VIDEO: Eddie Hall predicts who will win Britain's Strongest Man 2019 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena

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Retired strongman superstar Eddie Hall today predicted who will lift his Britain's Strongest Man crown at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena.

The former 2017 World's Strongest Man, who has held the British title for a record consecutive five years, says it will be a close call amongst six of the best.

But he reckons Surrey's Adam Bishop will win, with second place going to Laurence "Loz" Shahlaei - the man Hall dethroned to win the British title in 2014.

That leaves a podium place and he believe the third spot will go to Morecambe's Graham Hicks, who finished second to Hall last year, when veteran Terry Hollands was third.

BUY TICKETS: Tickets are £28 to £196 to see Britain's Strongest Man at Sheffield FlyDSA Area on Saturday, January 19, 2019 - CLICK HERE, call the Arena box office on 0114 256 5656 or visit www.flydsaarena.co.uk.

Former professional rugby player Bishop has been the nearly-man so often and will need to be at his best to fend off seasoned contenders and former winners such as Shahlaei and Terry Hollands.

“It’s almost impossible to call,” says Hall, affectionately know as The Beast, whose absence from this year’s Giants Live Britain’s Strongest Man has thrown the contest wide open. He will be there as a pundit and to meet fans, for photos and signings.

“Any one of six men could walk away with the title. I think it’ll come down to the wire between Laurence Shahlaei and Adam Bishop. If you push me, I’ll have to go for Bish.”

An awesome line-up of a dozen British heavyweights - a mix of iconic veterans and new stars - are ready to hoist stones, throw kegs, carry cars and lift heavy metal in a bid to become Britain's Strongest Man.

Fifty two-year-old Mark Felix aims to shock everyone and become the oldest ever Britain's Strongest Man, while four times Scotland's strongest man Luke 'The Highland Oak' Stoltman and his brother, Tom, also have eyes on the trophy.

So do Sheffield's own men of steel Paul Smith and Phil Roberts.

Others taking part this year - line up subject to injuries and change - include Surrey's Adam Bishop, who took third at the recent Wolrld's Strongest Man qualifiers in Manchester, Ben 'Badger' Brunning, Michael 'The Bull' Downey, Aaron Page and Mark Steele.

World's Strongest Man 2017 Hall, the 30-year-old, 6ft 3ins gentle giant, admits he was tempted to come out of retirement.

But Stoke’s record-breaking legend, who was the first man to deadlift half a tonne in strongman competition, says continuing his top-level competitive career was never an option.

Former World's Strongest Man and five times Britain's Strongest Man, The Beast - Eddie Hall

Former World's Strongest Man and five times Britain's Strongest Man, The Beast - Eddie Hall

He explains: “If I’d stayed over 30 stone, I wouldn’t have been living much longer. My health and family had to come first. I’d conquered my dream, it was time to move on and start enjoying life.”

So what does the future hold for The Beast?

He has not ruled out a return to individual strongman events.

Of his many records, it is the legendary half tonne, 500kg deadlift that Hall is most proud of, a feat he performed in Leeds in 2016 and one that no other strong man in the world has got near since.

He has not ruled out a return to individual strongman events.

Of his many records, it is the legendary half tonne, 500kg deadlift that Hall is most proud of, a feat he performed in Leeds in 2016 and one that no other strong man in the world has got near since.

Britain's Strongest Man 2019 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on Saturday, January 19

Britain's Strongest Man 2019 at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on Saturday, January 19

Hall is also considering film roles, which could take him a similar route as former strongman turned actor pal Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has personally witnessed many of his world records.

He revealed he is working on TV documentaries, including one featuring The Terminator star.

For now Hall is content to call the action, rather than provide it.

He co-presented TV's recent festive helpings of World’s Strongest Man and plans to be a pundit at future strongman shows - including guest MC in Sheffield.

“Strongman is my life and I’ll always be involved. I may never compete in full shows again, but I would like to break some more records, maybe in powerlifting, or single events like the log press," he revealed.

“Giants Live is the pinnacle of our sport and the shows I’ve competed in have been some of the best nights of my life.

“I’m working on a strength-related series for a major US network and also another documentary which includes Arnold Schwarzenegger."

READ MORE:

PREVEW: Britain's Strongest Man returns to Sheffield FlyDSA Arena.

EXCLUSIVE: How I lost SEVEN STONES on 5,500 calories a day, reveals Arena bound strongman Terry Hollands.

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Adam Bishop tipped to become Britain's Strongest Man

Adam Bishop tipped to become Britain's Strongest Man

Eddie Hall will be be back to help host Britain's Strongest Man

Eddie Hall will be be back to help host Britain's Strongest Man