22 of Britain's toughest civilians face a fortnight of hell. The recruits are ambushed by a former colonel in the South African Special Forces Brigade.
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Here, under the scorching African sun...
GUNFIRE AND SCREAMS
..we have created the ultimate military boot camp...
Oh, my God.
..with veterans of six of the world's fiercest Special Forces units.
22 of Britain's toughest civilians are about to enter
a fortnight of hell.
-Get it up!
-Get it up!
Each and every one of them believes they have
what it takes to make it to the end.
I've never quit anything in my life.
-I'm ready for it.
-Do I have what it takes to win the show?
Hell, yeah, I do.
And standing in their way are former operatives
from the South Korean Special Forces...
What is going on here?
-Get up! You want to quit?
..the US Army's Green Berets...
If you throw up, stick it in your pocket and keep going!
..GROM from Poland...
Do not move. Do not talk.
Two minutes, prepare your baggage.
..the South African Special Forces...
Get up! Get up!
I want it done now!
..the Australian SAS...
Yes, yes, yes, come on. Come on, run.
..and GIGN from France.
Living under a strict military regime,
our recruits will experience the unique selection methods
to understand the characteristics and skills required
to become a member of one of these elite units.
Who has the inner strength to make it to the end...
We are not going to stop until somebody quits!
..and to win Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week?
From this point on, you are in my world!
Each of these individuals have been put through a rigorous
cross-examination and their physical,
mental and emotional toughness is about to be put to the test.
We are the best. We are the UK's finest and fittest.
Stepping into the unknown, you don't know what's happening.
I want to make it to the end for all the older guys out there.
It's just about keeping a positive mind-set.
I don't know what's going to be around the corner.
So, our recruits have just arrived in South Africa.
They think that they're on their way to base camp, but,
they have no idea what's in store for them.
Africa is full of deadly and scary things, including me.
I've had 22 years of active service in the South African Special Forces,
affectionately known as the Recces.
These recruits should be ready for a baptism of fire.
I'm roasting, man!
It'll be the worst 48 hours of their lives.
Formed during apartheid in 1972, the Recces,
abbreviated from the 1st Reconnaissance Commandos,
have always been comprised of both black and white operatives.
Deployed in the South African border war,
and the Rhodesian bush conflict during the '70s,
their selection takes place over 57 weeks,
making it one of the longest special forces
recruitment processes in the world.
GUNFIRE AND SCREAMING
Get out. Let's go, let's get a move on, yeah?
The training Clinton is overseeing is based on elements
of the real Recce recruitment process.
Get up! Come on, get up!
On your face now, get down!
Motivating and monitoring the candidates,
alongside every special forces veteran they're set to encounter,
will be our military trained directing staff, known simply as DS.
Welcome to my country.
These are my rules, my playground.
You do as I tell you to do, you do it the way I tell you to do it.
When I say "up", get up. Get up!
(There's a few shellshocked faces in there already.)
My name is Lieutenant Colonel Clinton Agnew.
From this point on, you will call me Colonel.
And I will call you anything I like.
I'm one of the best ironmen triathletes in Wales,
People say, "What is your greatest achievement?"
Whether it's ironman or sailing the Atlantic single-handed.
Obviously, not many people have done that.
My mind-set is, if I wasn't good at it, I wouldn't do it.
I need the pressure and the social accolade of my peers.
Quitting just wouldn't be an option with other people around.
For the next 48 hours, you are under my command.
Being a driving instructor, I feel that I'm very patient,
I can take a lot of stick.
When I think of special forces, I just think of the best of the best.
I would love to be part of the special forces.
I don't really see that many Muslim men or women doing these sorts of
things so, for me, it's just to break the ice and say, you know,
we can do these sorts of things.
I want you to be motivated, I want you to be disciplined.
I want you to be obedient.
-ALL: Yes, Colonel.
Let me try that again. Yes?
ALL: Yes, Colonel!
What's driven me to be here - stereotypes.
It drives me round the bend.
Just because I like to have my nails done, I like to do my hair,
people automatically think either bimbo, or she can't lift weights.
I lift heavier weights than I would say 90%
of the men who go to my cross fit gym.
When I say go, left around the dead wood.
Then you fall back into your positions.
First exercises are to assess their physical ability.
Secondly, with that I want to assess their ability to switch on
and perform under duress.
This is completely new terrain.
They are under physical strain, the weather is beating down on them,
and I want to see who is actually going to be alert.
Left, left, left.
Left by the tree!
-Did he say left by the tree?
I think some of them are a little confused
as to what their right and left actually are.
Three, two, one.
Obviously, some of us don't understand the meaning of left.
Some of you don't understand the meaning of run.
When I was a kid, I always wanted to join the TA and because I was deaf,
I just couldn't do it.
I think this is probably my opportunity to try
something very similar.
Some of my friends call me nutter, because I don't stop.
I'm always on the move.
You all good?
-Are we all good?
I was a ladies' hairdresser for 25 years.
I was a hovercraft pilot for the Ministry of Defence.
