What happened to Gordon Burns after The Krypton Factor’s final episode aired
Gordon Burns' name is synonymous with The Krypton Factor, a high-intensity gameshow that saw members of the public prove their superhuman strength through a series of mental and physical challenges.
Running for 18 years, the show was cancelled in 1995, with host Gordon, 78, and his co-star Penny Smith bidding farewell to viewers.
Nostalgia beckoned and the series was briefly revived by Ben Shephard, known for his charisma on Tipping Point, in 2008.
At its peak, Ross King also hosted a spin-off for junior contestants, titled Young Krypton, which hit screens back in 1988.
Marking 11 years since the final airing of The Krypton Factor, we have decided to look at where original host Gordon is today, paying tribute to his legacy as a presenter.
What was The Krypton Factor?
Airing on ITV, The Krypton Factor's contestants were forced to undergo rigorous general knowledge rounds before tackling an obstacle course, stacking up points on a scoreboard.
Before signing up to front the series, Gordon was a serious current affairs journalist in Northern Ireland, reporting on The Troubles and general political news.
He initially agreed to do the show as a favour for a friend, insisting he'd only stick with it for one year.
However, once The Krypton Factor aired nationwide on Monday evenings, the UK was hooked, tuning in each week to watch average joes master intense hurdles on their screen.
The role made Gordon, who is the second cousin to singer Ed Sheeran, a household name – something he struggled with having come from a hard news background.
He told Belfast Telegraph in a 2019 interview: "It was good in many ways for me, but you get pigeonholed on TV – and the politics and current affairs faded away.
"Suddenly I ended up doing things like Surprise Surprise with Cilla Black – I appeared in one show and ended up doing five series.”
Why did it end?
For its final season, ITV bosses decided to revamp the series, introducing TV personality Penny as a co-presenter and transforming the format of the show.
Viewers were disappointed by the changes and felt the new format was a “dumbed down” version of the original.
The series was cancelled in 1995 but went down in history as a part of a golden era of gameshows in British television.
When Ben Shephard stepped in to replace him as host 14 years later, he admitted it was an honour to take over from Gordon.
He said: "The Krypton Factor is an iconic UK show and I'm really excited to be picking up the mantle from the legend, Gordon Burns.
"As a kid, I was desperate to have a go on the assault course and make a mess of the puzzles. Having said that, considering the makeover the show is having for the 21st century, I'm very glad I'll be asking the questions not answering them."
Where is Gordon Burns today?
Two years after The Kryton Factor wrapped, Gordon landed a gig fronting BBC news programme North West Tonight, holding the role until 2011.
In his final week on the show, he interviewed two of his dream guests – footie legend Alex Ferguson and comedian Peter Kay.
He also enjoyed radio fame, waking up listeners each Sunday morning with BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Lancashire.
Though he has stepped out of the spotlight in recent years, he runs his own business, The Gordon Burns Partnership, which offers training to media companies.
Today, he lives with his wife Sheelagh in Manchester, with the couple celebrating their golden anniversary this year.
The sweethearts are proud grandparents, with their son Tris and Anna welcoming children of their own.
And, he's active on Twitter, referring to himself as "that much younger looking bloke who hosted Krypton Factor" in his bio.
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