Cult hit Takeshi’s Castle, was originally a Japanese game show featuring the Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano as a count who owns a castle and sets up difficult challenges for players to get to him.
First introduced to British audiences in the late 1980s, when it was featured semi-regularly as part of Tarrant on TV, in which game show aficionado Chris Tarrant showcased a variety of unusual international TV programmes. Clive James, one of the series’ previous hosts, actually appeared in an original Japanese episode as an international contestant in 1987.
Seeing the huge potential the show had, a later edited version of the original was then produced by us following a slightly different format and narrated by Craig Charles. More slim-line, the UK editions contained about 8 of the comic martial arts challenges, followed by a final Showdown at which point those contestants still participating attempted to storm the castle. Hugely popluar is the “Ridiculous Replay” segment after each challenge highlighting the most comedic (and usually inept) attempt.