Ant Middleton has always been supported by his loving wife through thick and thin.
The former solider turned TV star met Emilie back in June 2004 when she was working at a bar in Chelmsford, Essex – and it was love at first sight.
“He was so cheeky and funny, as well as good-looking and muscular, and I knew he was The One,” confessed Emilie.
With Ant wanting to return to the military, it was his worried wife who kept the family going when he was deployed to Afghanistan and feared he may never come back.
The experience made their relationship stronger and the couple have four children together as well as Ant’s eldest son from a previous relationship.
Now their lives look set to change forever after Ant was sensationally dropped from SAS: Who Dares Wins by Channel 4 bosses in March this year over his ‘personal conduct’.
Shortly after meeting in the early days of their relationship, Ant joined the Royal Marines while Emilie worked in marketing in London.
“Of course, I was worried that he might be injured or even killed, but I also knew that he needed to do what made him happy,” she told The Sun in November 2019.
“He was often away on tours in dangerous war zones such as Afghanistan, but I did my best to block out any worries – it was my way of coping.”
Despite being apart for months at a time, their relationship actually grew stronger and they got married in Antigua in May 2006.
The couple moved in together in married quarters in Taunton, Somerset, which was strange at first but Emilie soon adjusted to living in a military community.
Ant made it back home for the birth of their first two kids, Shyla in September 2007 and Gabriel in March 2009.
While Ant was on duty in Afghanistan, he phoned home as much as he could but was uncontactable during a confidential mission while working as a sniper back in 2008.
Ant has confessed to being “selfish” by putting his army job first and praised his wife for keeping their family going strong.
“I was quite selfish and put my career first for a long time, but I wanted to spend more time at home,” he said.
“I used not to write home much. It’s easier just to focus on what you’re doing when you’re out there.
“I had a single-minded attitude towards what I was doing and I was quite selfish really.”
Daughter Priseis was born in September 2015 and youngest Bligh in October 2016 – both after he had taken on the SAS: Who Dares Win job.
Emilie has admitted she struggled to adjust to her husbands’ newfound fame and it did impact their relationship.
Speaking in his book Zero Negativity, Emilie wrote: “Almost overnight we went from an existence where nobody knew anything about my husband and how he was spending his time, to realising that millions of people thought they knew everything about him.
“I’d meet people on the street and they would talk to me like they knew him. For a year, maybe more, I struggled to adjust to it.”
Emilie knows Ant gets a lot of female attention and messages on social media but has said they are “very secure” in their relationship and described her hubby as a “committed family man”.
Although she has confessed she spent a lot of time “nagging” Ant to bring him back down to earth because of the affect it had on their marriage.
She added: “He was with us but at the same time he wasn’t really there. It went to his head and stuff teetered a bit for us.”
The couple have been put to the test this year due to the controversy surrounding Ant.
He was heavily criticised for refusing to accept coronavirus was a serious threat to society and branding Black Lives Matter protesters “absolute scum”.
After being axed from SAS: Who Dares Wins, Channel 4 stated: “Ant Middleton will not be taking part in future series of SAS: Who Dares Wins. Following a number of discussions Channel 4 and Minnow Films have had with him in relation to his personal conduct it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again.”
Female members of the crew accused him of making “lewd and suggestive comments” on set, but a spokesman for Middleton said he denied the allegations, claiming that he is “always disciplined and utterly professional”.
Hitting back in an explosive Good Morning Britain interview, the ex-Special Forces soldier claimed it was purely “military banter” as he blasted the “PC and woke patrol”.
Ant is still appearing in the current series of the Channel 4 show as it was filmed last year before he departed.
The military man has now claimed he is movie to Australia with his family because the UK is “a bit pretentious” for him.
Now Down Under filming the Oz version of the show, he said: “I feel like I fit in here.
“That’s very strange being the person that I am. I don’t know whether the UK is a bit pretentious for me, a bit too PC for me, where I can’t be myself.
“I have to suppress a part of me to fit in, which I don’t like doing and I won’t do as you’ve probably seen but here you’ve got that balance that right.”
Ant said he is expected to feature in future Aussie series of the show and plans to move there next year with his Emilie and the kids.
“I’ve got a great connection with Australia. My wife also loves Australia,” he explained.
“She did a gap year out here when she was young. She’s always said, ‘Let’s move to Australia’, So when SAS Australia came up, I was like, ‘Let’s see the layout, let’s see how it goes’.
“We’ve sort of made a decision to move out here next year.”
SAS: Who Dares Wins airs Sundays on Channel 4 at 9pm