Craig McLachlan to make a TV comeback for SAS Australia’s next season

Photo: AAP/TND

Controversial actor Craig McLachlan will be making a comeback to TV screens this year, joining the 2023 cast of SAS Australia.

Channel 7 revealed McLachlan would be part of the reality TV series, making it his first television appearance in five years, just months after recovering from major surgery.

The 57-year-old flew from Sydney this week to train with ex-special forces in the Middle East, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Chief instructor Ant Middleton and his team will put the former star through his paces in what is rumoured to be the most gruelling selection course for the series yet.

The mission statement for the 2023 season says the training regime will have the cast “sweating bullets”.

“A new batch of star recruits through the most gruelling and extreme SAS selection course ever seen, this time in a hard-core international desert location that will have the recruits sweating bullets.

“From sinners to heroes, those that have fallen from grace, or need redemption, the celebrity line-up for 2023 will be tested physically, emotionally and mentally like never before.”

McLachlan underwent abdominal surgery last year and has had to pass a fitness test to qualify for the show.

Girlfriend Vanessa Scammell revealed he almost didn’t make it onto the series after he was rushed to hospital in December.

Craig McLachlan with girlfriend Vanessa Scammell. Photo: AAP

“Craig’s race against the clock to put on weight, gain strength and pass his fitness test after the emergency abdominal surgery late last year was far from being a fait accompli,” she said.

“He was so methodical and careful with his training post surgery. The biggest hurdles for him were to be able to complete the pre-course requirements.”

The one-time soap opera star has been embroiled in scandal for five years after he was accused of indecent assault by his Rocky Horror Show co-star Christie Whelan Browne.

He has repeatedly denied the allegations. Charges were filed by Victoria Police and McLachlan was later cleared in 2020.

McLachlan later launched defamation proceedings against the ABC and Nine Network but dropped the lawsuit several days into the trial, on the day 11 women would begin testimonials against him.

“I cannot continue to place my family under that strain, and my own mental health will not withstand the continuing pressure,” he said at the time.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is also rumoured to have signed up to this year’s season of SAS Australia.

Other celebrities that have been linked to the season include troubled AFL star Ben Cousins and transgender football coach Dani Laidley.

SAS Australia has had multiple controversial contestants in the past, including convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, former NRL player Sam Burgess and former Bra Boys gang member Koby Abberton.

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