The Challenge UK: release date, cast and everything you need to know

The Challenge UK
Mark Wright will play host as the reality stars battle for love and honour (Image credit: Channel 5)

Expect blood, sweat, tears — and a lot of romance — in The Challenge UK this month! 

Based on the popular US show and hosted by former TOWIE star Mark Wright, the five-part series will see fourteen celebs from the world of reality TV and sports taking part in a set of gruelling challenges as pairs. 

With the likes of AJ Pritchard from Strictly Come Dancing, Tristan Phipps from Made In Chelsea, Commonwealth judo champion Ashley McKenzieand TOWIE star Ella Rae Wise, taking part, there are bound to be lots of mind games, betrayals and tense rivalries. 

Here's everything we know about The Challenge UK...

When's the next episode of The Challenge UK?

The Challenge UK was filmed in Argentina last year and premiered on Channel 5 at 11.05pm on Monday 20 February. The five episode series will play out over the course of the subsequent week, with new episodes landing daily, culminating in the grand finale on the evening of Friday 24 February. 

The Challenge UK

Mark Wright and the celebrity contestants (Image credit: Channel 5)

What is The Challenge UK about? 

The five-part show will see fourteen competitors battling it out in a set of gruelling tasks. A press release from Channel 5 reads...

"Hosted by Mark Wright, the legendary global competition show The Challenge gives UK celebrities the chance to compete in high-stakes challenges and eliminations as they try to survive the game's tricky politics in hopes of making it to the game's Final, competing for a large cash prize and the title of Challenge Champion. 

"Fourteen of the UK’s finest stars from sports and entertainment join host Mark Wright to fight for their share of £100,000 pounds and the title of Challenge Champion. These stars have a track record full of parties, hookups, and memorable one-liners, but none have ever played The Challenge. 

"Contestants are shocked by the grueling nature of this new competition, which not everyone will leave unscathed. Will these titans be able to adapt and thrive in this treacherous new terrain of brutal athletic battles, political betrayals, and sultry distractions, or will they fall apart as the pressure builds throughout the season?"

Here's how each episode will play out...

Daily Challenge - Players compete in the main challenge in male/female pairs. The last placed team is automatically sent to the elimination round. The winners earn the power to select a second pair to compete in the elimination against the last placed pair. 

Eliminations ("The Arena") - The last placed team from the daily challenge competes in an elimination round against a team selected by the winners of the daily challenge. The winners remain in the game while the losers are eliminated. 

The Algorithm - Introduced after the first elimination, an algorithm assigns players a new partner of the opposite gender for the next episode. Players must be assigned a new partner they haven't been paired with, or can not have the same partner twice if they've already partnered with each eligible remaining player. 

The Challenge UK

Celebrities must wrestle on a raised platform in the first episode (Image credit: Channel 5)

Who is competing in The Challenge UK? 


Nkazana "Kaz" Kamwi is an English fashion blogger and television personality. In 2021, she was a finalist on the seventh series of Love Island and in 2022, she won the third series of Celebrity Karaoke Club.

Danni Menzies - ELIMINATED

Danni Menzies is a Scottish television presenter, best known for her role as a presenter on the reality TV show, A Place in the Sun.

Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace - ELIMINATED

Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace is an English television personality, model, actress and columnist who emerged into the public eye in 2006 when she appeared as a contestant in the seventh series of reality television show Big Brother

Nathan Henry 

Nathan shot to fame on MTV's outrageous show Geordie Shore. The reality star also appeared in Celebrity Ex On The Beach in 2022.

Kaz Crossley

Kaz Crossley is a British makeup artist, reality TV star, social media influencer, fashion enthusiast, brand endorser from London, who appeared on the fourth series of Love Island

Courtney Veale

Courtney rose to fame as a crew member in All4 show Below Deck Mediterranean

Zara Zoffany

Zara, or Zaza to her friends, is a model and self-proclaimed party girl who lived in hotels until she was 15 and formerly dated AJ Pritchard. 

Ella Rae Wise

Ella is a television personality who is widely recognized for her time on the English series The Only Way Is Essex. She also appeared in season 2 of the reality series Ex on the Beach

The Challenge UK

James 'Locky' Lock was eliminated in the first episode.  (Image credit: Channel 5)


James 'Locky' Lock is a reality star, best known for appearing on TOWIE as well as dating shows Celebs Go Dating, Ex on the Beach and Eating With My Ex.

Tristan Phipps

Tristan is famous for appearing in scripted reality series Made In Chelsea. 

Ashley McKenzie

Ashley is a British judo champion who won a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

Arabella Chi

Arabella Chi is a model and Instagram Star, who also starred in the fifth series of Love Island. 

Marcel Somerville - ELIMINATED

The former member of Blazin' Squad was a finalist in the third season of Love Island

AJ Pritchard

AJ is a British dancer who reached the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent. From 2016 to 2019, Pritchard appeared as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, while also he participating in the twentieth series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

Curtis Pritchard - ELIMINATED

Curtis Pritchard is an English dancer and choreographer, known for his role as a professional dancer on the Irish version of Dancing with the Stars. In 2019, Pritchard appeared in the fifth series of the British dating reality series Love Island, finishing in fourth place

Callum Izzard

Izzard joined the cast of the ITV2 reality television series Ibiza Weekender as assistant head rep and later returned for the ninth and tenth series in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

What happened in The Challenge UK episode 1? 

In the 'Meet Me Halfway' challenge, each team member faced off on a beam with an opponent from another team and aimed to push their rival into the water below. Ashley and Kaz C were the overall winners, while Locky and Aisleyne finished last and were sent to the elimination round.

In the arena that evening, Ashley and Kaz C chose Courtney and Curtis to face off against Locky and Aisleyne, in 'Knot So Fast'. Each pair had 20 minutes to create as many knots as they could using a 50 metre rope and a pyramid structure. The first pair to untie the other's knots and drag the rope across the marked line were the winners.

Courtney and Curtis won, meaning Locky and Aisleyne were eliminated.

What happened in The Challenge UK episode 2? 

In the 'Peaking Blinders' challenge teams raced down a path to a pattern covered by blinds. There, one team member had to balance one-footed on a narrow pole to open the blinds and reveal the pattern for their partner to memorise. Yet when the team member balancing falls off, both players must return to their board at the start and attempt to replicate their pattern, repeating this process until they correctly recreate the entire pattern. 

Ella and Nathan won the task, while Curtis and Kaz K finished last and were sent to the Elimination Round. 

In the arena that evening, Ella and Nathan chose AJ and Arabella to face off against Curtis and Kaz K, in 'pato Brawl', which was played in male and female rounds. Each round, team members of the designated gender begin at the centre of the Arena with both hands on a pato ball. The first player to wrestle the ball out of their opponent's hands two out of three times wins the round for their team. The first team to win two rounds wins.

Courtney and Curtis won, meaning Locky and Aisleyne were eliminated.

What happened in The Challenge UK episode 3?

In "Getting Tyred" the teams raced to an abandoned town to collect tyres or tokens, before bringing them to their station to earn points. However, teams had to complete various tasks to obtain tyres; the more points a tyre was worth, the harder the task. 

Arabella and Ashley won the task, while Danni and Marcel were sent to the Elimination round. 

Arabella and Ashley chose AJ and Courtney to take part in the Arena Game, "Ball and Chain", where teams opened six panels at the top of a tall wall to reveal six trivia questions. They then had to search among several 15-kilogram medicine balls wrapped in chains for six with the answers on them, and hang them on hooks below their respective question. The first team to correctly answer all six questions won.

Danni and Marcel lost and were eliminated. 

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.