A SOUTH Birmingham thrill-seeker, currently training to be a stunt woman, is battling 24 others in the new series of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Mum-of-one Ellise, 29, joins chief instructor Ant Middleton and his team of directing staff for a series of gruelling challenges in the Special Air Service’s spiritual Scottish homeland with its rugged coastline, volatile weather and harsh landscapes.
The area has been a training ground for the world’s most admired and feared elite military team for years.
Ellise, who has lived in Selly Oak, Weoley Castle, Halesowen, Redditch and Worcester before moving to Northfield, had been a fan of the show and watched every series but it was not until last year that they let women enter.
She said: “As soon as I heard women could take part I had to apply but I never expected to hear back.”
She had to fill out application forms and send in a video and was then called up to take on beep tests and other trials to prove she was fit enough for the show.
“I grew up dancing from a very young age and used to play football and as I got older I came to love cliff diving and other extreme sports.
“From the moment I saw the programme I wanted to do it.”
As she progressed through the application process she had to remain tight-lipped and only those closest to her knew she was in with a chance of getting on the show.
“When people found out I had made it through they weren’t surprised but they were very worried.
“Being a big watcher of it and researching what it entailed I knew it was going to be tough but it was 1,000 times more difficult than I imagined.”
As well as the training put on by the programme’s organisers, Ellise undertook weighted runs and distance running as ‘running is not her strong point’.
She said she found the ‘gun drill’ as the toughest part and cited the abseiling as her favourite section of the series.
“To do something like that and not be afraid when I’m always afraid was so incredible.
“For the first time ever, I felt indestructible and powerful.
“It was an amazing feeling.”
The swimming in freezing water was not as memorable for Ellise though.
“My body didn’t react well to the cold so it made it hard – I’m usually a good swimmer but wasn’t on that occasion.
Ellise, who has a ten-year-old son Tobias, had suffered from anxiety and part of her decision to apply for Who Dares Wins was to face her demons head-on.
“I wanted to learn how to control my anxiety and get past it and I figured doing something extreme would help me and it did.
“It has helped build my character and allayed all the fears and doubts I had about myself – I can safely say it is the best thing I have ever done.
“Looking back, it was all I wanted from the show and more – something I will never forget.”
And she said, despite the tears and the harsh challenges she was faced with, she would definitely do it again if she had the chance.
The first show which Ellise said she ‘cried all the way through’ aired on January 5 and the next episode is this Sunday on Channel 4 at 9pm.
Search for SAS: Who Dares Wins on your TV’s catch-up service or click here to watch the first episode.