Strictly: Ben Shephard jokes about turning down offers
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Good Morning Britain anchor Ben Shephard is no stranger to intense training, having presented tough obstacle course-based ITV show Ninja Warrior – but he’s admitted that time is taking its toll on his body. The 48-year-old insists that parts of him are “falling off” as he desperately attempts to regain his former fitness after a knee surgery back in 2021.
“As I’m getting older and bits of me are falling off and falling apart badly, I realised that trying to preserve my joints and my shoulders and my back is really huge,” he grimaced.
The sporty star, who is also famous for his appearances on Tipping Point, has always excelled physically in the past, having run a huge total of 14 marathons.
However, a tense match in the Cup Final for his veteran team Arthur Dunn had left him crippled, with one of his legs becoming injured in three places.
“We won the Cup Final, but I started with two legs and ended with one,” he explained at the time to GMB co-host Susanna Reid, after being forced to limp around with a leg brace.
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The star has since admitted on a recent episode of the That Gaby Roslin podcast that he fears he will never reach 100 per cent fitness again.
He added: “Because your body’s been through so much physical trauma, learning to do something again [is a struggle].
“Even when I first had my knee op done, even learning to put full weight on it or to jump off a small step, it’s remarkable what the brain does.”
Explaining his postoperative nerves, he mused: “You’re reticent to let yourself go for things”, while Gaby chimed in that his fear was his mind’s way of getting “protection”.
Ben also lamented that as he advances in age, he has “things to worry about, like kids”.
He shares two teenage sons, Jack and Sam, with his wife Annie and cares enormously about spending quality time with the family.
Following his fitness struggles, the tables seem to have turned, as he says his children are growing stronger and taller than he is – but he’s comfortable with the changes.
On one Instagram post, where the Tipping Point presenter shared a touching snapshot of himself and his two boys, he quipped: “The only benefit of these two getting way bigger than me is they can hold me up too!!”
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Back in 2021, Ben posted photos from his hospital bed after his catastrophic Cup Final injury.
“Without realising, I have ruptured my ACL, I’ve torn the meniscus and I’ve fractured part of my leg as well,” he’d shared at the time.
The keen footballer showed fans every step of the process on social media, even attaching photos of his leg hooked up to electrical muscle stimulators to help heal his injuries.
He underwent intensive physiotherapy, and, on his return to the studio, was forced to sit with the injured leg elevated on a chair.
Although he’s made plenty of progress since, he still told Gaby that “a year post-ASL trauma and operation, I’m not sure it’ll ever be 100 per cent again”.
However, he did clarify that his training style has changed since competing in Ninja Warrior years earlier.
“The thing about Ninja is you’re not just pumping iron and that sort of stuff – you’re improving your flexibility, your mobility, your agility,” he marvelled.
“That strength you get from that sort of training has been amazing!”
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