Gladiators ready! Dates and what to expect as 3 Gladiators revealed
Three new Gladiators have been revealed ahead of the reboot of the popular game show.
The programme will return with an 11-episode series, welcoming a new generation of “superhumans” who will compete against contestants in the “ultimate test of speed and strength”, according to the BBC, the new home of the hit programme.
Three Gladiators — Giant, Fire, and Legend — were unveiled on This Morning on Thursday (May 18), and will go head-to-head in one of the most iconic sports game shows.
Gladiators originally aired for eight seasons between 1992 and 2000 on ITV, and was presented by Ulrika Jonsson.
Each episode included 4 Contenders competing against the show’s Gladiators in several events, including Duel, Hang Tough, and Pyramid, to reach the series grand finale.
The new series will begin filming in Sheffield later this year.
Here’s everything you need to know about the reboot.
Who are the contestants?
Standing at 6 ft 5 in, Giant is a former firefighter turned professional bodybuilder called Jamie Christian Johal.
He made history by becoming one of the all-time tallest bodybuilders.
“I feel like everything in life has lead [sic] me here,” he said of joining the show. “I’m honoured to be part of this iconic show that I watched as a child. I’ll be bringing my GIANT stature and personality, so contenders better come prepared!”
Former Team GB sprinter and Olympic bobsledder Montell Douglas held the British woman’s record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds. She is joining the programme as Flash.
Last year, Douglas made history by becoming the first female UK athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
In 2016, she took up bobsleigh and became part of the Great Britain women’s two-woman bobsleigh team the following year.
Legend, or Matt Morsia, is a former Championship bronze-medal-winning long and triple jumper, and silver-medal-winning powerlifter.
Now a fitness influencer with more than 355 million views on YouTube, he is known for his funny, honest, and informative fitness advice and videos.
In 2020, he released his first book, The 24/7 Body.
How can I watch the show?
Iconic 90’s TV show ‘Gladiators’ is coming back - but this time on the BBC.
It will return for an 11 episode series on Saturday night’s in 2023. pic.twitter.com/04eOa3zSwt
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) August 25, 2022
The series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, and will include new games as well as classic challenges, with each episode ending with a fan favourite.
What can I expect from Gladiators?
Original Gladiators Kim Betts and Sharron Davies, who were known to fans as Lightning and Amazon, previously appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about the revival.
Davies, 59, said: “The only thing I think is going to be really testing is health and safety.
“I think going forward that’s the thing which will be so very different from way back then.”
Betts, 50, shared Davies’s concerns, revealing that changes were being made due to health and safety rules even when the original show was running.
“Huge changes,” she said. “When we first started, things like the 6ft free-fall we used to do without a harness, just fall on to a crash mat.
“Brilliant if you’re not scared of heights and are aware of rotational falls but, as health and safety came on throughout the years, you’ve then got to be attached to a harness.
“It takes away that element of fear and excitement for the viewers back home.
“I know some people got seriously injured on that… so I completely understand it. But when you’re trying to invent an exciting, thrilling game and then health and safety step in, which they did on numerous events, it all has to be changed.
“It does take away that element of excitement.”
Who will present Gladiators?
Bradley Walsh will present the reboot alongside his son, Barney, with the pair set to bring charm and wit as hosts.
The Gladiators brand runs in the family, as Barney’s mum, Donna Walsh (Bradley’s wife), was head choreographer for the Gladiator cheerleaders ‘G-Force’ on the original series.
Bradley and his son used to visit the set, with Barney taking some of his initial steps on the arena floor.
Previously, Bradley said: “Wow! I can’t believe that I’ve been asked to be part of this iconic show.
“I used to sit backstage, or in the audience, every week watching my wife be part of this juggernaut and now I get to co-host a new version of Gladiators! Saturday night family entertainment at its best... Are you ready?”
While his son added: “Gladiators has been a massive part of our family and it’s an honour to be asked to co-host this iconic show.
“I’m so excited for everyone to see the spectacle, elite athletes, and fantastic family entertainment that is Gladiators.”