Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

'Takeshi's Castle' in Riyadh: More than 25,000 Saudi fans rush to get in on the action

Thousands of people registered their interest to attempt the physical challenge

A Takeshi's Castle contestant hangs onto a giant inflatable mushroom as two of the show's characters try to dislodge him. Takeshi's Castle
A Takeshi's Castle contestant hangs onto a giant inflatable mushroom as two of the show's characters try to dislodge him. Takeshi's Castle

Registration for game show challenge Takeshi's Castle in Riyadh opened on Tuesday night, and in less than eight hours more than 25,000 people signed up.

Of the thousands that have registered so far for the obstacle course, only 889 are women, according to a tweet from Turki Al Alshikh, the chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority. Also, the interest seems to be mostly among Saudi nationals, with only 1,899 expats registering.

A popular Japanese game show, Takeshi's Castle features players who try to storm a castle by overcoming numerous obstacles, in the hope of defeating the owner, Count Takeshi.

Earlier this month, Al Alshikh announced the popular TV challenge show's Saudi debut by publishing a video featuring shots of the old programme, which was broadcast from 1986 until 1990 in different languages. His tweet merged moments from the show with shots of Riyadh.

Back in November 2017, Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority (GSA) and Tokyo Broadcasting System announced an agreement to build a replica of the famous castle in Riyadh. This is one of the first entertainment projects that have been announced by the GSA, hoping to inspire people into exercising and trying new physical activities.

The building of the castle will showcase Arab architectural elements with over 50 obstacles built in a 300,000 square metre space. According to reports, the programme will be open to everyone and runs over a 13-week period with new prizes and challenges each week.

There is also an adventure festival coming to Riyadh in February - the Crystal Adventure Festival is inspired by British TV programme The Crystal Maze:

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