From Jet to Wolf, here’s where the original Gladiators cast are now
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 13
Here’s everything you need to know… (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

The new is returning to the after more than two decades off our TV screens, following the success of.

Originally fronted by , ran from 1992 until 2000, and is now returning with father-son duo at the helm.

Following in the the likes of Apollo and Dynamite will be taking to the arena, with some already having revealed their and.

And while who will be competing against brave contenders in tests of speed, strength and skill, include , Olympic athletes and even a actor, what happened to the original Gladiators?

Here’s everything you need to know…

Where are the original Gladiators cast now?

Ace (Warren Furman)

Gladiators icon Ace joined in 1996 and was even engaged to Katie Price (Picture: REX)

Ace, aka Warren Furman, joined Gladiators in 1996 and stayed until the end of the show in 2000, and  from 1996 until 1998.

Since his time on Gladiators, the now 51-year-old has found religion, and began to describe himself as ‘’, and now lives in York with his wife and children and runs a gospel choir.

In a recent interview, he spoke about how model.

Cobra (Michael Willson)

Michael Willson is Cobra! (Picture:REX)

Cobra, aka Michael Willson, first appeared on the show in 1992, where his kickboxing and boxing skills certainly came in handy.

After the show ended, he competed in the Springbok Challenge against South Africa, and has been a motivational speaker in schools and youth clubs.

Since his time on the series, the now 60-year-old has spoken about the drinking and party lifestyle on the show, telling the Mirror in 2019 that he was often ‘bleeding drunk’ while filming.

‘I didn’t take it too seriously. I was mucking about pranking… There were end of show parties, when we had international Gladiators come over, we would be up all night boozing.’

Since leaving, he’s been out of the limelight. He endured a health scare in 2019, having been seriously ill with pneumonia.

Hunter (James Crossley)

Hunter went on to appear on The Circle (Picture: REX)

starred as Hunter from series two until series eight, and in a recent interview, told that

The bodybuilder and actor even dated host in 1996, before winning the title Ultimate Gladiator in a 1999 spin-off series and leaving the show in 2000.

In the last 20 years, he’s taken on work in the theatre, and now runs a sound therapist school, after a reality TV appearance on the third series of Channel 4’s The Circle.

Jet (Diane Youdale)

Jet quit after a horrific injury (Picture: REX)

Jet, aka Diane Youdale, was on Gladiators for four and a half years, but after she suffered she decided to quit the show in 1996.

Since leaving Gladiators, the now-53-year-old Jet has worked as a teacher, .

Last year, Diane revealed she got after meeting her partner in their local Tesco and a year-and-a-half of dating.

Lightening (Kim Betts)

Lightening is still keeping up her training regime (Picture: Rex)

Lightening, whose real name is Kim Betts, truly was, having given birth to her son Lexus a mere three weeks before competing on Gladiators in 1999. On top of that, she was only beaten once.

Since her time on the show, she’s become something of a business mogul, investing in a beauty parlour and a fishery, and spending a decade and a half developing property.

Known as the , Kim gave up her TV career when the original show came to an end, but has since proven she’s very much.

Wolf (Michael Van Wijk)

Wolf went on to appear on Squid Game! (Picture: REX/NETFLIX)

Wolf, real name Michael Van Wijk, sent fans wild with

, he appeared as contestant number 72.

Before he started on Gladiators, Michael Van Wijk owned several gyms, and these days, he owns Wolf’s Gym in Auckland New Zealand, which is where he’s currently based.

Following the show, the now-71-year-old also became a cage-fighter and competed in Jiu Jitsu championships.

Blaze (Eunice Huthart)

Blaze has had a Hollywood career (Picture: REX)

Eunice Huthart aka Blaze has enjoyed one of the most interesting careers since leaving Gladiators, leaving the eliminator behind for Hollywood.

After winning the 1994 series of the show as a contestant and being asked to return as a Gladiator in 1995, she was scouted by James Bond producers for GoldenEye to work as a stunt double.

It was the first film project of many, and she went on to  in films like Wanted and Mrs & Mrs Smith, having bonded with the actress on the set of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

More recently, she trained the likes of Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega for Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker.

Panther (Helen O’Reilly)

Panther set up a fashion shop with her co-stars (Picture: REX)

Champion bodybuilder Panther (real name Helen O’Reilly) set up a fashion shop with her co-stars Vogue and Saracen, after leaving the show in 1996.

During her time on the programme, Panther sustained a serious neck and back injury after a horror fall where she landed head first on the tilt event.

The now 62-year-old runs her own West London gym called Panthers Gym.

Rhino (Mark Smith)

Rhino went on to have an acting career (Picture: GETTY/ITV)

Mark Smith starred as Rhino on Gladiators from 1995 until it was cancelled in 1999, and has since gone on to have a successful acting career.

The now-54-year-old’s credits include EastEnders, Robin Hood, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide and more recently, The Enforcer.

Shadow (Jefferson King)

Shadow was thrown off Gladiators in 1995 (Picture: REX/PA)

Jefferson King was thrown off Gladiators in 1995, after being caught taking steroids.

He later said that he started taking drugs when he was 17 but claimed he never took Class As during his stint on Gladiators.

