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Gladiator fans GO WILD for BBC reboot with viewers branding it 'perfect' as it takes them back to their childhood

More than two decades after Gladiators first aired, the hit show is coming back on the BBC with a brand new cast.  

The iconic show, which originally aired on ITV from 1992 to 2000, is making an epic return to screens with an 11-episode season later this year. 

The fearsome group includes trained rugby players, accomplished swimmers, sprinters and powerlifters as well as a former Premier League referee.

Here are the new Gladiators: 

Bionic

At a towering 6ft 6in it's somewhat inevitable that Gladiator Matty Campbell, a professional bodybuilder, has been named Bionic

At a towering 6ft 6in it’s somewhat inevitable that Gladiator Matty Campbell, a professional bodybuilder, has been named Bionic

At a towering 6ft 6in it’s somewhat inevitable that bodybuilder Matty Campbell has been named Bionic.

As a child he used to sprint and play football, reaching Academy Level, but a car accident curtailed his professional ambitions. It was his subsequent rehabilitation that led him to finding an alternative outlet in the gym.

Despite having never previously been a regular visitor to the gym, he found that he had a natural ability and quickly started gaining muscle-mass, leading to his eventual love of bodybuilding, 

He said: ‘Never in a million years did I expect to get the call to be a Gladiator, it’s a feeling that’ll never sink in. I’m just a normal lad from Teesside! A

‘ll the training and hard work has finally paid off for me, I can’t wait to get started!’ 

Electro

Jade Packer, aka Electro, is a quick, unstoppable and the perfect mix of strength, speed and skill

Jade Packer, aka Electro, is a quick, unstoppable and the perfect mix of strength, speed and skill

Currently working as a sports model, fitness coach and hybrid athlete, she began her journey as a sprinter

Currently working as a sports model, fitness coach and hybrid athlete, she began her journey as a sprinter

Jade Packer, aka Electro, is a quick, unstoppable and the perfect mix of strength, speed and skill.

Currently working as a sports model, fitness coach and hybrid athlete, she began her journey as a sprinter. 

Her speed led to her being ranked amongst the Top 10 Fastest Runners in the UK aged 12 for 150m and she went onto to race for titles at various championships over the 100m and 200m.

Her bodybuilding journey began at the age of 18 after she discovered the sport on social media platform Instagram, and her subsequent dedication to training won her 4 x Top 3 UKBFF Placings in the Wellness Category, an invite to compete at the Arnold Classic and an IFBB Elite Pro Card by taking Gold at the English Grand Prix.

After training for only a year before her first show, she became an instant sensation and went on to represent the UK in both Barcelona and Madrid throughout her two seasons.

Now training in CrossFit, with a unique hybrid-style that incorporates her athletic background, she still describes running as ‘her forte’.

She said: ‘I hope Electro can spark an unstoppable pursuit for a new generation of athletes. I’m ready to light up the arena with a different kind of energy.’ 

Phantom

Toby Olubi, aka Phantom, was part of the Team GB Bobsleigh team and competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Toby Olubi, aka Phantom, was part of the Team GB Bobsleigh team and competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

'We will be given the biggest entertainment platform to represent that ethos and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be a Gladiator…. Let the show begin!!'

‘We will be given the biggest entertainment platform to represent that ethos and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be a Gladiator…. Let the show begin!!’ 

Toby Olubi, aka Phantom, was part of the Team GB Bobsleigh team and competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

In the same season, he and his team broke the world record for the fastest ever bobsleigh at 97 mph. They also made history by bringing home Great Britain’s first-ever gold medal in the 2018 Whistler World Cup.

He has also been a sprinter a domestic level and has won the county championship for the UK men’s 60m sprints and has frequently competed in the British men’s 100m sprint Olympic qualifying championships. 

Additionally, the fitness nut has also won the title of fastest Bobsledder in the UK push championships for four consecutive years from 2015 to 2019.

He said: ‘This is a dream come true for me. I’m a 90’s kid so the Gladiators of past were my version of real life superheroes. Now I’ve got the chance to don the big “G” and be an inspirational figure myself.

‘Gladiators is all about stepping up against the odds and bringing the best version of yourself. 

‘We will be given the biggest entertainment platform to represent that ethos and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be a Gladiator…. Let the show begin!!’

Viper

For the past 15 years, Quang Luong, aka Viper, has dedicated his life to fitness, spending each day perfecting the art of bodybuilding

For the past 15 years, Quang Luong, aka Viper, has dedicated his life to fitness, spending each day perfecting the art of bodybuilding

For the past 15 years, Quang Luong, aka Viper, has dedicated his life to fitness, spending each day perfecting the art of bodybuilding.

