Gladiators host Bradley Walsh's bond with son and trials of working together

The father and son duo have won the hearts of viewers with their special bond

Bradley Walsh and his son Barney on Breaking Dad. (ITV)
Bradley Walsh and his son Barney on Breaking Dad. (ITV)

Gladiators host Bradley Walsh has a close bond with his son Barney and they have worked together on TV for years now.

The rising star has followed his father's footsteps into the showbiz world and the father-and-son duo have made a great success of their partnership with their series Breaking Dad. However, it is no secret that working in close quarters with family can be testing at the best of times.

TV host Walsh admitted he almost turned down the hosting gig on rebooted Gladiators, the reality series returning to our screens this weekend on BBC. His son revealed why he had to persuade his dad to get onboard with the idea. He told The Sun: "I did have to talk dad into doing this, because of what we'd done on Breaking Dad."

Walsh had no qualms sharing the reason why he was initially hesitant about the hosting gig alongside his son on the BBC reboot. He responded: "I was just sick to death of getting thrown off buildings and things like that."


Bradley Walsh and Barney are teaming up to host Gladiators. (BBC)
Bradley Walsh and Barney are teaming up to host Gladiators. (BBC)

Barney shared the heartwarming reason why it was "beautiful" to be teaming up with his dad on this particular TV project. He told OK magazine: "I think the beauty of us doing it as a pair is that it’s a complete generational thing. And the people who watched the original Gladiators are all grown up with children of their own."

And despite any initial concerns, Walsh admitted he had loved spending time with his son while filming. He told the magazine: "It's lovely to be working with Barns again." He added: "We had to talk about it because we’ve done so much 'Breaking Dad' and I’m sick to death of keep getting thrown off buildings by him and stuff like that. But we said, 'Yeah we’ll do a one off.'"

Out of the two of them, it was Barney who had the most to juggle because he was also filming for soap Casualty at the same time. His proud dad praised his son for managing his time, saying: "He was filming Casualty the whole time, so to be able to sort of wrangle that was brilliant."

Breaking Dad

Bradley and Barney Walsh prepare to free dive to a sunken wreck in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea
Bradley and Barney Walsh prepare to free dive to a sunken wreck in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. (ITV)

It has been reported the father and son team have landed a sixth series of their reality series Breaking Dad which sees them travel the world together. Already they have travelled all over North and South America and Europe. Now the sixth series will see the pair take on a new adventure as they travel to Japan, according to The Sun.

In the finale of Breaking Dad, they reflect on their journey together. Barney told his dad: "The memories you make doing these things, and being with you . . . We are so blessed to be able to do this." The Chase host broke down in tears after his son asked him what was the stand out moment of filming together. He said: "It is a lovely thing to do, it's just amazing." He told him: "I'm not upset, I find it very emotional, very heartwarming, I really do."

Their travel series has been a hit as the nation has fallen in love with the father and son's close bond which they bring to the screen on Breaking Dad. They have been entertaining people with their show since it first aired in 2019.

The Walsh bond

Bradley Walsh was talked into doing Gladiators by his son
Bradley Walsh was talked into doing Gladiators by his son. (BBC)

The father and son have a special bond and it really comes across on TV. In 2021, The Chase presenter shared some insight into their relationship when appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show. In a sweet way, he revealed how his son had taken after his wife Donna.

He said on The Jonathan Ross Show: "We do get on well. He's a great lad Barney. I've said it on many occasions, he's the person I always wanted to be. He's got wonderful humility, he's very sensitive. He takes after his mum, thankfully. He's much more gentle than I am."

In a sweet moment, Walsh said he has always loved his son but working together gave him a completely different respect for him. Previously on This Morning, Walsh said: "He has always been my son, and you always take care of them. But then all of a sudden he becomes your equal and a work colleague, and a mate, and someone you respect. Now I look up to him. Barney, bless him, was directing me on some of the things 'Dad don't worry about this, you need to be thinking about this', and actually producing me."

The feeling is definitely mutual because Barney hailed his dad as his best friend. During filming for Breaking Dad, he said: "You're my dad, but you're also my best mate, and when we stuff like this, it solidifies it. We have so much fun together, Dad. All the adventures."

As well as Breaking Dad, the father and son teamed up for a Christmas special of The Larkins. In 2021, Walsh reprised his role as Pop Larkin and he was joined by his son for the one-off appearance.

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