Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: SAS’ Pauly Fenech dishes on Locky Gilbert’s “unforgivable” betrayal

"He’s a bum in my book."
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WARNING: This article touches on the topic of suicide which may be triggering for some readers.

From the moment Pauly Fenech stripped down to his non-existent underwear in the premiere episode of SAS Australia 2022, becoming the course’s first ever streaker, it was clear the comedian was going to be a standout of the season.

WATCH: Pauly Fenech  | SAS Australia 2022

During his time on the course, he was characteristically berated by the Directing Staff (DS) as well as slightly alienated from his fellow recruits, but his mental strength and determination saw him through nine days.

In the end, his physical abilities weren’t on par with the others and number two handed in his arm band to Chief Instructor, Ant Middleton.

Despite the rigorous exercises he put his body through, Pauly tells New Idea that the only injury he sustained after the show was “a little bit of wounded pride, because some of the other contestants weren’t so nice to me”.

Namely, the Fat Pizza alum clashed with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert. And it’s clear that their issues aren’t too far behind them.

Pauly lasted nine days in the SAS course. (Credit: Seven)

“That Locky character thought he was on Survivor or something, or maybe he’s just the egomaniac he claims he is,” Pauly tells us.

“He started sinking my character with the group and it locked in. Except for people like Darius (Boyd) and Barry (Hall) who were really solid and were good to me; but I feel like the others kind of wavered a bit and I couldn’t understand why.”

Despite trying to make the peace with the reality TV star following their bickering, Pauly says that Locky would initially accept the olive branch, but change his tune later on.  

“Watching the show, I didn’t realise he was giving me his word as a man and then breaking it two seconds later. He did that to me three times – one time wasn’t on camera, but the other time was on camera. I just find that unforgivable.”

He goes on to say that he could have kept the aggression and fun up, but he tried his best to be civil.

Paul gained notoriety for his series, Fat Pizza. (Credit: Instagram)

“He clearly just wanted to keep whipping it up behind my back. I mean he was absolutely sinking the whole morale of the group by doing that. It’s no good to hold on to that or to stir that pot because then people start to get little grudges against each other – he created that situation. He’s a bum in my book; B. U. M. Bum.”

Apart from Locky, we also saw Pauly butt heads with convicted drug dealer Richard Buttrose after he clashed with the DS.  

“If people wondered why I was so angry with Richard Buttrose it was because of the way he disrespected Ant (Middleton) and Ollie (Ollerton) and Stotty (Dean Stott) and all of them, really,” Pauly justifies, adding that he doesn’t think the show adequately highlights the achievements of the veterans.

“All of those guys are stellar individuals for a start, military career wise, and a lot of people leave the military and they have terrible dramas; they don’t readjust and the suicide rate is crazy. So, to be around those guys… they were fantastic soldiers and fantastic human beings.”

“I don’t like to see my real self on TV.” (Credit: Seven)

While we did see glimpses of Pauly’s comedy and no-holds-barred personality, the star tells us that showcasing his vulnerable side throughout the journey didn’t come as easily.

“I’ve never really shown my real true personality on TV, I’m always just a performer, so opening myself up to my private life, which I’ve always fought to keep private, was a big sacrifice to do the course.

“I knew I’d have to do it, but I didn’t think they would get so much authentic me on this TV show. I don’t like to see my real self on TV, I like to see myself in character; I think I’m more entertaining and funnier.”

But the sacrifice was worth it for Pauly who explains he’s had many people reach out to commend him on standing up for himself.

“I had a lot of kids telling me they were inspired to stand up to bullies,” the comedian says, proud that this was a lasting impact of his time on the show.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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