Louise McCullough, a 40-year-old NHS orthopaedic surgeon from Scotland, has become the first female winner of Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Louise beat fellow final contestants Mark and Milo over 18 hours of gruelling interrogation conducted in sub-zero temperatures as the show’s final challenge.
The recruits were first awoken for an early morning run, before being bound, hooded and abducted by the series instructors.
As well as being subjected to stress positions, they were also forced to listen to prolonged distressing sounds effects, before being questioned on a pre-planned cover story, and stripped naked.
Speaking to PA, she said: “It really proves women are not second class. Women can be just as strong, if not stronger than men, both mentally and physically.
“I think all of us should be really proud of ourselves and I feel that this hopefully will resonate with people and with all women everywhere – that they will push the boundaries.
“If they want something, they just need to go and get it. They shouldn’t let prejudice stop them.
“What I hope I’m showing is that if you want something, you just have to go and get it. It shouldn’t matter if you are male or female. You shouldn’t let it stop you.”
The show’s decision to let women compete for the first time came following the Ministry of Defence’s announcement last year that women would be allowed to join the elite SAS.
She added to Aberdeen’s Evening Express: “It does show that women can achieve just as much as men.
“Also, I am 40, and one part of me did wonder whether I would be able to cope with the challenges as much as the younger recruits, but I managed it.
“It made me realise I am stronger and more resilient than I thought.”