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Lauded as the "next Bruce Forsyth", today Bradley Walsh entertains millions on The Chase.
But his impressive telly host career nearly ended before it took off after a hosting gig ended in failure – but not before he set fire to his bum.
In an old 2001 episode of television show TV Nightmares, which documented celebs’ most embarrassing or frightening moments, Bradley shared his memorable experience at the helm of short-lived US game show Snakes And Ladders.
The interview included footage of Bradley's disastrous start, with a dramatic failed entrance on a gigantic slide, some three storeys high.
Bradley Walsh's impressive telly host career nearly ended before it took off after his first US show failed
Calling himself "Mr Gullible", Bradley told interviewer Steve Penk that he thought it was "a windup" as the show's producer explained what would happen.
He said the producer told him: "We sit you on like an aircraft escape shoot and you come down the shoot, through the smoke, it's a fantastic entrance.
"And guess what? Two dancers are gonna catch you at the bottom."
Calling himself "Mr Gullible", Bradley told TV Nightmares host Steve Penk that he thought it was "a windup" as the show's producer explained what would happen
As Bradley recalled: "I said 'Well, they wanna be big.'
"These two lads are sat at the bottom of the thing, and I come out the smoke. And I've gotta tell you, it's the most frightening thing."
Footage showed Bradley's first failed attempt at the extreme metal slide, which was doused in smoke as he came flying down.
As he hit the dancers at the end, they all fell over in a heap.
Bradley bowled over the dancers and flew into a camera, friction setting his trousers alight
A second try went even worse, with Bradley bowling over the dancers and continuing to career across the studio floor into a camera as the large audience gasped.
The friction caused sparks, and he started anxiously patting his rear, gasping "Me bum's alight!"
A member of the crew attempted to blow out the flames with a clipboard.
The show was quickly cancelled, Bradley recalled – which could have been an end to his hosting plans.
The show was quickly cancelled, Bradley recalled – which could have been an end to his hosting plans
Luckily for fans, he went on to sign up for ITV's The Chase, which first aired in 2009 and more than a decade on is more popular than ever.
A man of many talents, Bradley started off as a professional footballer, playing for both Brentford and Barnet.
He then turned his hand to showbusiness, first starring in Coronation Street and Law & Order: UK before launching his presenting career.
Bradley has hosted The Chase since 2009
(Image: Bradley has hosted The Chase since 2009)
He was also recently cast as Pop Larkin in ITV's The Darling Buds Of May.
He will reprise the role, originally played by David Jason, later this year, while it’s also reported he’s set to host a new series of Blankety Blank on the BBC following the success of the Christmas pilot.
Bradley has even seen success in the music industry, winning the best-selling debut by a British artist in 2016, beating One Direction's Zayn Malik.
Currently The BBC and ITV are said to be in an intense battle to sign The Chase presenter exclusively.
Bradley, 60, is reportedly stuck in the middle of the two network giants as they bid for the star.
A source told the Mail on Sunday : "There are some high up at the BBC who see him as the next Bruce Forsyth.
"Bradley is the man they want to present their Saturday night prime-time shows."
The telly personality and actor, who is rumoured to be worth around £11.5million, is reportedly enjoying being able to pick and choose what shows to appear on and is yet to sign a deal with either broadcaster.