WATCH: Ant Middleton responds as he's slammed for saying "don't change" for Covid-19
20 March 2020, 13:42 | Updated: 20 March 2020, 13:46
The SAS: He Who Dares Wins star has been roasted on social media for discouraging people from social distancing, and he's sent a response.
Ant Middleton has come under fire for a defiant video he has posted regarding the coronavirus.
The SAS: He Who Dares Wins star took to Instagram to share a video which sees him reveal he hasn't stopped travelling around the world, shaking hands or even hugging his fans.
In the video he says to camera: "Am I still out travelling the world? Yes.
"Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.
"Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some 'disease' Covid-19 dictate my life? Absolutely not."
He concluded: "Get out there, don't change. F*** Covid-19."
See his original post above, which he captioned: "I do love my fans who come up to me and want a cuddle or a handshake but feel really awkward, so I simply pull them in anyway Don’t worry if I give it to you, your immune system will be stronger after then you can come back and thank me with a kiss! Stay clean and keep doing your thing! P.s I haven’t got covid-19 but probably have had it like the majority of you but Ssshhh! #fuckcovid19 #runandhide".
Ant Middleton doubled down on his video in a second video, telling people to "carry on as normal"
View this post on Instagram
Covid-19 doesn’t bother me. Why?!? Because I’m strong and able like the majority of us and it has no benefit or positive impact on my life. If you are vunerable to covid-19 then the ‘expert advice’ is yours to take onboard, listen to it! Because it doesn’t effect me, it is merely ‘advice’! That however doesn’t mean I am not sensitive towards the situation and towards others but I’m treating this situation like I would ANY given situation, with ‘COMMON SENSE’. Does covid-19 effect me?.. ‘NO’! Should my life change?...‘NO’! Should I be sensitive towards others and the situation (like I always am)?.. ‘YES’! Am I going to do my best to protect and provide for my family first?.. ‘YES ALWAYS’ and in order to do that we must all stay calm and take on advice that’s relevant to our personal situation, and for the majority of us there is no threat. Even if you do contract the virus, some of you won’t even know about it or some of you will have a s**t couple of days at work wondering if you have it or not! What about the vunerable I hear you say...’Self isolate’ like the experts tell you, protect yourselves, let the strong and able (like the majority of us) look after you, let us do our bit for the community and the economy whilst trying to prevent our own personal lives and families from stooping into unnecessary depression and finiacial difficultly, let us re-establish a bit of normality and contain this fear. If the media went into self isolation for a month I guarantee that normality would resume. Please just go about your lives being humane, sensible and continuing to challenge any difficult situation that presents itself head on, like we always have! Stay calm, stay positive, and use common sense. If there’s ever a time to step up and show up... It’s now! #fuckcovid19 #calmdown #resumenormality #nochangenochange
Some did not kindly to Middleton's post, with richjobling commenting on Instagram: "I normally like your posts etc but this is arrogant egotistical bullshit. Have some thought and responsibility for the elderly and vulnerable. We all have a part to play in preventing the spread. I’m surprised. Think you’ll lose a lot of fans with this post".
Meanwhile, dannydth1 wrote: "easy to say when youre young fit and healthy, im a type 1 diabetic with lung problems, were not all as lucky as you"
The celebrity and former army man began trending on Twitter, with many people calling him irresponsible.
Huge fan of this man and what hes done and what hes about but this doesnt come across well at all 😩— Liam Lawrence (@LiamLawrence07) March 19, 2020
I once admired A Middleton. But now I see he is an exceptionally ignorant and stupid man. I hope someone he actually respects explains to him the harm he is doing. I won’t be watching any of his programmes in the future or buying any of his books.— Caroline (@rN4RzE82xSSg0lT) March 20, 2020
A parody video was soon made, which interspersed Middleton's speech with some famous faces.
A wonderful remix on the Ant Middleton video doing the rounds 😂 pic.twitter.com/i4DJ58Nkbx— James Headspeath (@JHeadspeath) March 20, 2020
However, some stuck up for him, with one fan writing "I'm with Ant," and another writing: "If you are lucky enough and healthy you can still get out , stay fit and keep your distance and wash your hands .. stop over reacting".
I'm with Ant— Shaun O'Neil (@shaunoneil3) March 19, 2020
If you are lucky enough and healthy you can still get out , stay fit and keep your distance and wash your hands .. stop over reacting— mark (@markpfc) March 19, 2020