Now I'm a prison officer. You know, you can have people in your face,
shouting, screaming, spitting on you, all sorts.
Physically, I train all the time.
I can push myself till I'm sick, I can push myself till I pass out.
I was made for this programme.
This time, we have 25 seconds.
Right side, right side.
We've already got one recruit that is limping.
-Five, four, three.
-He can't have hurt himself already, surely?
Pick your heads up. Face the morning sun.
You, in the pink shirt, come here.
So what's the matter with your leg?
-I just pulled my hamstring.
-Do you want keep going?
-If I see you lagging, you'll be gone.
Come on, Stevie!
Five, four, three, two, one.
Yeah, come here.
We've just started.
We have a long way to go. It's going to get worse from here.
Pack your bags and get out of here.
Off you go. Go on.
That way. Go.
Go on. Make it snappy.
Nine minutes in and 51-year-old prison officer
Sommerville is the first recruit to exit.
Push up position! Down!
-What happened to your leg?
-Sitting in the lorry, then jumping off
and running hard just popped my hamstring.
But, it really just needed stretching.
-I'm probably one of the fittest people here.
I was the person that can win this.
I have the mental strength way above and beyond.
Jack-knife position, down!
That's your feet. Go!
Go! When I say go, left around the tree.
-Excuse me, no, no, no.
Come here, come here. It's not how these things work.
Are you quitting? And don't fall over on me.
Don't fall over on me. Stand still. Are you done? Look at me.
Off you go. Pack your bag.
Electrician and ironman enthusiast Francis withdraws
from the competition after just 14 minutes.
And we're down two in the first few minutes.
Next, come on, right around the tree.
You fall in in position from first to last.
Sort of keep this covering your head, OK?
-Just cool down.
-Listen, cool down.
Dehydration has clearly taken its toll.
At home, you know, he completes ironmans, but he's just not keeping up.
There are some incredibly fit people here and, well, if you ask me,
he's just not up to the pace of it.
-First man here, first man here!
Done and dusted. Look at me.
You, you. Hey, you, you, and you.
Stay behind. The rest of you, get your uniform on.
That's not fast enough.
Get a move on!
You keep quiet and you get dressed.
Those held back our recruit Sparks, Downham, Donoghue, Nawaz and Blowes.
You are struggling physically already.
Yeah? So you're in the bottom five.
Yes? Do you understand what I'm saying to you?
ALL: Yes, Colonel.
If you want to stay here, pick it up.
I know I'm not the fastest runner in the world, but, yeah,
I've got a lot more to give, so I've just got to prove it to him.
I thought he was going to boot me out, to be honest with you.
But he stared at me and he just went, "Go and get your kit on.
"Move it. Buck your ideas up."
We've lost two people ready. Did you think that would happen this quickly?
Yeah, I did. Obviously, you come in, you're a little arrogant,
you think this is a walk in the park.
If you're not prepared, it's going to bite you in the ass.
So what can you actually tell me about the South African Special Forces? The Recces.
The rest of the world is a different environment,
so this is ours. We work in very hot temperatures, we walk long distances.
We carry heavy kit and we are masters at reconnaissance
and offensive operations.
Let's go, let's go, let's go!
It's less than one hour since our South African Special Forces veteran
has taken charge.
With their 12kg backpacks on,
the 20 remaining recruits are led to the next stage.
The South African bush is where
the real Recces selection process is based.
Candidates undergo a six-and-a-half day week,
training up to 20 hours a day,
and must endure increasingly long route marches between each exercise.
I'm back in the car on the dirt track trying to find our recruits,
because, apparently, we've lost someone.
It's definitely difficult walking in this heat with one of those massive
bergens on your back, let alone running.
-Recruit Isrolia is the man down.
-Are you feeling nauseous?
-It's the heat. I'll wait for the medics.
Make sure all of you have water.
At 36 Celsius,
exercising in extreme temperatures can lead to heat stroke -
a deadly condition if not identified quickly.
Isrolia, what's going on?
I was pushing beyond my limits.
What is it you're finding so difficult at the moment?
It's the heat.
Everything's good. Yeah. Heart rate's come down quite nicely.
It's up to you as to whether you want to push yourself.
-What are you going to do?
-I'm good to go.
-You sure you want to get back in there?
Growing up on the streets of Hackney, life was pretty rough.
I was doing bad stuff, basically.
I'd hang around with my friends and then I had a change of heart.
I've learned to channel all my negative energy into my training
and, ever since then, I work full time, I help people get fit.
Isrolia, there's a gap right there. Fill it.
-Now you stick next to your man on your left-hand side, have you got it? Say something!
Let's go, let's go.
All right, so here we are, back again.
-How was the run-up here?
-ALL: Good, Colonel.
Who had the issue with the run?
So when I asked if somebody had an issue, you didn't put your hand up.
-Are you trying to piss me off?
-No, you must be.
Because it must be a special kind of stupid for you to do this.
Right, next exercise.
You are the team leaders for this next challenge.
Get yourself to this rock.
Right, Stewart, starting with you, make your first pick.
-Speak up, man.
-Sorry, Staff Sergeant.
