SAS: Are You Tough Enough (2002): Series 01


SAS: Are You Tough Enough was a British television documentary series produced from 2002-2004 exposing volunteer members of the public to the experience of the British Army’s Special Air Service’s (SAS) selection process. It was presented by Dermot O’Leary.

In contrast to the real SAS, the programme also featured female candidates.

As with real selection, initially the candidates were pushed to the limits to reduce the numbers, with survivors in the latter stages, trained and assessed in a variety of military training exercises.

Outline Series 01

In the first series, the exercises included:

  • The Fan Dance over Ben Lomond.
    • Five eliminated.
  • The Long Drag (a 40 mile trek with a 55 lb bergen to be completed in 20 hours).
    • Eight eliminated including four for medical reasons and one for cheating.
  • Escape and evasion, with a resulting interrogation test.
    • Six eliminated.
  • Fitness Test.
  • Swimming Test (fully clothed in combat gear).
    • Two eliminated.
  • Survival.
  • Free fall Parachuting.
  • Navigation.
  • Off road driving in a Land Rover Defender 110.
  • Marksmanship.
  • Close Quarters Reconnaissance of a farmhouse.
  • Fieldcraft and Infantry tactics in an assault.
  • A booby trapped outdoor Close Quarters Battle course, 10 targets and 30 rounds of ammunition.
  • Assault of a Killing House.

The 29 contestants participated in an 11-day course, sleeping in tents when not on specific overnight/survival exercises.

The majority failed to complete the course, retiring in the early stages on medical grounds or due to being unwilling to continue, and in latter stages due to failing to meet the required standard.

A female, Dr. Louise Rickard, did make it into the final four who completed the course, with the winner selected as Gary Robertson from Dundee.

SAS: Are You Tough Enough Series

You can find a full index of SAS: Are You Tough Enough here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director: Nic Blower.
  • Presenter: Dermot O’Leary.
  • Distributor: Momentum Pictures.
  • Release Date: 01 January 2002.
  • Running Time: 101 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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