The first woman to complete the course in SAS: Who Dares Wins has said her performance “proves women are not second class”.
Alongside competitors Mark and Milo, orthopaedic surgeon Lou survived 18 hours of demanding interrogation in below zero temperatures during the final challenge of the series.
She became the first woman to succeed on the show after it opened its selection to both sexes, mirroring the Ministry of Defence’s decision in October last year to allow women to join the SAS.
She told the Press Association: “It really proves women are not second class. Women can be just as strong, if not stronger than men, both mentally and physically.
“I think all of us should be really proud of ourselves and I feel that this hopefully will resonate with people and with all women everywhere – that they will push the boundaries.”
“If they want something, they just need to go and get it. They shouldn’t let prejudice stop them.
“What I hope I’m showing is that if you want something, you just have to go and get it. It shouldn’t matter if you are male or female. You shouldn’t let it stop you.”
Former soldier and host Ant Middleton led 25 recruits over six episodes which saw them tackle trials in the Andes mountains in Chile.
In the final episode the group were woken for an early morning run during which they were abducted and taken to a facility by a specialist team of interrogators.
Hooded, bound and beaten, they were forced to hold stress positions while listening to the sound of screaming babies, crying women and pigs being slaughtered.
They were then questioned and forced to strip naked in minus temperatures.
This caused three to give up.
Calling for the end, Vicki told Middleton: “I can’t do any more, I just want to go home.”
James followed soon after and Louise also cracked, saying: “I’m just done. My head’s done.”
With 12 hours left, the interrogation team moved on to questioning the recruits about their cover story, that they were part of a volunteer team sent to look for a group of lost British hikers.
After 18 hours five recruits remained and it fell to the directing staff to decide who had passed.
Of the remaining five, Mark, Milo and Lou passed the course.
Physically exhausted and mentally drained, Mark broke down in tears while Milo fell to floor, sobbing with joy.
Lou, however, smiled at Middleton as he praised her for her stoic performance under interrogation, saying: “The privilege is all ours to have such people as you on the course.
“You have reinstalled my faith in allowing women into the military, especially on the front line because if they are all like you we can certainly get the job done.”