Staff Sergeant? This morning I said that I am a Lieutenant Colonel
and you address me as Colonel. Yeah?
-Come on, Logan, you don't get his name wrong.
The recruits are divided into a yellow and orange team.
Here's the rules. You have two drums per team.
That has to be carried by poles.
The drums may not be separated from each other.
Using a map and compass, they must navigate the 4.8km course,
passing through two checkpoints before they reach the finish line.
Both teams stand by. Go!
-Go, go, go!
-Let's go, let's go.
For the yellows, gym fanatic Logan
makes his voice heard immediately.
We could have two people... One person that side, one person there.
One person here. One person there.
-Two carrying it.
-One can sit in there, one can sit in there.
And then we can do the same rope at the front.
We're going to put two barrels there, two people at the front,
two people at the back. It's not hard.
I do a lot of gym, twice a day.
Before work, six in the morning, after work.
Constantly lifting engines.
I do two three-mile runs every day.
I am physically fit. I can do it.
I didn't come 6,000 miles, left my missus at home, left work, to quit.
I'm telling you now, I will win it.
On the orange team, their leader Stewart is subdued.
We need to get the barrels on to measure how far they are apart
and then get these ones as close...
-Are they full?
When I'm in a group, I'm always quite the loud voice,
even in the dental practice, people said they hear me three surgeries
down. I've never really done any team sports.
Like, everything I've done has been really solo endurance events.
And I'm quite a competitive person by nature,
as well, so I do like to be the best at everything I do.
OK, we're going to walk on the bearing, OK?
We're going to walk on a bearing.
Logan has assigned navigating duties to recruits Mark, Flynn and Birch.
We're going to go towards the middle of them two buildings.
-We're staying behind you.
And it's the yellows who are the first to depart.
-One, two, three.
Belted. Where's a navigator in front of us?
Designed to test the recruits' teamwork,
their structure weighs a total of 260 kg.
Get the march on. Left! Left.
Each 40 gallon drum is half full of water,
making it unstable and therefore harder to carry across the terrain.
Just take your time, take your time.
Lack of a clear strategy by Stewart is costing his team valuable time.
Stewart, are we any closer to getting going?
We'll be good to go in a couple of minutes, sir.
-Then get going.
-On three. Right, one, two, three, up.
OK. This way. 261.
We're going this way. All right.
Team Stewart have finally got their barrels all together.
Meanwhile, Logan's team are way over there.
In a combat situation,
the Recces are often required to carry supplies behind enemy lines.
Soldiers need to pull their weight,
as failure can ultimately put lives at risk.
-Just how difficult is it?
-It is difficult.
Because somebody's going to bear more weight than others.
People are going to be passengers a little.
A good leader would have stood back,
assessed the situation to get the job done properly.
So, does Logan have what it takes to be a leader?
I picked him this morning because he seemed to be very on top of the game
in terms of obeying commands.
-And how about Stewart?
I thought there was a quiet confidence about him that I spotted.
I thought I'd like to give him an opportunity to see if he could do
something worthwhile as a leader.
Listen up, Stewart, we're bang on 261 direction here, OK?
But it's GP and mountain rescue medic Allan
who seizes the opportunity to take control on the orange team.
Listen up, we've got 400 metres, OK?
We need to be that way, where that track is over there.
My first love is probably fell running.
Now I've moved over to ultra marathons.
This is my time out, as it were, from the family,
and they support this, because they know I need my kind of medicine.
I'm bloody-minded and stubborn, which,
in my daily work can be not the best thing in the world.
But I'm hoping for this it'll be the right thing.
Stewart! Stewart, listen up!
It's 640 metres, OK?
It's due North... 640 metres, guys.
Stewart, take control, mate.
-Go on, let's do it.
-Stewart, are you in charge or not?
-I am in charge.
-So why is everybody speaking
and you not saying anything?
Can you jog? Can you jog?
After 2km, the yellows reach the first checkpoint.
-Right, let's move fast. Let's move fast.
-Two orange ones.
-Two, three, up.
Soon after, team leader Logan has a cause for concern.
Ah, my groin, my groin, my groin.
My groins are finished. They're just locking up,
bro, I swear to God.
With the yellow team at a standstill,
the orange team have the perfect opportunity to make up ground.
-Are you fine?
-I'm fine, I'm absolutely fine.
Clinton, the orange team has broken their equipment.
They've got to reassemble it all.
They couldn't get moving as quick as possible.
All right, just watch it unfold, don't interfere.
-Get it on, yeah?
-In the middle, in the middle.
Come on! So the yellow team have made it out in front
and they're right by the finish line.
Guys, hydrate, hydrate, rapid.
They complete the course in a time of one hour and two minutes.
They're breaking. Breaking up and slapping up and that,
but we can do this, man, we can do this.
I was in the bottom five so I felt I had a lot to prove in this
exercise and I think I'm quite good when it comes to team building,
so I was helpful when it came to build our contraption.
I ended up in the bottom five.
I did feel as if I had something to prove.
