Ninja Warrior UK



Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes, and Chris Kamara


Bruce Hammal (announcements)


Potato for ITV, 11 April 2015 to 1 June 2019 (41 episodes in 5 series)

as Ninja Warrior UK: Race For Glory: Potato for ITV, 10 September to 29 October 2022 (8 episodes in 1 series)


British-made version of the Japanese assault course game show.

Going one at a time, contenders are to get from one end of the course to the other, without falling off. The players who get furthest and in the fastest time advance to the semi-finals, and then to the final. Failure at any time is likely to see the player end up in water.

Six obstacles comprise the course in the heats. "Quintuple Steps" and "Dancing Stones" (two tests of agility) appeared for all players. The course ended with the "Warped Wall", an inclined wall that curves back on itself.

The warped wall.

Three obstacles changed from week to week. Upper-body strength was tested by holding on to a moving object (a telegraph pole, or a door) and leaping off as it stopped. A later obstacle tested endurance and technique by crossing a chasm by climbing on curtains or hanging from ropes. There was also a jump onto a cargo net, aided by a rope or a swing.

Each episode allowed the ten best performances to progress to the next phase, this ensured that players wouldn't be unduly disadvantaged by a hard event. For instance, crossing the chasm by curtains proved more difficult than crossing by ropes. Further places were given to high-scoring losers, effectively ensuring that everyone who finished would come back.

Split-screen effects help to manufacture drama.

The main commentary came from Ben Shepherd and Chris Kamara on the gantry above the warped wall, with Rochelle Humes on the floor to talk to those who failed to complete the course.

Ninja Warrior UK had something for all the family. Young children enjoyed watching grown-ups fall into the water, the one joke on Total Wipeout that never got old. Slightly older viewers thought they might aspire to be that good. For the adults, there was athletic ability to appreciate in all its forms, and the tension of a contest to qualify.

There were rough edges: there's no reason to limit contestants to three goes on the Warped Wall, and the editing made it obvious that we'd see about 90 seconds of even the best players. Still, they were doing enough right: viewing figures increased as the series continued.

Key moments

Rochelle squealing after being splashed by a contestant falling into the water in series six. Don't stand so close to it then…


The original show was filmed out of doors; this British version is in the drier confines of Manchester Central.

Took a three year break to ride out COVID-19, by which time Chris Kamara had developed the speech disorder apraxia. The first episode back aired 50 minutes late and without adverts and with its competition expunged due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, while the second episode aired an hour early to accommodate an extended news bulletin.


The end credits say, "Based on Sasuke from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc."

External links

Wikipedia entry

Bother's Bar discussion

The show used @ninjawarrioruk and #ninjawarrioruk. They also used #beatthewall when a player faced the Warped Wall obstacle.

See also

Weaver's Week review

Ninja Warrior, in which a UK commentary was added to footage from the Japanese original.

The show appeared in some listings sources as Ninja Warriors UK, rather than "Warrior".


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