Moneymore man Gareth Weir has made it through to the semi-finals of gruelling television contest - Ninja Warrior UK - as the contestant to go ‘furthest fastest’ in his heat.
Known as Gary to friends, the 33-year-old dad-of-three featured in episode one of ITV’s incredibly tough obstacle course show, which aired last Saturday but was filmed in August.
Although he didn’t manage to beat the warped wall at the end of his run, Gareth impressed with his speed as he scaled the rest of the Ninja Warrior challenges with ease.
And he said his children are very proud - so much so that his four-year-old daughter hasn’t stopped jumping round the house in imitation of her dad.
“They think it’s brilliant,” Gareth told the Mail.
“That’s another reason I was doing the show. You want to tell your kids to go for everything in life and there’s no point in you telling them that if you don’t try it. In some way hopefully they’ll learn something.”
The toughest thing he said he has ever done. Gareth said “the physical aspect of the whole thing is really demanding”.
“When season one came out I could remember sitting watching it in the house on a Saturday evening, looking at the obstacles. I knew most of them would be tough enough but I didn’t realise how tough it was until I was trying it myself.”
As for how he trained for the show the Lissan Coal Company worker said his day job was a big help.
“Bagging coal helps towards it,” he explained. “But I did loads and loads of pull-ups, sit-ups and I have got weights around the house.
You want to tell your kids to go for everything in life and there’s no point in you telling them that if you don’t try itGareth Weir
“When you look at the show a great deal of it is balance and then grip and your upper body. I have just been working on my grip and all the training that I can be doing weights-wise.”
But he said strength alone wouldn’t do it, and that the huge amount of running he did came in handy.
“You can be as strong as you like, but then you wouldn’t have the gas to get to the end. It’s an all-round course.
“The beauty of it is that you don’t get trial runs on the day. Everything has to come into play. Your strength, your fitness, your balance. That’s what makes it one of the best courses in the whole world.”
And he would encourage anyone to give it a go.
“You can apply yourself to anything,” he said, “you have to mentally believe and you have to put a lot of work in.”
Speaking about Gareth’s performance on the show, a spokesperson for ITV said: “Gareth made it to the last obstacle - the warped wall. He attempted the wall three times but failed to make it to the top.”
But he went on to add: “He did make it into the semi final though as one of the competitors in his heat that got ‘furthest fastest’.”
Now Gareth will compete in the semis, which will be shown on the silver screen on January 30 and February 6.
But he told the Mail he will give the wall his best - that’s if he gets that far as “everything has got tougher” on the “toughest show on TV”.