I wanted to show them that, you know, I had strengths,
that I'm strong,
and that I'm able in other ways.
14 minutes later, and the orange team finally make it to the end.
Right, team, that's it.
End of the exercise. Put the drums down, you're finished.
-Three, two, one down!
-I did find it very challenging.
Everybody ended up with quite a few viewpoints.
Allan is quite a vocal leader.
Maybe I should have been a bit of a grey man, kept my mouth shut, but...
I thought I needed to take over.
Let me congratulate the yellow team
on finishing first.
So, Logan, how do you think your team fared on this task?
Got very strong members, Colonel, and very good navigators.
Right, select here from the team.
What did you think of him?
-Our leader did well, he's a good communicator.
He motivated us well.
Three quarters through he did get a little injury in his groin.
-But he did his best.
-Let me hear your version.
It wasn't one of my best days, Colonel.
What did you do wrong, do you think?
I didn't manage the team individually
as well as I could have done.
Just so you know, for both teams, leadership plays
a very important role, so does teamwork.
You've got to think on that, work on that.
Next challenge, your DS will follow you into the field.
Run down there, pick up your concrete block and I'll see you at the finishing line. On my mark, go!
Part two of the carry challenge is a 1.5km run in possession of a
17kg concrete block and their 12kg bergen.
So, Clinton, what is this task actually all about?
In the South African Special Forces, we use the carry challenge
in order to assess teamwork and mental toughness.
I want them to start understanding that although
it's individual, they are part of a bigger team,
and they need to start looking out for one another.
So let's see how it goes.
Follow me. Go.
Keep following the road, keep following the road.
Come on, let's go, let's go, guys. Let's go!
And original Recce training drill,
real troops run this with a 35kg block.
As the temperature hits 39 degrees,
this exercise will require strength and stamina.
This heat being oppressive, and this temperature, is normal,
this is we operate in.
These young recruits, coming from another country where
the temperatures are a lot lower, this is really a killer.
And they will have to really dig deep.
-After only 300 metres,
Nawaz is the first to show signs of fatigue.
Go, Nawaz, go, Nawaz.
Come on, mate, let's go, let's go, let's go.
Quickly followed by Isrolia.
Just don't pass out again. Let's go, let's go, let's go.
Up at the front, Stewart, Durance,
Blowes and Allan are gunning for individual glory.
Come on, you brick.
Whilst Donohue and Palomar are working together as a team.
-Come on, Donohue.
Stay on me. Relax your fingers.
-Get your hand inside it.
As are Downham and Flynn from the yellows.
Focus, keep it high, come on.
But disaster strikes for Isrolia.
He breaks his block.
It's the last time that thing drops.
You heard what I said?
Approaching the finish, from the orange team, it's marathon enthusiast Blowes,
who earlier was in Clinton's weakest five.
So here comes Blowes with that breeze block and that's impressive.
This will definitely put him on all of the right radars.
He's first to complete the run, in nine minutes and five seconds.
All right, Blowes, slow down.
Put your block down, put it down.
First one in. Well done, Blowes, how are you?
-Yeah, good, mate.
-You are literally dripping right now.
-That's not water, is it? That's completely sweat.
Always dreamed of being in the army when I was a kid.
And it was like posters on the wall.
I think I've got what it takes physically
to get through this because I'm an endurance athlete.
I've been running competitively for the last ten, 11 years.
My wife always says if I was to put as much effort into work as I do
training, we'd probably be a lot richer than we are.
You've been pretty quiet all day.
Have you been deliberately playing the background?
No. I've been... I got bollocked this morning.
I just thought sod it, I'm a runner, that's what I do.
Orange team member Durant is second.
Sparks from the yellows is third.
And Thomson from the orange team is the first girl in.
Third row that way. Get in there and go rest, yeah?
-How hard was it?
-It's pretty hard, actually,
to have weight on your back and weight on your front as well.
It's really difficult to regulate your breathing,
but it's just keeping a steady pace and cracking on, I think.
Nawaz, who was in Clinton's bottom five earlier,
is the final orange team member over the line.
Right, Nawaz, put your block down.
No, Nawaz, I said put the block down,
not chuck the fricking thing down.
I'm really starting to feel it, really, in terms of
physical ability, but mentally, I'm still there.
Yellow team member Isrolia is the penultimate recruit
to finish and who, so far in the competition,
has drawn attention to himself for all the wrong reasons.
How come you're the only individual now that has an incomplete block?
How is it that you managed to screw this up, really?
-It fell on a stone.
-It fell on a stone?
No, it didn't fall on the stone.
-I dropped it on a stone.
-Oh, you dropped it on the stone.
You see, now there were getting to something,
because things just don't fall, yeah?
You have no idea.
So Isrolia had a terrible time getting in and he got in trouble
for breaking that breeze block.
But, you may have noticed that we are missing one more recruit.
Isrolia wasn't the last.
Big Logan is with the medics.
Yellow team leader Logan has suffered a recurrence of his groin problem.
I just don't want to fail.
I just want to keep up with everybody. I don't want to fail.
Things aren't going well because he's taken absolutely ages to come here.