A fitness model and practicing boxer, he’s often been cast in films in powerful roles, even appearing in a James Bond film as a gangster. Alongside his power and precision he’s looking to devour his competitors.

He said: ‘I was born to be a Gladiator. I am strong, powerful and just like a Viper I can attack with speed.’ 

Athena

A combination of brain, brawn and beauty, Karenjeet Kaur Bains gets her Gladiators moniker from the Ancient Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena

A combination of brain, brawn and beauty, Karenjeet Kaur Bains gets her Gladiators moniker from the Ancient Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena

Representing Team GB, she is a winner of three Gold and two Silver Commonwealth Powerlifting medals

Representing Team GB, she is a winner of three Gold and two Silver Commonwealth Powerlifting medals

She's also the five time All England Powerlifting Champion and five time British Powerlifting Champion

She’s also the five time All England Powerlifting Champion and five time British Powerlifting Champion

A combination of brain, brawn and beauty, Karenjeet Kaur Bains gets her moniker from the Ancient Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena.

Representing Team GB, she is a winner of three Gold and two Silver Commonwealth Powerlifting medals. 

She’s also the five time All England Powerlifting Champion and five time British Powerlifting Champion and represented Great Britain at the World and European Championships.

Additionally, she holds the Guinness World Record for the “Most Bodyweight Squats in a minute”… oh, and did we mention she’s also a Chartered Accountant!

Very proud of her South Asian heritage, she makes show history as the first Sikh Gladiator and wants to inspire people of all ethnic backgrounds to achieve their full potential.

She said: ‘I represent all those from diverse and minority backgrounds, especially women, that have ever been denied the opportunity to pursue their dreams in sport. 

‘I hope I can be a role model and show the levels a female can achieve, if she is given the opportunity to follow her passion and given the wings to fly!’

Comet

Ella-Mae Rayner, aka Comet, has also been unveiled as one of the new Gladiators

Ella-Mae Rayner, aka Comet, has also been unveiled as one of the new Gladiators 

A former elite gymnast, Ella-Mae moved into semi-professional in diving before embarking on a degree in Sport Science

A former elite gymnast, Ella-Mae moved into semi-professional in diving before embarking on a degree in Sport Science

She now trains six times a week while also working as a Fitness Model & Coach

She now trains six times a week while also working as a Fitness Model & Coach

A former elite gymnast, Ella-Mae Rayner moved into semi-professional in diving before embarking on a degree in Sport Science. 

At university she successfully coached and competed in University Cheerleading Championships, but it was a career changing ankle injury that led to a newfound love of the gym. 

She now trains six times a week while also working as a Fitness Model & Coach. 

She said: ‘’m absolutely thrilled to be Comet. I loved watching Gladiators growing up. I specifically remember Jet, she was an icon for me as a child and one of the reasons I become a gymnast. 

‘I can’t believe I will be following in her footsteps. It really is a dream come true.’ 

Sabre

'I truly hope Sabre will inspire and empower the younger generation of strong capable females just as the gladiators I once watched inspired me'

‘I truly hope Sabre will inspire and empower the younger generation of strong capable females just as the gladiators I once watched inspired me’

Sabre has competed in 5 British Weightlifting Championships events and numerous CrossFit championships all over the world

Sabre has competed in 5 British Weightlifting Championships events and numerous CrossFit championships all over the world

Fierce, powerful and agile; these are the main attributes of Sabre. Sheli McCoy describes herself as a 'grafter' and trains 16-19 hours per week

Fierce, powerful and agile; these are the main attributes of Sabre. Sheli McCoy describes herself as a ‘grafter’ and trains 16-19 hours per week

Fierce, powerful and agile; these are the main attributes of Sabre. 

Sheli McCoy describes herself as a ‘grafter’ and trains 16-19 hours per week. 

She has competed in 5 British Weightlifting Championships events and numerous CrossFit championships all over the world and has simultaneously been Scottish champion in both sports. 

Sabre runs her own gym in Dundee, hoping to inspire future generations to reach their full fitness potential.

She has nearly 100,000 followers and loves to post videos of her workouts whether it be lifting heavy weights, doing pull ups from the bar or upside down handstands.  

She says: ‘I truly hope Sabre will inspire and empower the younger generation of strong capable females just as the gladiators I once watched inspired me to be a confident athletic women. It is Sabre’s time to shine – here come the powerful girls.’

