TV star Ulrika Jonsson says she feels “lost” during an emotional and gruelling first episode of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins which sees her suffering from mild hypothermia.
She is among the 12 celebrity recruits being put through their paces by chief instructor Ant Middleton and his team on the Channel 4 series.
Jonsson, 54, is joined by Kerry Katona, Ore Oduba, singer Alexandra Burke, Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, former Premiership footballer Kieron Dyer and Loose Women star Saira Khan.
Former Love Island star Wes Nelson, TV personality Vicky Pattison, singer Jake Quickenden, Paralympic athlete Aled Davies and BMX and track world champion Shanaze Reade are also among the stars seeing if they have what it takes to pass the condensed SAS selection course.
TV presenter Jonsson – a fixture of 1990s and 2000s TV with programmes such as TV-am, Gladiators and Shooting Stars – tells Middleton and Jason Fox, one of his directing staff (DS), during an interrogation that she wanted to do the programme because she had been a mother for the last few years and “I want to see what fears I can face, I don’t really know what my capabilities are”.
Asked about seeming to have lost some of her confidence, she says: “I think I’ve probably locked myself away at home in the last few years. Menopause didn’t help, (it) brought on lots of anxiety and it was really easy to stay at home and hide away from everything.
“Going out was like not my thing or being around people, I do struggle with believing in myself but I need to gain something, I need to reclaim something. I want to, I feel I don’t have very much self-confidence but I feel very determined…”.
Speaking to the camera, the mother-of-four explains: “My one and only ambition was to be a mother. When you’re very maternal, and you first go to have children, you just think about holding them close and suddenly gradually you’re letting them go and I find it very, very difficult because they’ve been my purpose in life.
“I feel like I’m emerging out of a period where I’ve been needed very, very greatly by those around me and coming into some stage of trying to find out what I am now, and to be honest, I feel lost…”.
During the first episode of the series, which is a condensed course over eight days, the celebrities tackle an aerial assault course, known in the military as the Trainasium, which tests how they handle fear. Their next task sees them having to rescue a hostage from a building that has been exposed to CS gas.
Middleton and Fox are joined by other DS members including Billy, Melvyn and Staz, as the celebrities head into the wilds of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland to the remote island of Raasay for the series.
TV star Katona, 40, said ahead of the series starting that doing it had been like therapy for her.
She said: “It really opened my eyes up to who I am, and the worth of who I am and about not having to prove anything to anybody. So for me, it was huge therapy and massive closure.”
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins airs on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9pm.