But, to be fair to him, he's kept going.
Right, Logan, so you're substantially late
after everybody else.
-What's going on?
-My hamstrings, Colonel.
-Are you going to quit?
-Are you sure?
Take your stuff away.
You had, was it an injury?
-What happened on the way?
-Taped them up because we were just running,
-they just locked up on me.
-You know what it is,
it's just different terrain with the boots and...
So do you think you've got what it takes to keep going?
Yeah, I'm going to keep going today until I can't move no more.
-Stand up, stand up!
-Stand to attention. Let's go.
-Stand to attention.
You've completed this task and, interestingly enough,
just prior to this I'd been speaking to you about the value of teamwork.
It's about teamwork. It's not about you as an individual,
it's about the team.
Some of you need to understand that.
If you just picked up and looked after yourself,
yet I just said teamwork to you.
So the winning team was defined by the last person
of that team to cross the finish line.
And that team happened to be Team Orange.
The losing team is obviously then Team Yellow.
And there are going to be consequences to this.
All right. For tonight, this will be your camp and I will be
very generous and I will bring you some dinner.
-Yeah? Sounds like a good plan?
-ALL: Yes, Colonel.
Off the back of that, I'm pretty sure Logan feels awful.
And everyone is wondering what on earth is that punishment.
It's my fault completely and the team shouldn't have to pay.
I should have to pay for it. We should have won it.
I'm glad we passed the line first on that task.
The girls, we all started slowing down, so we kind of teamed together,
got morale up and thought, you know,
if we can do it together we can get through the end of it.
You referred to dinner and I come and find you here
stood above this carcass.
Can you please explain to me what on earth is going on?
In a survival situation,
when you've been compromised and you have to run away from the enemy,
you have to look after yourself. You won't have much with you,
and so what you do is you have the nearest thing possible.
So, when you shoot an animal
there's a lot of things that you can actually use on it.
Grab a leg there, Reg...
-Oh, my God, you want me to grab hold?
-Yeah. It's kicking a little, don't worry.
It still moving. Why is it still moving?
-Just the nerves.
-Just the nerves.
It is ten hours since our recruits have been under the command
of Clinton and this is their first meal.
You can all have a look.
You're pretending it's not here, but it is.
Yeah? Good, eh?
-ALL: Yes, Colonel.
-Yeah, good stuff.
This is part of special forces training.
You're taught to survive in the wild.
The first thing you do, you need to gut the animal.
There is a mental barrier that must be passed by killing,
skinning and preparing an animal for consumption on a combat mission.
Well this is nice and warm still. Man!
Lighting a fire to cook is not an option when behind enemy lines,
as flames or smoke will give your location away.
I'm trying to find the liver for you.
There it is. Beautiful.
Look at that.
All right. There we have the liver.
During military training, recruits burn an average
of 4,500 calories a day.
Help yourself. It's...hors d'oeuvres.
No, you want me to cook it for you with onions?
-Not at all, Colonel.
-Off you go.
Highly nutritious, yet also the most perishable organ,
raw liver is abundant in both protein and vitamins.
Logan, I hear this is good for hamstrings.
-Mr Nawaz, can I tempt you to an hors d'oeuvre?
-No, thank you, Colonel.
-Are you sure?
-I'm very sure, Colonel.
-And why aren't you going to eat any of this?
Unfortunately, it's not been sacrificed in the correct way, Colonel.
All right, OK.
Next up it's liquid refreshment.
All right, here we have the stomach.
There is a lot of moisture in the stomach.
Replenishing fluid loss is vital
to preventing dehydration in extreme heat.
This is very hydrating and very nutritious.
Squeeze all of it in there.
Nectar of the gods, I'm telling you.
-Sparks, off you go, lad.
-Thank you, Colonel.
No, thank you, Colonel.
And why ever not, Mr Isrolia?
-I don't drink
But you talk a lot of it. You're going to wimp out on this one, too?
Come on, Donoghue.
-Breathe in, breathe in!
Thank you, Colonel.
-Yeah, yeah, I can see that.
Have some stuff.
-Should I hold on to you?
-No, thanks, Sir.
-No, thanks, please.
-I haven't even got to you.
-At least you could have a smell of this.
-No, thank you.
-Are you sure?
-Come on. Just a little one.
I'm going to give you a whiff.
All right. So, there you have it.
Losing team, yellow, you're at that end of the camp.
Orange team, you're at that end of the camp,
and that's where you stay for tonight.
All you've got with you is that which you have -
your bergens and everything in it.
The smell's the most repulsive thing
I've ever smelt in my life, man.
Just horrendous smell.
Even if someone pays me 3,000 quid,
I'm not going to drink that.
'In the bottom five after the first exercise of the day,
'recruit Donoghue has redeemed herself.'
I kind of conquered something there, eating that and drinking that.
It was a bit of a moment in my life.
As night falls, the two teams bed down in the bush.
Are we sleeping in a circle?
You know what we can do - head to toe.
Spooning - let's do a giant spoon.
Mate, I'm not spooning nobody on here.
