Ninja Warrior UK

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Ninja Warrior UK
Ninja Warrior UK.png
Created byUshio Higuchi
Directed byPaul Kirrage
Presented by
Voices ofBruce Hammal
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes25
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael Kelpie
  • Simon Marsh
  • Martin Scott
Production location(s)Manchester Central
Running time60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)Potato
DistributorITV Studios
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9 1080i
Original release11 April 2015 (2015-04-11) –
Related shows

Ninja Warrior UK is a British physical obstacle assault course game show, created for ITV and broadcast since 11 April 2015. The show is based upon the format of Japanese game show Sasuke, created by Ushio Higuchi, which is aired in the United Kingdom and other countries as Ninja Warrior.[1] Presented by Ben Shephard, Chris Kamara and Rochelle Humes,[2] the show focuses upon around 250 contestants tackling a variety of obstacles along an assault course, the most notable being the "warped wall", and achieving a fast time or going the furthest to qualify for the semi-finals and the finals, with the winner of the contest being crowned "Ninja Warrior UK" for that year.

At present, the show has aired four series and one celebrity special for Text Santa, and it was announced that Ninja Warrior UK will return for a fifth series in 2019.


Each series' competition is divided into three stages - five Qualifier Rounds, two Semi-Finals, and the Final - and feature around 250 contestants taking part. The assault course that is used on the programme is contained within a specially made studio, and features a variety of obstacles either taken from or based upon Sasuke, with both the warped wall and the "Quintuple Steps" being used in every episode. Each qualifier round consists of fifty contestants, and features six obstacles used in the course, four of which differ between the rounds - for example, the first qualifier might feature a swing rope obstacle, but the second qualifier might switch it for a monkey-bar styled obstacle. To qualify, contestants must be within the top ten, either by getting the furthest on the course, or if they complete it, having the fastest time.

After the qualifiers, the fifty semi-finalists are split evenly between the two semi-finals, and tackle nine obstacles. Unlike the qualifiers, the first six obstacles must be completed within a set time-limit, but contestants then can freely tackle the remaining three obstacles in their own time. Like the qualifiers, the top fifteen contestants in the semi-finals would move on to the finals, based on who got the furthest or achieved the fastest time. Once in the final, the fifteen finalists tackle three separate stages of obstacles - while the first two stages are timed, with the first stage consisting of nine obstacles and the second consisting of five, the final stage is untimed and consists of three obstacles. Whoever manages to go the furthest or completes all three stages, is declared "The Last Man Standing" and wins. However, in the event that more than one contestant beats all three stages, they then tackle one more obstacle to determine the winner - climbing (fictional) "Mount Midoriyama" with a 70 feet (21 m) rope.[3]

The show's format features a similar approach to that of Total Wipeout, in that footage in episodes focuses on the highlights of runs by contestants. Commentary of a contestant's run is mainly done by the presenters Shephard and Kamara, while Humes would often interview contestants before their run, and occasionally if they failed a run; in some instances, if a contestant's run was successful, especially during the qualifiers, the interview would be handled by Shephard and Kamara.[3]

Series overview[edit]

Series Start date End date Top Contestant
1 11 April 2015 30 May 2015 Tim Shieff
2 2 January 2016 13 February 2016 Owen McKenzie
3 31 December 2016 18 February 2017 Jonny Urszuly
4 14 April 2018 9 June 2018 Tim Shieff

Series 1 (2015)[edit]

The first series of Ninja Warrior UK was aired during 2015, from 11 April to 30 May. Of the contestants that made it to the final, none of the finalists managed to complete all three stages. As a result, the winner was declared as Timothy Shieff, who managed to go the furthest. The series drew favourable viewing figures, leading ITV to renew the show for a second series on 29 May 2015.[4][5][6]

Series 2 (2016)[edit]

The second series of Ninja Warrior UK was aired during 2016, from 2 January to 13 February. Of the contestants that made it to the final, only three finalists made it to the second stage before failing on the same obstacle. Of these three, Owen McKenzie was declared the winner, having managed to go the furthest.

Series 3 (2017)[edit]

The third series of Ninja Warrior UK was aired from 31 December 2016 to 18 February 2017. Of the contestants that made it to the final, only two made it to the final stage before failing. Of these two, Jonny Urzuly was declared the winner, having managed to go the furthest.

Series 4 (2018)[edit]

The fourth series of Ninja Warrior UK began airing on 14 April 2018. Unlike previous series, it was announced on 28 August 2017 that the competition would feature a selection of celebrity contestants, including Gethin Jones, Harry Judd, Jenni Falconer and Marvin Humes.[7]

Celebrity specials[edit]

On 18 December 2015, a special edition of Ninja Warrior UK was aired in association with the Text Santa charity. Of the celebrities who took part in this, the winner was Louise Hazel.


Season Episodes Premiered Ended
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1 8 11 April 2015 3.32 30 May 2015 4.08
2 8 2 January 2016 3.35 13 February 2016 3.72
3 8 31 December 2016 3.38 18 February 2017 3.81
4 8 14 April 2018 4.07 9 June 2018 2.81


  1. ^ "ITV are bringing Ninja Warrior to the UK - Metro News". Metro.
  2. ^ Rebecca Gillie. "Ben Shephard and Rochelle Humes to present American Ninja Warrior - TV & Radio - Entertainment - Daily Express".
  3. ^ a b Gee, Catherine (11 April 2015). "Ninja Warrior UK: everything you need to know". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. ^ Lee, Ben (20 August 2015). "Ninja Warrior UK is coming back for a second series in 2016". Digital Spy UK.
  5. ^ Campelli, Matthew (29 May 2015). "Warrior". Broadcast. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ninja Warrior UK comes to CITV!".
  7. ^ "Ex-JLS star JB Gill reveals 'he's too scared to enter Jungle' for I'm A Celeb". 20 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.

External links[edit]