Sit on the couch and get Physical with TV this Saturday

It seems that Saturday night TV viewing is all about getting physical. Contestants seem to flock to the shows that provide the opportunity to compete against others on challenging physical assault courses. Maybe it all started in the 1980s with the hugely popular Gladiators, where members of the public battled against some of the fittest and toughest men and women, wearing tight lycra and sporting dubious poses. Here we take a look at some other shows that get physical:

Takeshi’s Castle

Originating in Japan, this show spread to other countries all over the world. The aim was to find and defeat the Count Takeshi but was incredibly hard to get through. The toughest challenge was called the high rollers which consisted of running over 7 huge, spinning drums. Needless to say, most people fell off in the most painful and humiliating ways. Only nine people ever won the show, taking home a prize fund of $8000.

UK Ninja Warrior

Based on an extreme assault course show from Japan, this tough course has seen even the toughest fail miserably. It has been described as the hardest assault course on British TV. Ninja Warrior was hugely successful in the United States before being brought to the UK market. Not only do viewers revel in the triumphs of those ordinary people who manage to beat the course but get to giggle at the hilarious mishaps that result in contenders splashing gracelessly into the water below. All shows like this will have a medical team on hand. For Event Medical Cover, visit

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Hole in the Wall

Probably not the grandest show ever made but it was mildly amusing seeing people contorting their bodies to fit through holes of varying shapes in a large foam wall moving towards them. If you didn’t make it, then you got pushed into a pool of water – which seems to be a bit of a recurring theme with these shows.

Fort Boyard

An amazing location as used as the backdrop for this show, a real French Napoleonic fort off the west coast of France. Originally a French TV series, there were various different physical challenges to be completed in a set amount of time to win four keys. Some of the challenges also contained puzzle-solving elements, a bit in the style of Crystal Maze. Presented by Melinda Messenger and the rather surly Leslie Grantham.

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It’s a Knockout!

This was a regular on our screens during the 1980s and then disappeared for a while. It was given a new lease of life in 1999. It seemed to be an excuse for grown-ups to relive school sports day all over again when most of us hated it the first time around. The challenges were crazy, almost impossible and required the donning of ridiculous costumes to boot.

Total Wipeout

Hosted by Richard Hammond, this UK game show included a series of tough, outdoor physical challenges and a chance to win £10,000. There was mud, water and assault courses on a vast scale where contestants would hilariously fall, slide, drop and spin their way in or out of the next round. Located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at least all the contenders got a nice holiday out of it even if they didn’t win.

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