So, Stewart and Logan, they were our team leaders today.
How do you think they fared?
I think Logan,
I don't think he put in his fair effort in the drum carry.
Communication was a little rough in the beginning,
-but I think he picked it up and that was nice.
-And how about Stewart?
I noticed there was definitely some issues
between him and Allan at one point earlier.
Stewart completely lost the plot and, yeah, fell to pieces.
I mean, on a scale of one to zero, he was zero.
Logan kept getting your name wrong all day
and he is the captain of the losing team tonight,
do you think there is going to be any repercussions?
Yeah, I have said they're going to pay the price,
and they will pay the price.
I think all of these people don't seem to understand that
professional soldiering is a matter of life and death -
you screw up, people are going to die, including yourself.
I can see a shooting star.
-Look up, look!
-Do you see it?
-Up, get up.
Get! Get up!
Up, up, up.
Over the shoulder. Quickly, move it.
Approaching 1am in the morning, the yellow team are rudely awoken.
Come on, sunshine.
Today, recruit, today. I want it done now.
Marched out of camp, they have no idea where they are heading.
17 hours into their Recces training,
and the yellow team are about to endure their punishment
for losing the previous challenge.
We're putting the recruits through the capture phase.
It puts them under mental pressure.
We deprive them of some of their senses.
Subjected to sensory deprivation, the recruits are hooded,
their hands are tied...
..and they are regularly manoeuvred into stress positions.
It's sore, it's uncomfortable,
but it helps you prepare
for what you're going to face in the real world.
The purpose of this phase is to simulate
the most extreme physical and mentally stressful conditions
that could be experienced operationally.
What don't you understand about sitting still in this position?
This is done to ensure recruits tap into their strength of mind,
as opposed to merely physical attributes.
The recruits are routinely kept moving
in order to deprive them of any rest whatsoever.
Psychologically, their sense of reality and time has been broken.
DS staff are walking around and monitoring all of the recruits
because the minute they get tired,
we start to see them rock and nearly fall over.
In the cold, if their body temperature goes below 32 degrees,
hypothermia is a real threat.
After four and a half hours of sleep deprivation,
it's time for one last ploy to break the recruits.
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
Well, if they were falling asleep, they definitely aren't any more.
Isrolia... Isrolia's getting the worst of it.
But it's Logan who's first to succumb to the elements.
Sit up straight. Bend your elbows.
Logan has just been taken away by the medical staff
because, apparently, he's having his vitals checked.
I feel like I'm going to pass out.
My body started getting weak.
I'm not used to the cold like this, man.
Because it's so cold, your body's been trying to generate heat,
so you've been shivering, burning up energy,
energy you don't have, you guys haven't eaten.
Just minutes later, the medical team attend to recruit Okafor.
With the cold conditions, she's become first stage hypothermic.
Just busy reheating her, just warming her up
and we'll take it from there.
It's sunrise on day two,
and the yellow team's ordeal is finally over.
I can't breathe or talk.
I can't breathe!
Isrolia is the first to be walked out and he's...
he's clearly struggling.
Loosen up the mask.
-I can't breathe!
Isrolia, can you hear me?
-Do you recognise my voice?
Look at me. Look at me.
-Are you OK?
-Are you sure?
-Can I cut you loose?
Sorry, yes, Colonel.
What kept you out here? Why did you stick it out?
I really don't know myself.
-The thought of...
The thought of quitting came into my mind a lot of times,
but I don't know.
-I'm good to take your hood off?
-Yes, Colonel, thank you.
OK, look at me.
Look at me.
Can I cut you loose?
Yes, Colonel. Please.
Is that the longest that you ever had?
Just give me a minute.
Pull it together, mate, you've got it.
You all right?
Probably the most raw emotion
that I felt ever
going through my body, through my soul.
I just couldn't control it any more.
I was so deeply cold.
I have never felt that cold before in my life.
What an absolute punishment.
I've never been through anything like that ever before.
I saw at one point they took you away.
My whole body shut down, bro.
What do you think's brought that on?
It's the lack of food, sugar.
-It was ice cold through the night.
-But I ain't giving up.
I've still got a bit more left in me.
Back in the South African bush,
it's breakfast time for the orange team.
Oh, I'm so happy.
Just take the one.
The yellows return having had virtually no sleep for 26 hours.
I tell you what, mate, I was close to pulling the plug last night.
I'm not even joking.
Fair play to them. We were just lying here and we were cold,
and they're telling us they had cold water dousing them,
Yeah, so good luck to them, eh?
Now only one challenge stands between the recruits
and the final parade,
where anyone can be sent home.
It's time for the last drill
under their South African special force veteran.
In front of you,
you have an original piece of special forces kit.
This drill is an exercise straight from Recce selection.
Weighing a total of 75kg,
the octopus has five balls connected by a metre long chain.
It must be carried 800 metres up an incline
and it's a race to the finish.
There will be four people on a ball.
The fifth ball will be suspended by the rest of the team.
The team will be penalised with 20 push-ups
every time the ball touches the ground.
Is that clear?