Apollo 

With the speed of a rocket, it's no surprise Alex Gray has earned the name Apollo

With the speed of a rocket, it’s no surprise Alex Gray has earned the name Apollo

He captained English Rugby teams for 16's, 18's and 20's.​ He was scouted to go to NFL for his skillset, making him the first British rugby player to transfer over to the NFL

He captained English Rugby teams for 16’s, 18’s and 20’s.​ He was scouted to go to NFL for his skillset, making him the first British rugby player to transfer over to the NFL

With the speed of a rocket, it’s no surprise Alex Gray has earned the name Apollo.

He started his career playing rugby under 16s and moved onto the Premiership and then England 7s team. ​ He captained English Rugby teams for 16s, 18s and 20s.​

He was scouted to go to NFL for his skillset, making him the first British rugby player to transfer over to the NFL. ​ 

Signed for Atlantic Falcons and then became the first international player to Captain an NFL team.​

Apollo wants to win and won’t stop until he does. Don’t be fooled by his smile and charm, if you’re in his way he’ll take you down.

Apollo says: ‘Gladiator ready?? You better believe I am!! After playing Rugby and In the NFL, the opportunity to inspire as Apollo is a dream come true. I plan on leading from the front and never giving up’.

Dynamite  

Small, explosive and dangerous, just like Dynamite, 20-year-old, Emily Steel, is the youngest Gladiator in the current line-up

Small, explosive and dangerous, just like Dynamite, 20-year-old, Emily Steel, is the youngest Gladiator in the current line-up

With a background in swimming competing at a national level until she was 15 years old, she's now a full-time elite CrossFit athlete

With a background in swimming competing at a national level until she was 15 years old, she’s now a full-time elite CrossFit athlete

Emily boasts 7,000 Instagram followers and regularly shares snaps of herself weightlifting or of her toned figure

Emily boasts 7,000 Instagram followers and regularly shares snaps of herself weightlifting or of her toned figure 

Small, explosive and dangerous, just like Dynamite, 20-year-old, Emily Steel, is the youngest Gladiator in the current line-up.

With a background in swimming competing at a national level until she was 15 years old, she’s now a full-time elite CrossFit athlete, also juggling second year studies full time at university in sport and exercise science. 

Emily boasts 7,000 Instagram followers and regularly shares snaps of herself weightlifting.  

Dynamite recently competed internationally at one of the largest fitness festivals in the world and becoming an under 23’s weightlifting British record holder.

Don’t underestimate Dynamite. She may look small, but she’ll blast into the competition and obliterate her opponents.

Dynamite says: ‘I’m too young to remember the original Gladiators, but my parents loved it and suggested I try out. Dynamite really does represent who I am and I’m excited to showcase what I can do in the games.’

Nitro 

Nitro is a team GB sprinter called Harry Aikines Aryeetey  (pictured)

Nitro is a team GB sprinter called Harry Aikines Aryeetey  (pictured)

Nitro is a team GB sprinter called Harry Aikines Aryeetey. Commonwealth and World gold medallist sprinter, Harry’s lightning fast speed and ‘ball of energy’ personality earned him the name Nitro. 

The athlete has competed at the highest level in the UK since his youth. After becoming the first athlete to win gold medals at both 100 and 200 metres at the World Youth Championships, he won 2005 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year age 17.

Harry has gone on to win gold 4 x in the men’s 100m European Championships and at the Commonwealth Games.

His long list of achievements include: 2 x Olympian, 3 x European Champion, 2x Commonwealth Champion, 1x Commonwealth Silver Medallist, 1x European Bronze Medallist, 1x World Bronze Medallist, 1x British Champion, 2x World Youth Champion, 1x World Junior Champion.

With his incredible speed and agility, the Contenders will have their work cut out, getting past social media-star Nitro, who boasts 253,000 Instagram followers.

Commonwealth and World gold medallist sprinter, Harry's lightning fast speed and 'ball of energy' personality earned him the name Nitro

Commonwealth and World gold medallist sprinter, Harry’s lightning fast speed and ‘ball of energy’ personality earned him the name Nitro

The fitness fanatic shares a two-year old daughter named Aubreé-Isla with his partner

The fitness fanatic shares a two-year old daughter named Aubreé-Isla with his partner

The fitness fanatic – who shares a two-year old daughter named Aubreé-Isla with his partner – regularly posts insights into his grueling training routine.

On taking part in the show, Nitro said: ‘Becoming a Gladiator is another great achievement!

‘A childhood dream come true! You never know what is coming in life, each day is there to be enjoyed and savouring all opportunities is a must!

‘It literally gives me energy and strength! I can’t wait to be in the arena and bring Nitro to Gladiators!’

