Ant Mid­dle­ton’s sur­prise visit to Ar­broath cadets

TV star is VIP guest at RM Con­dor in­spec­tion and pass­ing out pa­rade

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - JANET THOM­SON jath­om­[email protected]­

Young cadets based at RM Con­dor made Scot­tish his­tory at the week­end – and got the sur­prise of their lives – when they were in­spected at their pass­ing out pa­rade by for­mer marine and tele­vi­sion celebrity Ant Mid­dle­ton.

The ad­ven­turer, who is now chief in­struc­tor on the Chan­nel 4 tele­vi­sion se­ries SAS: Who Dares Wins, spent the whole day on Satur­day at the Ar­broath base.

The 16 young mem­bers of the Ar­broath Di­vi­sion Royal Marines Vol­un­teer Cadet Corps (RMVCC) knew there was go­ing to be a VIP at their pass­ing out pa­rade but his iden­tity was kept a closely-guarded se­cret un­til the very last minute.

They were over­whelmed when they dis­cov­ered they were to re­ceive their cov­eted berets from the tele­vi­sion star who spent four years serv­ing in the Spe­cial Boat Ser­vice.

He was a point man/lead scout and a pri­mary fires oper­a­tor and sniper. Prior to join­ing the SBS, Ant also served in the Royal Marines and 9 Para­chute Squadron Royal En­gi­neers, mean­ing he has achieved the “Holy Trin­ity” of the UK’s Elite Forces.

He also caught the pub­lic’s imag­i­na­tion in 2017 when he cap­tained a team of men in Chan­nel 4’s re-en­act­ment of Cap­tain Wil­liam Bligh’s jour­ney af­ter the in­fa­mous Mutiny on the Bounty.

Colour Sergeant Derek Mc­Nulty of the Ar­broath group, des­ig­nated Troop 181, said they didn’t dis­close Ant’s guest-ap­pear­ance un­til the morn­ing re­hearsal.

He said: “The older ones were com­pletely taken aback, they were re­ally sur­prised.

“Ant spent a mas­sive amount of time with them. He sat down with them and gave them an in­spi­ra­tional talk.

“Be­cause of his back­ground, he cares a lot and was very good with the cadets. He also spoke to their par­ents. He was there the full day.”

Among the other in­vited guests were RM Con­dor per­son­nel and of­fi­cers from the RMVCC in Porstmouth.

Colour Sergeant Mc­Nulty con­tin­ued: “This is the first time the RMVCC has opened a di­vi­sion in Scot­land and RM Con­dor is the ideal place to do it.”

The RMVCC is one of the old­est cadet corps, hav­ing started in Portsmouth in 1901, and was orig­i­nally for the chil­dren of serv­ing Royal Marines be­fore evolv­ing into a youth or­gan­i­sa­tion for boys and girls of all back­grounds aged 9-17.

The Ar­broath group, formed last Au­gust as the first of its kind in Scot­land, meets on Mon­day and Wed­nes­day evenings.

SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Mid­dle­ton, third from left in the front row, pic­tured with cadets and guests.

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