Takeshi's Castle: A look back on the iconic '80s Japanese gameshow as new series announced

A reboot of the cult classic gameshow is now available on Amazon Prime. Credit: Amazon Prime

By Elaine McCallig, ITV News Digital Content Producer

Japanese gameshow, Takeshi's Castle, became a worldwide hit when it first aired in 1986 - and it's now coming back to the small screen.

The iconic gameshow returned to the UK and Ireland on Monday on Amazon Prime, narrated by comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Tom Davies.

In the UK, the gameshow was first narrated by Chris Tarrant and Clive James, but its popularity reached new heights in 2002 when Craig Charles took the mic.

The premise of the show is that competitors must storm Japanese comedian Takeshi Kitano's castle.

'The Strait of Gibraltar' challenge, where contestants must cross an unstable bridge while avoiding flying balls, will be making a comeback in the new series

In the original run, participants were led by General Tani and faced a variety of ridiculous - if not almost impossible - physical challenges, which often involved falling into water or mud.

We've seen plenty of TV shows pop up in recent years that may very well have drawn elements from Takeshi's Castle, such as Ninja Warrior and Total Wipeout.

But arguably none quite compare to the bizarre scenes of 100 members of the public attempting to bite a bun in a plastic bag suspended from a rope, while their arms are pinned to their sides with an inflatable ring or a full-body potato sack.

One of the games being (rightly or wrongly?) resurrected is a game of bowling with human pins. Credit: Amazon Prime
The skipping stone challenge involves contestants crossing a lake using stepping-stones - but only some of them are solid. Credit: Amazon Prime
Takeshi's Castle has had a colourful makeover in the reboot. Credit: Amazon Prime

Now, we will once again see dozens of hopefuls fling themselves at giant mushrooms, try (and fail) to skip across precarious-looking stones atop suspiciously-coloured water, and attempt to run through a honeycomb-shaped maze while avoiding large, loud men dressed as devils.

Only the luckiest will make it through to face Takeshi himself as they finally reach the castle.

Craig Charles narrates as contestants attempt to avoid the lasers of the castle's guards in their 'dinky dodgems'

A prize pot of one million Yen (£5,500) is up for grabs for any contestant that makes it through unscathed - a rarity in the original series.

The new series promises to replicate the chaos of the original with Ranganathan and Davis providing their trademark mix of infectious enthusiasm and world-weary cynicism.

Would you be up for giving these challenges a try?

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