The BBC has announced the return of one of the UK’s best-loved game shows.
Gladiators is set to make its return to screens and will pit “superhumans” against each other in a series of gruelling physical challenges. The show, which first ran from 1992 to 2000 featured the likes of Wolf, Jet and Lightning in its original cast, and was revived in 2008 and 2009 by Sky.
Fans of the original show will be looking forward to seeing a new generation of Gladiators take each other on, including going head-to-head on the iconic obstacle course The Eliminator. Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted, said: “Gladiators is back and a whole new generation of viewers can now look forward to watching a Saturday night spectacle like no other.
“Will the contenders have the will and the skill to succeed against our mighty new Gladiators? You’ll have to tune in to find out.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest reboot.
Who is in the cast for the Gladiators reboot?
The original series produced some famous names, including contenders Jet, Nightshade, Trojan and Hunter. Gladiators was also able to recruit some of the UK’s most successful athletes to compete in the show, with Olympic medal-winning swimmer Sharron Davies starring in the show as Amazon in the original series.
This new generation of Gladiators has been announced by the BBC.
Bodybuilder and former firefighter Jamie Christian Johal has more than earned his moniker of Giant, towering over the cast at six foot five inches. He made history in the bodybuilding world by becoming one of the tallest champions to ever grace the sport.
Fire, whose real name is Montell Douglas, is a former GB sprinter and Olympic bobsledder. She has smashed sport records on the world stage, smashing the female record for the fastest 100m sprint in the UK which had been unchallenged in 27 years while also becoming the first female UK athlete to compete in both the summer and winter Olympic games.
Joining the two sporting stars is Matt Morsia, otherwise known as Legend. The championship award winning long and triple jumper has many sporting achievements under his belt, including winning silver medals in power lifting. Morsia has also become a popular fitness influencer online, amassing 355 million views on YouTube and releasing a Sunday Time bestseller titled 'The 24/7 Body' in 2020.
Fury, whose real name is Jodie Ounsley, is a professional rugby player with Exeter Chiefs and follows in the footsteps of her father, who appeared as a contender on the show in 2008.
CrossFit star Zack George will live up to his nickname 'Steel' on the show. The fitness fanatic won the 2020 title of the UK's Fittest Man while also reaching the dizzying heights 26 on the 126,461-strong global CrossFit leaderboard.
Diamond, Nitro, Electro, Apollo, Comet, Viper, Athena, Phantom, Sabre and Dynamite round out the full cast for the new series.
And while all eyes will be on the Gladiators themselves, the show would be nothing without its iconic referees uttering the famous "Gladiator ready? Contender ready?" catchphrase. Joining the show is one of England's most decorated football referees Matt Clattenburg.
Clattenburg is a staple of Premier League and international games and has refereed in some of the most high profile events on the planet including the Champions League.
Sonia Mkoloma will join Clattenburg on the show. Mkoloma is a former internation netball player for England and is the current assistant coach for the team soon heading to South Africa for the World Cup.
Lee Phillips, a fitness professional and firefighter, is the third referee for the new series. Phillips is an accomplished CrossFit athlete and has won fitness competitions across the world.
Where will Gladiators be filmed?
The original 90s run of the show was filmed live in various UK locations including Wembley, Sheffield and Birmingham.
The reboot is set to be filmed at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, with filming taking place in 2023.
Who is hosting the Gladiators reboot?
The 90s run of the show is just as famous for its hosts as it was for its contenders. Ulrika Johnson famously presented the show alongside former footballer John Fashanu and later Jeremy Guscott.
The Sky 2008 reboot of the show saw Kirsty Gallacher and Ian Wright team up. The BBC have not yet revealed the hosts for the upcoming series.
John Anderson also became a household name as the series referee providing the iconic “Gladiators, ready? Contenders, ready?” catchphrase. He returned for the Sky 2008 series, however, now in his 90s, it has yet to be confirmed if he will return for the 2023 reboot.
When will the Gladiators reboot be on television?
The new series is set to be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer when released. There is no confirmed premiere date as of yet, although with filming taking place from the beginning of June, we can predict that it will likely hit screens in mid to late 2023.
The show will be produced by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK. Scot Cru, executive vice president of global formats and Unscripted Content for MGM Television, said: “Gladiators is a format that resonates with viewers worldwide.
“We are thrilled to bring this revered series to the BBC and can’t wait to introduce our UK Gladiators.”
Dan Baldwin, managing director of Hungry Bear, added: “It’s the perfect time for Gladiators to return. What other show combines electric excitement, superheroes, giant sponge fingers, elite athletes, and a pinch of pantomime? Watch out for the new breed of superhuman, supersized, superstars bursting on to your screens on BBC One and iPlayer.”