An Aberdeen surgeon, who was one of the first female recruits to join TV show SAS: Who Dares Wins, has spoken ahead of tonight’s final episode.
Louise, a surgeon who works for NHS Grampian, said: “It was an absolute privilege and honour to have taken part in the series.
“To have been among the first women to compete on equal par with the guys on the programme and to have finished it as part of the absolute legends that are the final eight, makes me proud every minute.”
Speaking previously the 40-year-old said her involvement with a mixed group of 25 people had been the “hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life”.
She said she was tested to the limit during the 11-day ordeal in the Andes as she and her colleagues were put through their paces by SAS chief instructor Ant Middleton.
But although the women were treated exactly the same as the men, the Aberdeen rugby doctor described it as immensely rewarding.
Louise said: “I didn’t have any idea what to expect, and it was one of the most mentally and physically demanding things I’ve ever done.
“The worst thing was being constantly on edge not knowing who was going to come barging through the door shouting at us to be on the parade square in five minutes for a beasting in the middle of the night.
“The winter weather was tough to deal with. We had less than 24 hours acclimatisation and it’s very humbling when what is normally a simple exercise becomes a struggle with shortness of breath and a feeling of drowning.
“The reason I signed up was to challenge myself – did I have the mental and physical resilience to cope with it? But everybody else was in the same boat – and I survived.”
Gordon Thomson, the director of rugby at Aberdeen Grammar, praised Mrs McCullough’s efforts. He said: “Louise is an absolute asset to the club.
“She’s been the club’s volunteer doctor for ten years. It’s our policy to always have a doctor on hand for games and, without her support, the cost to the club would be huge.
“Fitness means a lot to her and she likes boxing, running and runs her own fitness class.
“I’ve been watching all the episodes and she’s done really well to reach the final, and I’ll be tuning in tonight.”
The SAS: Who Dares Wins final airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.