Siva Kaneswaran recalls ‘heartbreak’ at bandmate Tom Parker’s cancer diagnosis

The Wanted’s Siva Kaneswaran on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (Channel 4/PA)
The Wanted’s Siva Kaneswaran on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (Channel 4/PA)

The Wanted star Siva Kaneswaran has opened up about his “heartbreak” when he learned his late bandmate Tom Parker was diagnosed with cancer.

It came in episode three of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, which aired on Sunday night, with the recruits’ resilience challenged through a number of physical and mental tasks.

One of the assignments saw the famous faces write what would be their final letter to their loved ones if they were to die, and the Irish singer said he was “off to see Tom”.

2013 Fusion Festival – Birmingham
The Wanted’s Tom Parker died in March 2022 aged 33 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Parker died in March 2022 aged 33 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Dublin-born Kaneswaran shot to fame with the boyband in 2009, alongside Parker, Max George, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes.

In the singer’s letter to his family and fellow band members, he wrote: “You’re receiving this letter because I’m sadly not coming home.

“I’m the luckiest man on the earth, I’ve loved and deeply been loved and couldn’t have asked for a better life.

“And boys, know that I’ve always held a tender place in my heart for you all. Find me in your favourite song. I’m off to see Tom and I’ll send you a postcard.

“Love you all, see you soon but not too soon, love Siva.”

The Pride of Britain Awards 2013 – London
Tom Parker with bandmates Max George, Nathan Sykes, Jay McGuiness and Siva Kaneswaran (Ian West/PA)

Kaneswaran also admitted he finds it “tough” to talk about Parker.

In a solo piece to camera, he said: “Being in a boyband, you live your dream, it has been some of the most happiest memories of my life.

“I get to sing, I get to make music with my best friends, they’re like brothers.

“When I found out my bandmate Tom had brain cancer, it was heartbreaking. It was like time stood still.

“It’s tough talking about Tom. I’m thinking about such wonderful memories and then I’m here and he’s not here.”

Following a hiatus in 2014, the group reunited in 2021 for a charity concert in support of Parker.

Kaneswaran, 34, was among 15 out of the original 16 recruits who made it to the third phase of the gruelling Channel 4 reality show’s course.

This was reduced down further as singer Michelle Heaton and TV presenter Melinda Messenger were asked to leave before they began phrase three.

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins Series 5
Siva Kaneswaran on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (Pete Dadds/Channel 4/PA)

During their first task, when the recruits were shown writing their letters, Kaneswaran said: “I’m very emotional, that is my superpower.

“I used to be called sensitive Siva growing up. People who pass this course, they’re pretty tough and if I get to the end, that would feel just amazing.”

They later got into the wilderness which saw them first embark on a 75-minute climb before having to descend 200ft into a mountain cave.

After former professional footballer Jermaine Pennant plunged into the cave, Kaneswaran took the leap.

Asked if he still experiences nerves ahead of concerts by one of the directing staff (DS), he told them it was “not like this”.

The original recruits on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (Channel 4/PA) (Pete Dadds)

In a personal clip, he added: “I don’t really cope very well out of my comfort zone. But over the past few months, I feel like I’ve been through a lot.

“Now I try to live life to the fullest and not sweat the small stuff, because you never know when it’s going to be your last day.”

Another task saw the recruits divided into two teams for a game of Murderball, which saw them fight each other in muddy waters to get a coconut across to their side.

During the game, former Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas damaged his hamstring which forced the medical team to withdraw him from the process.

The episode also saw model Danielle Lloyd open up about her experiences of being abused in past relationships during a tactical questioning session with the DS.

Pennant told the DS team about how he was abandoned by this mother while he was a child and suffered neglect from his father.