Today is a chance for the team leaders, Logan and Stewart,
to fix your cock-ups from yesterday.
-Is that clear?
-LOGAN AND STEWART:
There will be a staggered start.
When I say go, orange team, you get going,
yellow team, follow the DS.
Led by Stewart, the Orange team split into two groups of five.
Once that goes up in the air, it can't touch the ground again, guys.
Not just a trial of strength, strategy is key,
as the loose ball hangs awkwardly, upsetting the balance of the group.
The chances of them stopping and having to do those 20 push-ups,
it looks like it's already about to happen.
20 push-ups. Not touching the chain. Let's go.
I take it that this is something that is very specific to the Recces?
Yeah, I had to go through that myself.
Manhandling a heavy piece of equipment that's lashed with chains
so there's no stability to it,
so that means you're forced, as an individual,
to actually pull your weight and contribute to the team.
This last challenge is going to really be a test to them
and it would be nice to kind of confirm things
-that I know and maybe bring up stuff that I don't know, so...
After losing the previous challenge,
the pressure is on for the yellows.
This is their final chance to impress Clinton.
Team, you had no sleep last night, but you have the advantage
cos you can see what's happening up the hill.
Make it count. On my command, go.
Come on, guys, let's go.
Logan's team have just set off
and they're trying to get their technique right.
It already looks like they've got
more of an idea of what they need to do,
in terms of keeping that ball away from the floor,
than the other team.
Right, come on, strong now, strong.
How are you doing, team two? Are you all right? Keep moving.
Battling the heat and short of sleep,
the yellows soon falter.
My hands are too sweaty to keep a grip on it.
-Team one is losing it, put it down, everybody.
Down. Stop, stop.
Everybody, all down.
Push-up position. Ready.
Meanwhile, the orange team have passed the halfway stage
and Stewart is under pressure from the DS.
-The other team is catching up.
-Can you hear them, Stewart?
-I can hear them.
-Can you hear them?
We're still in front, guys. Keep going.
Don't worry about the team behind, we're doing fine.
-Can you hear them?
-They're far enough away.
They're not far enough.
We're far enough ahead for my liking.
You like back-chatting, eh?
I just like having a bit of a laugh, Staff.
Oh, you've got time to laugh. This is a joke?
-You cannot deal with that
Back on track, the yellows begin to feel the strain.
I can't see,
I've got so much sweat in my eyes.
This is tough.
Their leader, Logan, is struggling with the same injury from yesterday.
Come on, Logan. Come on, you've got this.
It's my legs.
-You see me yesterday? I had to stop.
-I know, but...
I'm just causing injury to myself if I can't...
-Quitting's not an option.
-I'm not quitting.
-I've got an injury.
-What is the hardest thing?
It's the backpack,
as well as this weight, as well as going up.
I think they're leaving the girls to do the heavy lifting,
in all honesty, Reggie, mate.
Is it an unfair switch, do you think?
-Team Parrott and Downham.
What's happening, Downham, are the boys not pulling their weight?
Er... Nah, they are, it's just me and Parrott are stronger, you know?
On the orange team, every aching muscle is put to the test.
Right, guys, push them up!
Quick, quick, quick.
Wait, wait, wait. It's not on the floor yet.
And Nawaz is suffering the most.
Nawaz needs help.
Nawaz, I'll get that off you. We need you at the front.
All right, I'm good, I'm good. I'm OK, man. I'm OK.
I don't think you're capable of going on, Nawaz.
I would seek medical attention if you can.
I'm OK, man, I'm OK.
Under intense scrutiny,
both teams know this is their last chance to prove themselves.
Come on, boys. Grit your teeth, dig in.
Come on, team two.
The orange team give it one final push...
-Lift it up!
-Keep walking, keep walking.
Blowes' guide is good.
Help me. Help me. Pull me.
Keep the tension on that chain.
..and under the watchful eye of Clinton make it to the end.
Take it down. Take it down.
You're absolutely dripping at the moment with sweat,
but you managed to get through it.
Was anybody in particular struggling on your team?
Nawaz was struggling a wee bit towards the end there.
I think the water's getting the better of him,
the heat's bringing him down, but we got him through.
He's going to make it to the end.
That was the hardest thing I've ever done, ever.
It was horrific.
In sight of the finish line,
Logan's seeking urgent medical attention.
In doing so, he's compromised the yellow team's progress.
Your team's right by the finish line.
-How desperate to get back are you?
-As fast she does this.
Let's go, guys. Watch this rock here.
With Logan absent,
the yellows stumble within touching distance of the finish.
-Brace up, let's go. Brace up, let's go.
And after serving their punishment, complete the course.
So, Logan's team in the yellow have had Logan rejoin them now.
They just got beasted all of 20 metres away from finishing,
which has definitely affected their time.
The hardest thing I've ever done.
Easily. There's just...
..no break at all.
I do feel bad, cos I got, like, literally 30 seconds,
40 seconds from the end,
and I should have been holding the ball at the end,
but my legs gave in.
All right, people, the next time I see you will be on the parade.
DS, take over.
