Ant Middleton spoke out after reports that the elite unit is considering changing its selection process to give female applicants a better chance.
The 37-year-old former sniper, who now fronts Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins – which includes women contestants – said they should prove themselves in other close combat roles before being admitted.
Any member of the Army can apply to join the SAS, including women.
At the end of this year they will be allowed to apply for the Parachute Regiment, Royal Marines, Infantry and Royal Air Force Regiment, following a 2016 announcement by David Cameron that women would be allowed to serve in frontline, ground close-combat units.
I think women need to prove themselves in a combat role first. They can join the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment and prove themselves in both of those – Ant Middleton
“I don’t think there is a place for women in the special forces at the moment,” said Ant, who served in the Special Boat Service.
“It’s moving too quickly at the moment. It needs to be a slower progression.
“I think women need to prove themselves in a combat role first. They can join the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment and prove themselves in both of those. These are important stepping stones towards special forces selection.”
His comments follow reports that the SAS is considering making its gruelling selection exercises easier for women, who could be allowed to carry lighter loads and given more time for treks to give them a better chance of passing one of the toughest tests in the world.
Less than 10 per cent of all candidates make it through the trials, which include a 40-mile, 20-hour march in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, jungle exercises in Belize and interrogation tests.
In 2013 three SAS reservists died during a training exercise in Brecon.
Portsmouth-born Ant served with the Royal Marines and the Paras before, in 2008, joining the Special Boat Service, the UK’s naval special forces unit and the sister unit of the SAS.
He left the military in 2012 and started work as a personal security guard protecting VIPs.
In 2015 he became a trainer on SAS: Who Dares Wins and is now its chief instructor.
In the show, Ant and a team of SAS veterans put contestants through their paces in tests which replicate those soldiers must pass to join the unit.
SAS: Who Dares Wins is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.