Ninja Warrior host channels his inner athlete
AFTER two years of watching some of Australia's best athletes put themselves to the test on the Ninja Warrior obstacle course, Ben Fordham has gone through his own fitness transformation.
The TV presenter and radio host has lost 15kg since he was on our screens last year on the hit reality show.
"I've been on a bit of a health and fitness mission," he says. "But I still don't reckon I'd be able to get up the warped wall."
Fordham has had a go at the formidable obstacle, a 4.2m vertical ramp, while trying to look cool in front of his kids.
"Last year for season two I was taking some kids from my street on a bit of a tour with their mums and dads. We had been told we were not to attempt the course under any circumstances, but I was also trying to be seen as cool so I took the cover off and let all these kids have a crack at it and I did as well," he says.
"I was pretty confident no one was watching us but what I didn't factor in is the cameras that didn't have anyone behind them were still on and the bosses were watching in the control room. They sat me down that night... but I'd say it was worth it."
This year the show moves to Melbourne, with everyone from chess enthusiasts, to a lawn bowl champion and even a competitive eater taking on the new-look course.
"These are people you never expect to give Olympians a run for their money," Fordham says.
"Some of the best competitors are people who've had a second chance at life. It seems to attract a lot of those people who've survived car crashes or cheated death or had a terrible incident, and then they think 'I'm not going to wait for the rest of my life' and they decide they want to be that person who's going to do incredible things."
This year the competition will also have a clearly defined winner. Whoever goes the furthest the fastest in the grand final will take home $100,000, and a further $200,000 if they also scale Mt Midoriyama.
"I remember when it all finished we all waked away and went 'We couldn't have choreographed a better ending than that'," he says. "It's one of those endings that seems like a whole bunch of producers sat down in a room and planned it."
This year's ninjas will also have the chance to pocket $5000 if they choose to take on the new 5.2m mega warped wall. But they risk elimination if they are unsuccessful.
"The moment they walk around the corner and see two walls and one of them being an extra metre higher, some of them look like all their Christmases have come at once and others look like it's their worst nightmare," Fordsham says.
"They give it a go, and a number of them get the money."
Season three of Australian Ninja Warrior premieres on Monday at 7.30pm on Nine.