SAS: Who Dares Wins unveils new recruit for series filmed before Ant Middleton ...

SAS: Who Dares Wins have unveiled the newest member of their hard-nosed team ahead of the return of the civilian series on Sunday.

Melvyn Downes, 55, who led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the Armed Forces, will appear alongside Ant Middleton for the new series filmed before the latter was axed from the show.

In March Ant was dropped by Channel 4 bosses due to his 'personal conduct,' with the soldier fiercely denying claims that he was axed for making 'inappropriate' comments to female staff.

Grand return: SAS: Who Dares Wins have unveiled the newest member of their hard-nosed team ahead of the return of the civilian series on Sunday

Grand return: SAS: Who Dares Wins have unveiled the newest member of their hard-nosed team ahead of the return of the civilian series on Sunday

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Melvyn is the first mixed-race member of the SAS team, recruited to replace Ollie Ollerton who departed the show last year.

He will appear alongside Ant, Jason Fox and Mark 'Billy' Billingham on the show, which will see a new group of civilians put through their paces when it hits screens this weekend.

Having served over 20 years in the Armed Forces, Melvyn also spent 12 years in the SAS and is now a Scout Leader, and insisted that his position on the show isn't simply to boost Channel 4's 'diversity drive.'

New face: Melvyn Downes, 55, who led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the armed forces, will appear in the new series

New face: Melvyn Downes, 55, who led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the armed forces, will appear in the new series

He told The Sun: 'I know people are going to say it's all about race, but I don't see it that way.

'To be a part of this programme you've got to be competent to do the job, that's number one.

'Because I had 24 years in the British military, got to senior rank as a Warrant Officer and led countless SAS operations, I think I have got the necessary experience first of all to back it up.'

Father-of-three Melvyn grew up on a council estate in Stoke and for the past decade has been living in Dubai working for both British Scouting Overseas and corporate security.

The new series will also feature a surprise twist with one of the Directing Staff going undercover among the 21 recruits taking part.

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Coming soon: The civilian series was filmed before Ant (pictured) was axed by Channel 4 bosses for his 'personal conduct'

Coming soon: The civilian series was filmed before Ant (pictured) was axed by Channel 4 bosses for his 'personal conduct'

This civilian series and the upcoming celebrity version, were both recorded last year before Ant, who is now in Australia filming that country's version of the show, was axed from the show by Channel 4 bosses. 

A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline at the time: 'Ant Middleton will not be taking part in future series of SAS: Who Dares Wins. 

'Following a number of discussions Channel 4 and Minnow Films have had with him in relation to his personal conduct it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again.'

Ant then 'wholeheartedly' denied claims he 'joked about having sex with a female contestant' on after previously hitting back at claims he made improper comments to female staff. 

A spokesperson for Ant told MailOnline at the time: 'Ant has worked on TV sets around the world for many years and has never at any point been accused of speaking inappropriately by anyone.  

'He has only ever been informed of these allegations, which he wholeheartedly and emphatically rejects, via the media. 

'If anyone felt that he did say anything verbally offensive we would have expected a formal process of review but no such discussion has ever taken place either via any of the networks he works for or via bodies such as Bectu.'

Ditched: A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline at the time: 'It has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again.'

Ditched: A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline at the time: 'It has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again.'

It came following a report by The Sun that Ant was heard telling a contestant he wanted to have sex with her via his microphone during

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