Paul Fenech bites back at “patronising” SAS recruits

Housos star Paul Fenech admits he didn't always see eye to eye with some younger SAS cast, more famous for Reality TV or notoriety.

Paul Fenech has a CV as comedian, writer, director, producer, with wins at Tropfest, Slamdance Film Festival and a Logie Award for Most Outstanding Light Entertainment.

But when he embarked in the reality series SAS: Australia at the age of 51, not everyone was a fan.

If the show is designed to test character and create conflict in pressure-cooker situations, it did just that -all as the cameras rolled.

“I think I was the oldest guy there and there were a few people being pretty patronising, considering all the things that I’ve achieved in my life,” he tells TV Tonight.

“I’m not going to name names, but some of them have notoriety, but apart from that, what have they done?

“I loved some, didn’t like some, but that’s me in any group. I’m just one of those kind of friction people. In the universe I’m a person you either love or hate. There were a few who didn’t love me, let’s just say that!”

The cast in the third season includes Anna Heinrich, Barry Hall, Darius Boyd, Ebanie Bridges, Ellia Green, Geoff Huegill, Melissa Tkautz, Melissa Wu, Michael Zerafa, Millie Boyle, Orpheus Pledger, Riana Crehan, Richard Buttrose, Simone Holtznagel, Wayne Carey and ex-Bachelor Locky Gilbert.

Fenech admits getting into a fight with Gilbert after one challenge sparked an argument.

“I just don’t let people talk down to me or bully me.”

“I don’t back down. I don’t care how big the guy is, or how young he is. If you’re going to give me some ‘stick,’ I’m going to bite back. So that’s what happened. I just don’t let people talk down to me or bully me. I don’t know what his problem was. I just felt like he was trying to prove whatever he was trying to prove. He got in my way, and I just don’t suffer fools gladly,” he insists.

“But I’m embarrassed. I’m always an idiot. This attitude in life has caused a few dramas, let’s just say that. But it’s good for the show.”

Fenech, who was once in the Army Reserves, says he joined the show to test himself, having previously climbed mountains, or even run with the bulls in Spain.

“Every year I like to challenge myself in some crazy way to prove that I’m not soft,” he explains.

‘It’s probably the least funny I’ve been on any show, ever.”

“But it’s probably the least funny I’ve been on any show, ever. I was trying to be entertaining. I like to make people laugh and feel good. But there wasn’t much opportunity in this thing. It’s probably the first time I’ve been my real self in the media, I suppose. And my real self is pretty boring.

“I did crack a few jokes, actually, with the soldiers. They liked me a lot, they told me! But I’m not 25 or an Instagram influencer. I grew up with all those British comedies. So I think a lot of my humour has a little bit of British influence.”

The Housos and Pizza star also confirms the punishing conditions are without producer interaction, overseen by Ant Middleton and 3 Directing Staff, Ollie Ollerton, ex- Navy SEAL Clint Emerson and Special Forces Operator Dean Stott.

In the first 48 hours, recruits are set alight, almost drowned and must conquer a fear of heights.

“I did some incredible things I didn’t think that I could do. I tested my body to the limit, I thought I was going to die of a heart attack!” he reveals.

“Obviously it’s a TV show, but it’s, absolutely brutal.”

“They did not let up. It’s 24/7. All the time they’re trying to break you mentally and physically. They’re using all the tricks that they learned in their special forces. Obviously it’s a TV show, but it’s, absolutely brutal.”

Yet for all the gruelling conditions, and disagreement with fellow cast, Fenech remembers a production wrap compliment that he is taking to the grave.

“The Navy SEAL who killed Bin Laden, comes up to me and says, ‘You’re a tough little bastard!’

“What else do you want in life?”

SAS: Australia begins 7:30pm Monday on Seven.

4 Responses

Leave a Reply