Ex-cadet Justine to feature on gruelling TV programme
12th May 2021
By Kirstie Newton
A former Cornwall army cadet and deputy head girl of Truro High School can be seen on screen in the Channel 4 series SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Justine Pellew-Harvey, who lives in Truro, is the show’s youngest recruit to date, and headed into the wilds of Scotland to be put through the toughest and most unforgiving selection course yet.
The TV programme shows ex-Special Forces soldiers putting recruits through a recreation of the SAS selection process, pitting them against each other in such tasks as racing up a 4,000-foot mountain, followed by a 100ft abseil off an oil-rig.
Justine said appearing on the show was a long-held dream. “I had been a fan of the show since I was 14, and the second I turned 18, my first thought was: ‘Ohh! Now I can apply for SAS!’,” she said.
“Quite frankly, I never believed I’d be selected because of the number of applications the production team receive. But I got in, and all I can say is the person I was on day one is not who I was by the end, that’s for sure. It changed my perspective on pretty much everything in life.”
Justine was an exemplary army cadet, parading at Falmouth detachment. In 2018 she achieved the prestigious position of Lord Lieutenant Cadet, taking part in royal events in the Duchy with the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Col Edward Bolitho. She also participated twice in the gruelling Ten Tors Challenge – 34- and 45-mile marches across Dartmoor in two days carrying up to 20kg backpacks.
Later she attended the challenging cadet exchange at Whitehorse Cadets Summer Training Centre in the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada. There she was named the top UK cadet, described as “an inspiration and encouragement to her peers” and invited back to help instruct the following year’s exchange cadets from the UK.
“Four years in the cadets definitely came in handy for the show,” Justine adds.
“In terms of the military discipline aspect, the time management, organising kit, leadership tasks, respecting higher ranking staff, navigation tasks and of course, the shouting, all helped me massively on the course.
“The speed marches with heavy rucks are obviously a lot harder to do when you are soaked, hungry, exhausted and have nothing to look forward to, but doing Ten Tors training for two years also prepared me mentally.”
Justine grew up in Italy and moved to the UK in her early teens.
She developed a passion for extreme sports, and has been training in bodybuilding and sailing competitively at an international level since the age of 15. She made headlines when she beat all 300 competitors in the 10K Royal Marines 2018 Commando Challenge, and aged 16 reached Mount Everest base camp in her attempt to become the youngest person to conquer all seven of the world’s highest mountains.
SAS: Who Dares Wins aired on Sunday and runs for six episodes.