Diamond  

Dazzling her way into the Gladiators stadium is Livi Sheldon, a 6ft bodybuilder. With her striking looks and indestructible natural earning her the name, Diamond

Dazzling her way into the Gladiators stadium is Livi Sheldon, a 6ft bodybuilder. With her striking looks and indestructible natural earning her the name, Diamond

Livi - who regularly shares fitness tips on social media - is in a relationship with men's lifestyle coach Grant Gibbs

Livi – who regularly shares fitness tips on social media – is in a relationship with men’s lifestyle coach Grant Gibbs

Dazzling her way into the Gladiators stadium is Livi Sheldon. She is a 6ft bodybuilder, with her striking looks and indestructible natural earning her the name, Diamond.

After graduating with a degree in Sports Science, Livi took up bodybuilding, becoming a British Finalist ‘England Toned Figure’.

Her passion for sports began at age 6, when she played football for a boys football team. She eventually moved over to a girls’ team, where she became captain for many years, and went on to play for Worcester City Ladies team.

However, don’t be deceived by Diamond’s bright beauty, she is unbreakable and super strong.

On joining Gladiators, Livi said: – ‘When I was growing up I used to get picked on for being taller than everyone else.

‘Now I get to show everyone that being unique is your superpower. I can’t wait to get into the arena and take on the contenders as Diamond’

Livi – who regularly shares fitness tips on social media – is in a relationship with men’s lifestyle coach Grant Gibbs. 

Giant  

On Thursday, Giant, (pictured) Fire and Legend joined the line-up of super-fit TV titans ahead of the iconic show's hotly anticipated return

On Thursday, Giant, (pictured) Fire and Legend joined the line-up of super-fit TV titans ahead of the iconic show’s hotly anticipated return

Giant made history by becoming one of the all-time tallest bodybuilders

Giant made history by becoming one of the all-time tallest bodybuilders

Pictured with his wife, Katie Christian, whose Instagram handle is @ hormonehealer_

Pictured with his wife, Katie Christian, whose Instagram handle is @ hormonehealer_

Giant is a former firefighter turned bodybuilder called Jamie Christian Johal.

Standing at 6ft 5inches, it’s no wonder he was given the name Giant. He made history by becoming one of the all-time tallest bodybuilders. 

Now he’s bringing that power into the Gladiators arena. He may look like a big, friendly giant, but don’t be fooled, he won’t be holding back when it comes to the games.

Giant said: ‘I feel like everything in life has lead me here. 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!’ 

Fire

Blazing into the Gladiators stadium like a flash is Montell Douglas. She's fierce and will burn through the arena destroying anyone who gets in her way, earning her the name Fire

Blazing into the Gladiators stadium like a flash is Montell Douglas. She’s fierce and will burn through the arena destroying anyone who gets in her way, earning her the name Fire 

Former Team GB Sprinter and Olympic Bobsledder, she held the British woman's record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds

Former Team GB Sprinter and Olympic Bobsledder, she held the British woman’s record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds 

Blazing into the Gladiators stadium like a flash is Montell Douglas. She’s fierce and will burn through the arena destroying anyone who gets in her way, earning her the name Fire. 

Former Team GB Sprinter and Olympic Bobsledder, she held the British woman’s record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds, smashing the previous record which had stood unbeaten for 27 years.

In January 2022, Montell made sporting history to become the first female UK athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

In 2010, Montell won Commonwealth Gold in the 4x100m relay race in Delhi – and holds a European Under-23 Silver Medal in 100m.

Montell moved into bobsledding in 2016, and the following year finished within the Top 10 at her World Cup debut. 

When competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Montell returned to the city where she had competed 14 years previously at the 2008 Summer Olympics

When competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Montell returned to the city where she had competed 14 years previously at the 2008 Summer Olympics

When competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Montell returned to the city where she had competed 14 years previously at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

She loves inspiring women to achieve their dreams, no matter what age, height or background they’re from.

The show claims that contenders should beware of Fire. She’s fast, unpredictable and dangerous and will ravage anyone in her path.

Fire said: ‘I’m so pleased I’ve been asked to be Fire! Being a gladiator has been a secret lifelong dream of mine. 

‘As a strong and powerful woman, I’m living proof that you can achieve your dreams, no matter what age or background, if you believe and keep pushing. I’m ready to light up the competition!’ 

Legend 

Training up to six times a week in bodybuilding and powerlifting, former international athlete, Matt Morsia describes himself as a Legend - hence the name!

Training up to six times a week in bodybuilding and powerlifting, former international athlete, Matt Morsia describes himself as a Legend – hence the name!

