Seven's "secret weapon" to combat the possible cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics is a blockbuster and star-studded revival of popular '90s reality show Who Dares Wins.
But even before it began filming, the Aussie celeb version SAS: Who Dares Wins, the show was thrown into turmoil because of COVID-19 travel restrictions – and the shock discovery that one of its biggest stars is pregnant.
Olympian Jana Pittman, 37, had to be swiftly removed from the set in Queenstown, New Zealand, after she announced she was expecting her fourth child.
"Everything about Jana since she arrived has been high drama!" reveals one insider, who says she was hard to miss on the set because Jana was proudly parading around in her Olympic team jacket from 16 years ago.
"She appeared to be very off her game from the outset and repeatedly broke down in tears, before announcing she was returning back to Australia. We found out later she was pregnant, and the news came as a complete surprise to Jana."
Even with severe cost-cutting, Seven has splashed millions on this reinvention of the popular 1990s reality show, which was co-hosted by cricket legend Mike Whitney and presenter Tania Zaetta, who sadly have not been recruited to host this time around.
The series, which focused on ordinary Aussies tackling out of this world stunts, made huge stars of Mike and Tania around the world.
"This is [the network's] big ticket item for 2020 and has been kept top secret," the insider exclusively reveals to Woman's Day, adding that the cast members are being paid about $150,000 each to participate.
"The current plan is to have it heavily promoted throughout the Tokyo Olympics, but if the Games don't go ahead, they are pinning their hopes on running this as a replacement.
"The cast have signed the tightest confidentiality contracts – and not even the big on-air names at Seven know production has commenced."
The celebrities will have to earn their big pay cheques, with the "recruits" expected to get down and dirty for military-style training.
It will see the contestants tackle a notoriously difficult program in some harsh environments, and will replicate the Special Air Service selection process.
WATCH: Remember this? Mike Whitney dares a young couple to strip off in a shopping centre in the 1990s version of Who Dares Wins. Story continues below...
Embattled swimmer Shayna Jack, 21, who failed a mandatory drug test in 2019, was also spotted on set in Queenstown.
"No one is game to ask her about the doping allegations," says the insider.
"The cast found it odd she was in the line-up because her case is being heard back in Australia while she's filming."
Other fellow recruits include, cricket great Mitchell Johnson, 38, rugby union player and The Bachelor star Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins, 32, former world champion swimmer James Magnussen, 28, and ironwoman Candice Warner, 35.
Controversial Aussies Schapelle Corby and Arabella Del Busso have also joined the ranks of the show, while retired Labor politician Emma Husar, 39, former Bachelorette Ali Oetjen, 33, Shane Warne's 20-year-old son Jackson and PR guru-turned-reality star Roxy Jacenko, 40, are also competing.
While the show focuses on the perils of real-life dangers faced by the SAS, or highly trained special forces soldiers, the competitive celebrity contestants are also fighting amongst themselves.
"The Honey Badger is already rubbing everyone the wrong way – he slept in for our first day on set, which was a full cast photoshoot," says the insider, before adding that former Bachelorette Ali appears likely to "take over Jana as the high maintenance princess".
Scroll on to see the full list of SAS Australia cast members...
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