Five’s exclusive coverage of the ever-popular strength-athletics contest reaches its dramatic conclusion, as the most powerful men from across the UK gather to compete for the title of Britain’s Strongest Man. In this week’s instalment, competitors take part in the notorious train pull, before heading to the beach for the final two events of the 2008 contest.

Following on from the success of last year’s event, this year sees the athletes return to Minehead, on Somerset’s northern coast. The action is presented by Martin Bayfield, with commentary from Nick Halling and Colin Bryce.

Among the events taking place on the seafront in this year’s contest are the tyre flip, the farmer’s walk, the chain drag, the squat lift, the log press, barrel loading and the Atlas stones. Two exciting new events have also been introduced: the train pull, in which contestants must pull steam trains at West Somerset Railway’s Minehead station, and the controversial wrestling event, in which athletes go head-to-head in the ring. Contenders to look out for this year include Albanian-born Jimmy Marku of Harrow; Laurence ‘Loz’ Shahlaei; 21-stone strongman veteran Mark Felix, formerly of Grenada; and popular Kent-based giant Terry Hollands, who won the title in 2005 and 2007.

Standing at 6’7” tall and weighing some 28 stone, Hollands credits his success to spending every waking moment training. He eats two litres of porridge for breakfast, can consume five chicken breasts a day and has a daily intake of around 7,000 calories. Hollands explains that the worst thing about his sport is breaking his bed on a regular basis. And his advice to would-be strongmen? “Train hard and eat big!”

With all of the qualifiers out of the way, this week’s programme sees the athletes battle it out on the final day of challenges. After competing in the train pull at Minehead station, it is off to the beach for the wrestling and the Atlas stones – the last event in this year’s competition. After all the results are in, will Hollands keep his crown, or will it be time for a new BSM champion?

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1