Schapelle to face her fears on tough new reality show

Schapelle Corby has signed on for her first reality television show, six years after she was released from a Balinese prison.

After ceaseless speculation the 43-year-old would appear on everything from Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelorette to I’m A Celebrity … Get me out of Here!, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the convicted drug smuggler will star on SAS Australia – a series based on the UK action contest.

Schapelle Corby in Jindabyne for filing of SAS Australia. Picture: Nigel Wright

Schapelle Corby in Jindabyne for filing of SAS Australia. Picture: Nigel Wright

The big-budget series, to air on Channel 7, will see her endure gruelling physical and psychological tests based on those faced by candidates for the Special Air Service elite army special forces units.

Corby agreed to take part after learning the ex-special forces soldiers who will run the challenges will not know who the chosen celebrities are or what they do, with participants given a number on arrival and referred to only by that number throughout.

“We go into the SAS as a number, not a name, which is significant for me because I won’t be Schapelle Corby, I will just be a human being,” Corby said.

“I wanna stop being institutionalised. I want to open my freedom to a happier life, a more fulfilling life.”

Corby says her time in a Bali jail …

Corby says her time in a Bali jail …

… will give her an edge on SAS Australia.

… will give her an edge on SAS Australia.

Corby said she was taking part to learn something new about herself, not to win over the Australian public.

“I don’t want to prove myself to anybody,” she said. “This is for me. I don’t care what people think of me. I hope people enjoy it, but this is for me.

“I think I’ll discover that I’m stronger than I am, that I think I am. I’m hoping to discover life and to discover myself.”

Corby, found guilty in 2005 of smuggling 4.2kg of marijuana into Bali in a bodyboard bag – and who to this day protests her innocence – said surviving almost a decade in the notorious prison ironically referred to as Hotel Kerobokan would give her an edge over the other contestants.

“I’ve got strength of mind, determination and willpower,” she said. “I don’t give up. I will face anything that’s thrown at me head on.

“I’m expecting to face my fears. Limitations I’ve built upon myself. Break down barriers I’ve made … to go out in the world and be me. I think I have grit.”

But Corby already knows she’ll struggle with two things on the show, which will film at Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains over the coming weeks: cold – “I’ve seen snow once” – and heights.

Other confirmed contestants include Roxy Jacenko, Honey Badger and Candice Warner.

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Lohit Soundarajan

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