Matt pictured with his wife Sarah on holiday - they have two children together

Matt pictured with his wife Sarah on holiday – they have two children together

In 2020, he released his first book, 'The 24/7 Body'. Bringing all his power and strength to the series, the contenders will not forget Legend

In 2020, he released his first book, ‘The 24/7 Body’. Bringing all his power and strength to the series, the contenders will not forget Legend

The trio were revealed for the first time on This Morning

The trio were revealed for the first time on This Morning 

Giant, Fire and Legend join the previously announced Fury and Steel as part of the new generation of mighty Gladiators ready to challenge a brave set of contenders

Giant, Fire and Legend join the previously announced Fury and Steel as part of the new generation of mighty Gladiators ready to challenge a brave set of contenders 

Giant showed off his duelling skills on the show

Giant showed off his duelling skills on the show

Meet Legend. Training up to six times a week in bodybuilding and powerlifting, former international athlete, Matt Morsia describes himself as a Legend – hence the name!

The former Championship bronze medal winning long and triple jumper, and silver medal winning powerlifter, loved the ‘showmanship’ of competing. 

After retiring from international competitions, he continued performing to a huge audience becoming highly successful fitness influencer and professional YouTuber – amassing over 355 million views. 

In 2020, he released his first book, ‘The 24/7 Body’. Bringing all his power and strength to the series, the contenders will not forget Legend.

He said: ‘I’ve been training like a beast for the show but realistically I didn’t need to. I could’ve spent the last two months eating doughnuts and playing Dungeons & Dragons and I’d still be better than everyone else. 

‘I’m called Legend for a reason! I can only apologise for the irreparable damage I’m about to do to the contenders. Actually, that’s a lie, I’m not sorry at all. I’m actively looking forward to it’.

OGs: The iconic show, which originally aired on ITV from 1992 to 2000, is making an epic return to screens after 23 years on the BBC (The original Gladiators in 1994)

OGs: The iconic show, which originally aired on ITV from 1992 to 2000, is making an epic return to screens after 23 years on the BBC (The original Gladiators in 1994)

Fury

Professional Exeter Chiefs Rugby Player, Jodie Ounsley, has joined the line-up as her alter-ego 'Fury', named thanks to her power and passion for competition

Professional Exeter Chiefs Rugby Player, Jodie Ounsley, has joined the line-up as her alter-ego ‘Fury’, named thanks to her power and passion for competition

The professional Exeter Chiefs rugby player, 22, has been deaf from birth and wears a cochlear implant

The professional Exeter Chiefs rugby player, 22, has been deaf from birth and wears a cochlear implant

Last but certainly not least, meet Fury aka Jodie Ounsley.

Jodie joined the line-up as the alter-ego name thanks to her power and passion for competition.

The professional Exeter Chiefs rugby player, 22, has been deaf from birth and wears a cochlear implant.

Announcing the news to her Instagram, Jodie wrote: ‘Ready to unleash the Fury tomorrow’.

In December 2023, Jodie broke down in tears as she tried ‘life-changing’ new technology ahead of appearing on the rebooted TV show.

She became emotional as she put on glasses which allow deaf people to ‘see’ conversations for the first time, developed by British start-up XRAI Glass.

She then told XRAI Glass’s co-founder Mitchell Feldman: ‘That’s pretty amazing… As much as I love to embrace my deafness and be positive about it, it’s a really isolating place at times.

‘You miss out on a lot and it’s a mental journey trying to lip read. Something like this could really make it so much easier.’

Steel

Meanwhile, joining Jodie's Fury is UK CrossFit star Zack George, who's set to intimidate the contestants as his alter-ego Steel

Meanwhile, joining Jodie’s Fury is UK CrossFit star Zack George, who’s set to intimidate the contestants as his alter-ego Steel

Zack eventually caught the exercise bug and soon became a devotee of CrossFit, a fitness regimen focused on performing functional movements performed at a high intensity

Zack eventually caught the exercise bug and soon became a devotee of CrossFit, a fitness regimen focused on performing functional movements performed at a high intensity

Zack underwent a fitness transformation after admitting he lead an 'unhealthy lifestyle' in his youth

Zack underwent a fitness transformation after admitting he lead an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ in his youth

And finally… meet Zack George, a UK CrossFit star.

Zack eventually caught the exercise bug and soon became a devotee of CrossFit, a fitness regimen focused on performing functional movements performed at a high intensity.

He was named as champion in UK CrossFit in 2020 and will be showcasing his athleticism further on Gladiators.

Zack underwent a fitness transformation after admitting he lead an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ in his youth. 



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