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Host of Australian Ninja Warrior Ben Fordham talks life after Today and why fatherhood is his best gig yet

“I have no regrets.”

By Amber Giles
Four years ago, TV WEEK did its first at-home shoot with Ben Fordham.
He was living in inner-city Sydney and enjoying married life with wife and Channel Seven news presenter Jodie Speers.
He was also waking up to the dreaded 3.30am alarm for his job on Today with Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson.
But these days, that’s all changed. 
Well, except for life with his wife, Jodie!
“There have been quite a few developments between visits from TV WEEK,” Ben laughs as we are welcomed into his family home 
on Sydney’s lower north shore.
In the time between shoots, 
Ben and Jodie have welcomed 
their two-year-old son Freddy, and daughter Pearl, nine months.
“I’ve replaced waking up with Today with waking up with Freddy and Pearl for the last two-and-a-half years,” 
the proud father-of-two says with a smile.
It was a shift in lifestyle and career 
that the 40-year-old was craving and 
it undoubtedly suits him.
As the cameras are getting into 
place, Ben is making sure all of Freddy’s toys are packed away.
Morning tea of 
a babycino and blueberries are hitting 
the spot for his two-year-old.
“He has expensive taste, this kid,” 
Ben laughs as he pops the fruit in 
front of Freddy.
Ben calls fatherhood "the greatest adventure".
If anyone follows Ben on Instagram, they will already be well-acquainted 
with “old mate” Freddy.
And, just like any new parent, Ben 
can’t get enough of hanging out with 
his little buddy and posting photos to show the world 
how proud he is of him – 
or how cute he is!
“Not a day goes by where Jodie and I don’t turn to each other and have a quiet laugh about something that has come out of Freddy’s mouth,” Ben says.
“Pearl isn’t saying much 
at the moment, but she is getting pretty close and she just started saying, ‘Mama.’”

As for the shift in gears 
from the fast-paced world of morning television to starting the day with babycinos and playgroup with Freddy 
– Ben couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve got no regrets on that front,” he confirms.
“Now I’m just the guy they 
go to when Karl is sick or having a break. 
I’m happy being the fill-in guy.
“Fatherhood is the greatest adventure you will ever go on in your life, and certainly the biggest learning curve.”
In his previous role, Ben might’ve 
been at the mercy of the big wigs at the Nine Network when it came to dictating his week, but it’s now little Freddy 
who calls the shots.
Little Freddy is pumped to hang with Dad at his homemade petrol station.
As Ben and Freddy head outside to play, the feisty two-year-old directs his dad around the backyard.
He tells Ben 
to push him around the lawn in his car. They stop to refuel at the specially made “Freddy’s Fuel” that Ben says his dad helped to make.
The father-of-two is quick to point out that he hasn’t taken his foot off the gas when it comes to his career.
As well as 
his highly successful radio drive show 
on 2GB in Sydney, Ben is always open 
to new projects, and was thrilled to take on the challenge of hosting Australian Ninja Warrior on the Nine Network.
“It actually didn’t come along at the best time because we had a newborn 
in the house,” Ben says.

“It was obviously a massive project 
for me, and I invested a lot in it. Even though I never heard of the thing, once I realised how big it was overseas, I couldn’t say no.
“It was fulfilling my boyhood dream of being a sports commentator.”
Working alongside The 
AFL Footy Show co-host Rebecca Maddern and former English Test cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was the dream combo for him.
However, it was the determination of 
the Australian contestants 
that really impressed Ben – especially the women.
“I told some of the American producers of the show, ‘Watch 
out for the Aussie women,’ because I just had a feeling that they would do better than any of the other female contestants worldwide – 
and they did!” he says
To read more about Australian Ninja Warrior and Ben’s plan to expand the Fordham clan pick up a copy of this week’s issue of TV WEEK - on sale now!

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