Barristers are familiar with rigorous cross-examination, but they probably wouldn’t fancy the kind of ordeal Rick Stevens is enduring.
The personal injury specialist, from Manchester’s Cobden House Chambers, has reached the final eight of Channel Four’s SAS: Who Dares Wins – the concluding episode of which is shown on Sunday evening.
The show puts 25 brave contestants through the ultimate test of mental and physical strength in the harsh surroundings of the Andes mountains of Chile.
Viewers have already seen Stevens cross 200-metre gorges, swim beneath the ice on a frozen lake and navigate a perilous valley at night, while trying to avoid capture by a local hunter force and their dogs.
Now Stevens is set for the interrogation phase – which effectively involves a form of torture while aggressive ‘captors’ try to prise information out of them. All of which makes a morning in front of a supercilious judge seem like a walk in the park.
Stevens, 33, explained the parts seen on screen are just a snapshot of the grim realities of life on the show.
‘They would only let us have two hours sleep a night, and would wake us up in between,’ he said. ‘Food rations went from 2,500 calories a day to 300 – which is basically an apple. And all the time we were doing physical challenges.’
Sounds like hard work to Obiter, but Stevens insists he enjoyed the experience.
‘I knew I could walk up mountains but this was a test of will as well as you could have left at any time. If you could complete this it would be the ultimate.’
Viewers can see how he fared on Sunday at 9pm. We’re just glad he survived to tell the tale.