Foam fingers at the ready because a new series of Sky1 hit Gladiators is on the way this January. Airing first on ITV from 1992-2000, it was presented by Ulrika Jonsson, John Fashanu and later, Jeremy Guscott. Gladiators made household names of the likes of Wolf, Trojan, Shadow, Jet, Nightshade and Hunter. To this day, they are all still fondly remembered; little wonder Sky1 took the decision to revive this fondly-remembered favourite.
The hit show will see six new Gladiators join the team for the second series. Sadly, veteran referee John Anderson will not be back; he’ll be replaced by boxing referee John Coyle. However, in news that will excite hardcore fans, one old-timer is returning: everyone’s favourite baddie, 56-year-old Wolf.
Will the Wolfman strike fear into the hearts of all those budding contestants, just as he did way back in the ITV days? Let’s hope so because in truth, this is arguably what the resurrected series has lacked and sorely missed: a ‘boo! Hiss!’ pantomime villain for everyone to love to hate. Born in Bombay, Wolf’s real name is Michael Van Wijk. Commentating on his return he said: "I was blown away by the buzz I felt competing in the Gladiators arena again. It was like I’d never been away. The audience was phenomenal and clearly wanted more of the Wolfman. And now I’m back as manager, and I’m in charge."
Amazon – (real name, Zoe Williams. She’s 5ft 10", weighs 10 stone 6lbs and her specialist event is Powerball).
Cyclone – (real name, Donna Williams. She’s 5ft 4", weighs 9 stone 3 lbs and her specialist event is Hang Tough).
Doom – (real name, Wayne Gordon. He’s 6ft 3", weighs 15 stone and his specialist event is Pursuit).
Goliath – (real name, Barri Griffiths. He’s 6 ft 6", weighs 19 stone 9lbs and his specialist event is Earthquake).
Siren – (real name, Amy Guy. She’s 5ft 9", weighs 9 stone and her specialist event is hang tough).
Warrior – (real name, Daniel Singh. He’s 6ft 3", weighs 17 stone 8lbs and his specialist event is Hang Tough).
Steve Jones, Commissioning Editor, Sky1, 2 and 3, said: "Our new Gladiators are an awesome sight to behold. Bigger, stronger, and even more unstoppable than before. We have found some brilliant characters and they will all be at the top of their game for fear of getting a rollicking from their new manager. I actually feel a bit sorry for our contenders this series."
Really? Well Steve mate, I actually felt a bit sorry for the Gladiators in the first series; some of them appeared far less bulky than their 1990s counterparts. And that’s just the women. I swear I saw flesh wobbling on a couple of them – Jet would be horrified. You can see how the newbies perform when Gladiators returns to Sky1 in January. Me? I’m looking forward to seeing whether the Wolfman can turn back time…
Today I am mostly lovin’ – Did anyone see High Society’s Favourite Gigolo on Channel 4 last night? It was a remarkable story of the meteoric rise and pitiful fall of Britain’s first black superstar. An obsessive womaniser (who was also bisexual), Leslie ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson’s many lovers included Cole Porter, Ivor Novello and Tallulah Bankhead. But it was his affair with Lady Mountbatten that created a huge scandal in 1932. Absolutely fascinating programme. A great watch.
Today I am mostly hatin’ – I hate to say it, but I think Heroes is losing its way. I really hope it bounces back…
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