Fordham spills on ‘friction’ with Maddern
Ben Fordham has revealed there has been "friction" between him and his Australian Ninja Warrior co-host Rebecca Maddern.
The fourth season of the show was filmed earlier this year in Melbourne and will kick off on Channel 9 this Sunday.
There's a new feature on the show called the Power Tower, and Fordham revealed to news.com.au that both hosts have claimed they came up with the concept for the obstacle.
"There's a bit of friction between Rebecca Maddern and I," Fordham said. "This year there's this thing called the Power Tower … I'm pretty sure it was my idea."
A quick explainer about the Power Tower: Each night the two fastest ninjas will compete side-by-side on the four storey-high Power Tower to gain a time advantage in the next round.
"I had a dream about it and then I told people about the dream," Fordham told news.com.au. "What Rebecca has then done is she has heard that and then gone and pitched it officially (to producers) and they've run with it.
"They all think it's Rebecca's idea … She just grabbed it and claimed credit for it.
"It's turned into a big deal because everyone's looking at her as if she's a genius," Fordham said. "Everyone's talking up the Power Tower and no one is giving me any credit!"
News.com.au contacted Maddern who said Fordham never mentioned the dream to her.
"What I can confirm is that I never heard about it or if indeed he was telling me I obviously tuned out, as I often do when Fordo is jabbering away," Maddern said.
"Ben always wants to claim good ideas as his own, but sorry buddy, this one is mine. The Power Tower is brilliant as it's going to redefine the show and the producers are very thankful for my marvellous idea."
This year 140 ninjas made it onto the show and plenty of fan favourites are back for another crack, including Ashlin Herbert, Olivia Vivian, and season 3 winner Charlie Robbins.
Fordham, Maddern and Freddie Flintoff are back as hosts and this year they're joined by former AFL star Shane Crawford.
The footballer was originally called up to fill-in for Maddern while she self-isolated after a coronavirus scare, but Fordham told news.com.au Crawford was so impressive on set that they decided to keep him on the show when Maddern returned.
"He was like that stray dog that you fall in love with and so you say, you know what, even though our old dog's back, we're gonna keep him," Fordham joked.
"He was such a nice bloke and we had such a great time with him so we hung onto him and we used him to do other things."
Just like last year, the ninja who goes the furthest in the fastest time will be crowned the winner and will pocket $100,000.
If that ninja also manages to conquer Mt Midoriyama (which no one managed to do in seasons 1-3) they will get an additional $300,000 on top of the $100,000.
Australian Ninja Warrior starts on Channel 9 at 7pm this Sunday
Originally published as Fordham spills on 'friction' with Maddern