Ninja Warrior UK is back — and it’s tougher than ever, with exciting new obstacles to push competitors to their limits. chats to presenters Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris Kamara to find out more
If there’s one gameshow viewers wish they could have a go at themselves, it’s Ninja Warrior UK. And its presenters, Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara, are no exception (turns out the producers don’t let them on the course in case of, well, injuries...) “There was an obstacle this time around called a bar hop, which is a bar you have to grab, swing, jump with and land,” Shephard (43) says excitedly. “If you don’t land, then you fall in the water. That was one that I saw and thought in my head I’d love.”
Here, the trio tell us more about the fourth series beginning tonight on ITV — and explain why it’s the toughest yet.
The show begins with batches of hopeful contestants ready to show off their fitness and stamina, desperate to make it through to the semi-finals.
“The top 15 who get the furthest fastest from each heat go through,” Essex-born Shephard, who also presents Good Morning Britain, explains of the updated format.
“There can be days that seem harder than others, but the best 15 on the night always get through, no matter how hard it is. And then they all face the same course.” While Ninja Warrior is already the ultimate challenge, all the obstacles are now above water, which, according to Humes (29) “makes everything harder”. “The quintuple steps at the start of the course are no longer there,” reveals the Barking-born star, who spent seven years as a member of pop group The Saturdays. “We now have the Floating Steps, which cause a lot of bother because they are at different heights — they are not evenly spread and they have a tricky dismount. “People who thought they knew what to expect didn’t, especially people who have competed on the show before. They were thrown by it.” Former professional footballer Kamara points out the atmosphere is even better this series, thanks to the show drawing its biggest-ever crowds to the studios in Manchester. He also insists that, as the hosts, they try and root for every single competitor to succeed. “The fact is that we laugh when they fall off — well, I laugh when they fall off — because it’s funny,” the 60-year-old admits with a chuckle. “But we’d still love them to get to the other end.” “We love the ones that confound their expectations,” says