and not came second this time’. It was a massive weight off my shoulders. I’ve finally redeemed myself from being the biggest loser in the UK back in 2002.”

Will Young and Gareth Gates in 2002
Will Young and Gareth Gates in 2002
Brian Rasic via Getty Images

The latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins was met with a mixed reception when it was announced that Matt Hancock would be taking part, similar to his stint on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! last year.

Earlier in the series, Hancock made headlines when he was the subject of a verbal lashing during his own interrogation, which saw him being insulted while sporting just his underwear.

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on

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