The youngest recruit, 21-year-old Maisie has spent her life in the public eye and finds it a challenge to separate herself from her Eastenders character. She wants to find her own voice on the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins course and gain some confidence in herself offscreen.
Why did you want to test yourself on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins?
You know what? I'd seen the show and I remember watching it thinking, "Wow. What a strong bunch of people." I really just wanted to put my mental and physical strength to the test. I'm very competitive. I've always loved pushing myself and seeing my limits. It's the perfect challenge for me, is what I thought.
You’re known for being fit so did you do anything specific to prepare for this experience?
I was asked to go on it four weeks before the start, so I only really had a month to prepare and in that month I just went absolutely crazy! I was just hitting the gym every day and trying to beat all my personal bests. I was running on the treadmill with weights on my back for hours. We got to Jordan a few days before and me and Jade were running on the beach and I'd have her on my back and then we'd swap over. It was just really intense fitness that I never used to do at home.
Did you want to inspire anyone by being on the show?
I have nothing to prove but I kind of went in hoping that I would inspire young, small women that we're just as strong as anyone else, as any of the big, strong men. It felt quite empowering that I was the youngest one there. I came out of it feeling stronger than I've ever felt. I felt like I definitely did what I came there to do to inspire other young girls.
Did you know anybody who had done it before that you could ask for advice?
I spoke to Alexandra Burke and I said, "Is it a good idea for me?" She said, "Absolutely. I think you've definitely got what it takes." That was reassuring because she obviously did very well when she was on the show. It's nice to have someone that knows how brutal it is tell you that they think that you're good enough. So that was nice to hear.
Do you have any fears that might have held you back on the course?
I'm quite lucky in the sense I don't have many fears. I'm not really very scared of heights or things like that. My biggest fear is failing and not doing what I came out there to do. So I think that was my fear of going out there. I didn't want to go home on the first day and let myself down. I wanted to push myself to my absolute limit and come out feeling like I did everything I could.
How would you rate your mental strength?
I think my mental strength was better than my physical strength. I think I definitely was not physically the strongest person or the fastest. But I feel like what I lacked in physical strength I definitely made up for in mental strength. I've always backed myself. I'm too competitive with myself. I physically won't give up.
What did you think when you saw the line up for the show?
Well, initially I thought, "Oh, crap." World champion boxers and a lot of Olympians. I was thinking, "Oh, wow. I'm just little old Maisie from Essex. This is going to be a slap round the face, I think." Once I got to know everyone and we all found each other's strengths and weaknesses, and we actually found that as a team we worked collectively, where they lacked certain things I pulled through and vice versa. So it was actually quite a strong team and I think you do get that as you watch the show, that it's quite a strong group, and we stayed a big group until almost the end. We kind of had each other's backs and if someone wanted to give up, as a team, we never let anyone give up. So it's quite a nice group.
How did you find the Directing Staff?
I really liked them, in a weird way. They obviously pushed you. They said all the words under the sun that they could, but it was all out of motivation. It was all because they wanted you to keep going. They don't want you to give up. They want you to push to the bitter end. I quite liked their aggressive approach. It was different. Do you know what I mean? You never experience that aggression in normal life. It's that sort of fiery energy that actually made you never want to stop because you didn't want to give up for yourself or for them, you didn't want to let them down.
Did you find them intimidating at all?
Yeah. I think they were. I did find them quite intimidating. I feel like there were certain moments when I was out of my comfort zone or if I didn't do well in a task, they were quite good at making you feel belittled. That was something that you have to really overcome and try and find your sense of self. I felt like I was a little kid at school again getting told off. I'm not an argumentative person. So, when they were just shouting at me for completely messing everything up or just doing something really stupid, it was like, "Oh, God." It is really scary. I feel like I'm getting told off by my mum again as a kid. But they're not doing it to make you feel like crap, they do actually want you to succeed. It’s tough love, I guess.
Did you have a laugh in camp with the other celebs?
Oh, yeah. We giggled all the time. I think especially at the start, when we didn't know what we were in for, we'd lark around. But very quickly, I think we were too scared to laugh. We laughed once too loud and we got punished badly. We had to run in mud and roll in the sand and then go to bed without washing our clothes and our bodies. I think we learned from that!
Who was the naughtiest in camp?
I'd say the biggest personality was Ferne. No matter how tired we all were, or we would be absolutely battered and past the point of exhaustion and she'd be asking about holidays and families. She was like a little ray of sunshine that we actually needed because by that point I was scared. I couldn't even speak. She was like, "So, tell me about your relationship." That's what I loved about her. No matter what was happening, she was always happy. That was nice.
How would you sum up the whole experience?
Looking back, I can't relive the pain and the exhaustion that I felt. I only remember just feeling so empowered and strong. It was brutal and it was pain I'd never felt and exhaustion, dehydration, all of that. But it was also the moment I felt the best in myself. It just completely changed my outlook on everything.