The recruits have survived two days of hell
at the hands of the South African special forces veteran.
It's now time for them to head to base camp.
This is where they'll be housed, in military designed quarters,
for the remainder of their training.
But first, they must line up on parade
to face Clinton and find out who will be sent home.
Now, seeing our recruits at this stage of their training,
does it take you back to being a Recce yourself,
-when you started out?
-Yeah, pretty much.
You think about what we went through, you know,
and how you kind of experienced the same things,
and how you were feeling, so I know exactly what it is,
-I know what it's like to be there.
-Who stands out for you?
So, Blowes, he's been quiet,
but he's really stood out for me.
I think Downham, Donoghue, Parrot, they're strong candidates for me.
The top four for me are really digging in
and are actually volunteering to do all the hard work.
So how close to knowing for sure who you want to see go are you?
I've got about a 90% chance at this stage that I know exactly who it is.
Today, I think I sort of redeemed myself to a degree,
but then with the backchat
and various other discrepancies up the hill,
I think I've sort of brought myself back down a peg or two again,
so I still think I'm definitely in the firing line.
The Colonel's going to shout at me, probably.
I don't know after that. I could do with some sleep, though.
I think we all could, cos my team has had it bad.
Yeah, definitely, I think I'm in the firing line.
He don't like me for some reason.
I reckon he might call my name out.
The results of the last challenge are in.
The winners of that are the orange team.
The losers are the yellow team.
But today you're not being assessed in your team formations,
you're being assessed as individuals.
So while you're standing there,
take off your armbands and keep it in your right hand.
Take them off.
The race to finish last amongst this group has been hard fought,
and there are a number of candidates that vied for that position.
Isrolia, I've called you out a number of times
about your dishonesty.
You're weak physically,
you're not adding a lot of value to your team and to this group.
Mentally, you're not as strong as you should be.
..your leadership skills are mediocre.
You have failed three challenges physically in the last 48 hours.
Stewart, your leadership skills are nonexistent,
and getting worse by the moment.
Your contribution to your team has been dismal.
Nawaz, you are physically weak.
You're a liability, and I think you're getting worse.
You are no longer part of this process.
Please exit off my parade now.
There are some of you in this group that are heading for the same way.
It's been tough.
It's going to get tougher.
He called out four people and you're one of the four.
-Do you think that you're the weakest out of that four?
Obviously my legs are seizing up,
and I've actually done damage to my legs,
because my legs are taped up.
But I don't know, it's the Colonel's decision, isn't it?
-What can I say? That's how it is, isn't it, bro?
I'm really gutted for Logan.
Best of luck to him.
And he is a top lad,
so it was really great to sort of share those couple of days with him
and gutted to see him go.
I wasn't expecting still to be here.
It's a bit of a shock, to be honest.
A good shock?
Er, I'm not sure, cos I'm pretty tired, at the minute.
I think most people are just happy still to be in the game.
On the left, quick march.
The recruits are led inside our specially-made base.
OK, find your bed space.
Stick your bergens under the bed right out of the way.
Run by directing staff,
they must adhere to a strict military code.
Always follow instructions from the DS staff.
-We all happy with that one?
After familiarising themselves with their new lodging...
..our physically shattered recruits are granted some downtime.
Quite the five-star accommodation, isn't it?
But Isrolia cannot rest.
Yeah, so basically, I've made my mind up,
and I'm making a decision that I'm going to throw the towel in.
So why have you definitely decided to go?
Why are you so sure this is the right thing for you?
I'm not feeling motivated.
I don't get along with authority too well.
Yeah, it's a bit too much, to be honest.
-Mate, it was a pleasure meeting you.
-Thank you very much.
Listen, look after yourself. All right, take care, man.
See you in London.
He is the fourth civilian to exit the process.
Now, 18 recruits remain.
Our recruits face a torturous 48 hours
under the direction of a former operator
from the Polish special forces.
Do not move and do not talk.
The pressure rises.
What are you doing?
Physical strain begins to show.
And respect must be earned.
I dismiss you from the group.
In the second series, 22 of Britain's toughest civilians face a fortnight of hell. Living in an isolated military camp deep in the heart of South Africa, every one of the 22 men and women will be pushed to their breaking point under the direction of six former veterans of some of the toughest special forces units in the world.
Fresh off the plane, our 22 recruits land in South Africa with a bump - en route to base camp, they are ambushed by their first Special Forces expert, Clinton Agnew, a former colonel in the South African Special Forces Brigade, otherwise known as the 'Recces'.
The African bush is the Recces' back yard and Clinton is about to take the recruits through 48 hours of misery with some authentic selection methods that are designed to break recruits and force them to work as a team. 100 percent effort is required at all times - if any recruit is seen to giving anything less, they will face the wrath of Clinton and his team of directing staff.
From carrying huge concrete blocks across the hot South African landscape to learning real survival skills including drinking the stomach contents of a freshly killed springbok, and of course the dreaded 'Octopus' - a devious training device that forces cracks to appear in the already exhausted recruits - it doesn't take long until they are dropping like flies.