‘Everyone has their reasons’ – Irishman joined Squid Game to provide for family

Irish contestant Mikie Bowe joined The Pat Kenny Show today.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

13.58 29 Nov 2023

Share this article

‘Everyone has their reasons’ –...

‘Everyone has their reasons’ – Irishman joined Squid Game to provide for family

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

13.58 29 Nov 2023

Share this article

An Irish man appearing on new Netflix show Squid Game: The Challenge said the experience has “opened doors” in his life.

The show pits 456 contestants against one another in a series of games for the chance to win a grand prize of $4.56m (€4.15m).

It is a spin-off competition based on the fictional South Korean show Squid Game which took Netflix by storm in 2021.


On The Pat Kenny Show today, Mikie Bowe, one of two Irishmen to take part in the competition, shared his experience of competing in the games.


Mr Bowe said he applied for the show after seeing a call-out for contestants online.

“I saw the ad and said 'I’m going to go for it,' and went for it,” he said.

“I sent them off a video and thought nobody was even going to look at it but they contacted me back a day and a half later and said they were interested.

“Then I thought to myself, ‘Okay, this is real’”.

Contestants in Squid Games: The Challenge Contestants in Squid Games: The Challenge. Image: Netflix

The Kildare man explained how the first game ‘Red Light, Green Light’ worked.

“We had a team of adjudicators and had to freeze and hold our positions for at least a half hour when they said red light,” said Mr Bowe.

“We also had vests on us called squibs with ink packs which would be triggered to explode if someone was eliminated.”

Mikie Bowe Squid Game competitor Kildare native Mikie Bowe who is competing in Netflix show Squid Game: The Challenge. Photo: Netflix.

Some 259 people were eliminated from the competition after the first game.

Mr Bowe said people of all ages took part.

“We had one guy who celebrated his 69th birthday on the show,” he said.

“There were people from all walks of life taking part; you can make it through Red Light, Green Light with just will to succeed.”

Mr Bowe said it took seven hours to play the first game with no break, adding, “It was wild”.


He said he wanted to compete in the show to look after his family.

“I wanted to treat my family, it was ultimately family security,” said Mr Bowe.

“We have a little girl and she will be with us forever, she needs constant care.

“Everyone has their reasons, but that was a real motivator for me.”

Mr Bowe said it has been a life-changing experience for him.

“Money aside, I think after getting cast on the biggest show in Netflix’s history, right now, has definitely opened doors that I didn’t think was possible,” he said.

Three new episodes of Squid Game: The Challenge were released today (November 29th) on Netflix.

Share this article

Read more about

Mikie Bowe Netflix Squid Game Squid Game: The Challenge

Most Popular