The one way Australian Ninja Warrior is different to other versions from around the world.

You know those crazy dedicated people you see going for a jog on Christmas Day?

They are the kind of people you’ll see competing on Australian Ninja Warrior. Don the Lycra and put your game face on, because this is serious stuff.

It’s got Australians hooked to their TVs and leaping between couches in the ad breaks, because it’s the first truly family friendly show we’ve seen in a while that isn’t a cooking, singing, renovating or a dating reality show.

Instead, it shows athletes in prime physical condition competing to conquer an obstacle course.

To see what watching Australian Ninja Warrior is really like, watch the video playing above. 

It’s like Wipeout, only without the lame jokes and cringey commentary. And everyone from an amputee to The Bachelor‘s Tim Robards has had a crack. Men and women, tall and short, they all take on the same course.

The show’s host Ben Fordham joined The Binge podcast ahead of tonight’s semi finals to share what goes on behind the scenes of our new favourite show.

Listen to Ben Fordham reveal the secrets behind Australian Ninja Warrior to Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on The Binge. 

The presenter says he first knew the show would be a hit when he told his godsons Banjo and Darcy about it and they started going berserk.

“They were the first ones I called… I’d never heard of it,” he admits.

Like many of us, their obsession had grown from watching the American version of the show online, which already has a cult following.

But according to Fordham, the Aussie version is a bit different.

“On this version in Australia there’ll be no ridiculing anyone who has failed,” the 40-year-old says.

“Some [other countries] do it very, very seriously like it’s a grand final. Others they do it with a bit of comedy, when you splat in the water there’s kind of a funny sound effect and the host takes the mickey out of the person who’s landed in the water.”

“I was really pleased that they said there will be none of that.”

Fee, fi, fo, fum… Our tallest Ninja completes the run! #NinjaWarriorAU

A post shared by Australian Ninja Warrior (@ninjawarriorau) on


Fordham presents the show with AFL Footy Show host Rebecca Maddern and former cricketer Freddie Flintoff, and as you can imagine, there’s plenty of material for the blooper reels.

“I can confess this to The Binge, there was one contestant who looked to me like a rat on speed. Just based on the way he was running around the course, I made that comment and Rebecca said to me, ‘I don’t think that’s going to air,'” Fordham says.

So given the show’s success, will we be seeing a second season of ANW? You betcha, says Fordham.

“They’re already talking about 2018, season two,” Fordham says.

Bring it on!

Australia Ninja Warrior is here for a good time, not a long time. So catch it while you can on Channel 9 at 7.30 pm.

Listen to the full episode of The Binge here:

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