Ninja Ali hoping to go one better

Ali Hay in action in last year's Ninja Warrior UK show
Ali Hay in action in last year's Ninja Warrior UK show

Kelso’s Ninja Warrior Ali Hay is hoping to go one better this year as he prepares to once again do battle with the hit ITV show’s dreaded obstacle course.

Last year, Ali, 29, won through to the second stage of the three-stage final, becoming the only Scot to make it into the final stages since the show began.

But while he certainly impressed, his journey to the final was dogged by illness ... at one stage he had to be rushed to hospital when he suffered a severe asthma attack following his run. He says that shouldn’t be an issue this time around.

Ali told us: “I’ll be trying to beat what I did last year. I have been putting in a lot of cardio training and I’ve increased my lung capacity.

“The asthma is still there, but I’m sure it won’t affect me.”

Ali teaches ninja classes on Wednesdays at Primal Gym in Edinburgh, bringing on young ninjas from the age of 13 upwards.

He said: “It’s really popular, and more than 2,000 people auditioned for the show this year in Glasgow. It’s rally cool to see people’s enthusiasm for it.

“This year, the show is bigger and better than ever. The obstacles are huge, more like the US version of the show, and ITV is running it alongside Britain’s Got Talent, to try to get more people watching it.

“The producers are bringing back the best of the best from previous shows, as well as new ninjas and celebrities.”

Ali is not sure exactly when he will appear in the heats, but it could be around the third week.

Ninja Warrior UK started on Saturday night, with presenters Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris Kamara, and is aired weekly on ITV1 at 6.30pm.