Nine’s Ninja Warrior returns on 20 June with new co-host Nick Kyrgios

Nine’s latest season of Australian Ninja Warrior is set to hit screens on Sunday, 20 June at 7.00pm, complete with a brand new course at Mt Midoriyama, in Sydney Olympic Park.

This season former hosts Shane Crawford, Ben Fordham and Rebecca Maddern, will be joined by a new face, Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, in one of his first forays into the world of presenting.

Ben Fordham, Nick Kyrgios, Rebecca Maddern, Shane Crawford / Photo by Nigel Wright

More than 200 everyday athletes have been training ahead of the show to tackle the obstacle course, in a  battle to become Australian Ninja Warrior 2021.

The new course will put 2021’s contestants through 26 never-before-seen obstacles, on what Nine is calling “the toughest course ever designed”. The ‘Warped Wall’ is now 10cm taller, and new obstacles include Underwater Escape and Dragon Back.

The format is also changing slightly, with entrants given the opportunity to choose their own path for the first time. In addition, new contestants will be joined by returning veterans including Ashlin Herbert, Sam Goodall, Olivia Vivian and 2020 winner Ben Polson.

Nine head of content production and development, Adrian Swift, is optimistic that bringing the course to Sydney Olympic Park will help the program tap into the sentiment of an Olympic year, despite the Olympics themselves broadcast on rival Seven.

“Last year we witnessed history as Ben Polson defied the odds and became the first conqueror of Mount Midoriyama.

“So this year we had to take the series up a notch, and we have done just that with a gruelling new course, an electrifying new crop of Ninjas, and a new superstar commentator.

“And in an Olympic year, it only made sense to bring the course to the home of many of Australia’s greatest sporting moments, Sydney Olympic Park, as our Ninjas push the limits and strive for glory.”

The contestant who goes the furthest on the course in the fastest time will be awarded $100,000, and anyone who completes the course in the fastest time will take home an additional $100,000, and the title of Australian Ninja Warrior.

Australian Ninja Warrior premiered with 1.040 million metro viewers in 2020, and often brought in audiences in the 800,000s throughout its run.

Nine will be banking on the program to buck the trend of falling linear television audiences across the major networks in 2021 and bring in similar numbers this year.

Meanwhile, Kyrgios, who hasn’t played competitive tennis since the Australian Open and who isn’t contesting the French Open currently, announced over the weekend that he has suffered a neck injury that will continue to delay his return.

He revealed on social media that he was injured during training, but still hopes to be fit to play Wimbledon, starting on 28 June and airing on Nine’s Stan Sport.


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