Victorian police have urged Channel 9 to cease immediately all promotions for its third season of Australian Ninja Warrior and to undertake never to screen the series regardless of the millions of dollars lost in production costs.
The call follows a number of deaths in and around Melbourne as average citizens have tried to emulate the heroic deeds of the super-human athletes depicted in the promo TV footage that’s been aired over recent weeks.
The “ninjas” are shown scaling and then jumping amazing distances between tall buildings, hurtling from an airbridge to the open door of a departing aircraft and launching themselves seemingly into the abyss off giant ramps hundreds of feet in the air.
Channel 9 has reportedly spent many millions of dollars on the production at Spotswood just under Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge. The grand final is already in the can although the series is not expected to be screened until 2020, slotted between the station’s other big shows, The Voice and The Block.
“In recent weeks, we’ve had close to 100 average citizens who have lost their lives trying to copycat their TV heroes,” said Inspector Ian Brown of the recently formed Nincompoop Ninjas Dying Circus Taskforce.
“We’ve lost nine in the past week alone as fairly average Joes (pictured at top) have tried to leap between the various limestone stacks of the Twelve Apostles down off the Great Ocean Road.
“Some of these things are hundreds of metres apart, for Christ’s sake.
“One poor bastard might have even made it but the apostle he was aiming for collapsed into the ocean as he was midair.
“Over the last weekend alone, another two died trying to jump between the tops of highrise buildings on either side of Collins Street. It just can’t be done.
“Another silly bugger died trying to leap from one of the spires of St Paul’s Cathedral across to the roof of Flinders Street Railway Station.
“He actually survived the fall but staggered onto the roadway and was hit by a St Kilda tram.
“One of the few to survive has been a senile old bastard from Toorak (pictured being helped ashore at Frankston by a Nine employee) who tried to swim across Port Phillip Bay to impress the show’s producers.”
Inspector Brown said a major factor behind all the senseless deaths was that Channel 9 was promoting the new series as a contest not just between highly fit professional athletes, some making a series return, but also some newcomers touted as average people from the street.
“There’s the problem in a nutshell,” Inspector Brown said.
“Last week we had one pretty unfit fellow who actually made it past security at Tullamarine Airport and by all accounts his leap was really quite incredible.
“Unfortunately the departing Jetstar flight to Sydney already had its doors locked and cross-checked before pushback as required under the Australian Aviation Act, Section 132, subclause C.
“He crashed to the tarmac and unfortunately was then run over by a baggage-handling unit.
“Another silly bugger tried to impress the show’s producers by attempting to jump from one of the Westgate’s bridges pylons across to the CBD.
“Talk about 15 minutes of fame. That bloke had about 4.5 seconds.”
But not everyone in and around Melbourne backs the ban on the return series of Australian Ninja Warriors.
Dissenting voices have come from tourist boat operators who are now running lucrative trips to watch the great white feeding frenzies at The Twelve Apostles. And the Victorian Tourism Board has also called for the show to go on.
“The average IQ of Melburnians has risen markedly since these copycat deaths began,” said a board spokesperson. “If this can go on for a while longer, we see enormous potential in marketing Melbourne as the world’s smartest city.”
“It’s got fuck-all else going for it.”