In 2021, King was jailed for his part in a blackmail plot over a drugs debt.

Warrior (Mike Ahearne)

Warrior, aka Mike Ahearne, was jailed in 1998 (Picture: BBC)

Champion bodybuilder Mike Ahearne, who represented Great Britain at Mr Universe, was known as Warrior on the show.

However, in 1998, he was jailed for 15 months after being convicted of an act with a tendency to pervert the course of justice.

He was later sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, in 2018 after police found steroids in shopping bags and CS spray in his home.

Falcon (Bernadette Hunt)

Falcon sadly died aged 59 (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Gladiators icon Falcon, real name Bernadette Hunt, joined the series in 1993 and remained until the end.

As well as appearing on the main show, Hunt also appeared as Falcon on two series of International Gladiators, and later opted for a life outside the limelight, working as a fitness instructor at Basingstoke Sports Centre.

Hunt after a cancer battle.

Amazon (Sharon Davies)

Sharon Davies later became a TV presenter (Picture: REX/GETTY)

Sharon was only on the show for a year before dropping out with a knee injury, but she certainly made her mark.

She signed up after winning a silver medal in the swimming at the Olympics in Moscow in 1980, also swimming for Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Unusually for a Gladiator, Sharron is perhaps better known for her career outside the show. She went on to host Big Breakfast and present sports coverage for the BBC.

Her most high-profile TV appearance in years came in Dancing On Ice back in 2010, where she was eliminated seventh with Pavel Aubrecht.

Sharron, now 61, more recently attracted controversy after saying transgender athletes should not compete in women’s sporting events. She told BBC Sport: ‘It is not a transphobic thing – I really want to say we have no issue with people who are transgender.’

Vogue (Suzanne Cox)

Suzanne Cox was Vogue (Picture: REX)

Suzanne’s Vogue has one of the biggest personalities in Gladiators, with sass aplenty and a brilliant entrance routine to the theme of Madonna’s Vogue.

Having joined in 1995, the former UK competitive aerobics champion stayed on the show throughout the decade and became known for her performances on the Powerball and Hang Tough.

She married 1997 quarter-finalist Mark Roberts, who she shares two children with, and has since teamed up with Gladiators Saracen and Panther to run the fashion shop COR.

Zodiac (Kate Staples)

Zodiac now lives a life away from the limelight (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Kate already had an impressive career before joining in series two, having been the former British and Commonwealth pole-vault record holder.

She suffered one of the most serious injuries in the history of Gladiators, after breaking bones in her neck. Thankfully she made a full recovery, but left the show as a result in 1996,

She started a family with Trojan star Mark Griffin, before marrying the rugby player Chris Sheasby, who she divorced in 2016.

In more recent times she’s stayed in the world of health and fitness. She works on initiatives to get people into sport with decathlete Daley Thompson, and runs Adventure Bootcamp in Cobham.

Trojan (Mark Griffin)

Trojan is now an actor (Picture: REX)

Mark is one of the most successful stars to have first made his name on Gladiators, having left the show after three years in 1996.

He quit the programme to focus on acting, and it’s a move which has paid off. He’s known for his performances on a diverse range of TV shows including NCIS, Doctor Who and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The actor also led the cast of 2014 film Dragons of Camelot and starred in family comedies Daddy Day Care and Dr Dolittle 2.

Rebel (Jennifer Stoute)

Rebel appeared on Gladiators between 1996 and 1999 (Picture: REX)

Former Olympic sprinter Jennifer Stoute appeared on Gladiators as Rebel between 1996 and 1999.

She also returned for the 2008 revival and in two Legend specials.

After Gladiators, she went on to use her expertise and appeared as a stunt woman for Russell Crowe’s 2000 Gladiator film.

She now has two daughters and set up a sports management company with her husband, fellow sprinter John Regis.

Nightshade (Judy Simpson)

Judy Simpson was Nightshade (Picture: REX/GETTY)

Nightshade (aka Judy Simpson) competed in three Olympic Games as a heptathlete before Gladiators, which she was a part of between 1993 and 1996.

She’s now a sporting ambassador and honorary president of the Women’s Sports Federation, and works for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Saracen (Michael Lewis)

Saracen is now a retired firefighter (Picture: REX)

Gladiators icon Saracen appeared on all eight seasons of the original show, but later traded in his TV fame for a role as a fireman.

When applying for the show, Michael tried out with his girlfriend – now his wife – who became one of the contenders in the first season.

He’s now retired, but has made and in 2015

In a 2022 interview, he told Daily Star that he ‘never would’ve stopped being a Gladiator’ and could have ‘carried on forever’ had it not ended when it did.

When was the original Gladiators on TV?

Gladiators was first broadcast in October 1992 and ran until January 2000 on ITV.

A revival also aired on Sky between 2008 and 2009.

Who are the new Gladiators for 2024?

There are 10  confirmed. They are:

  • Fury (Jodie Ounsley) – a professional rugby player who is making history as the show’s first ever deaf contender
  • Steel (Zack George) – a Crossfit athlete who won the UK’s fittest man title in 2020
  • Giant (Jamie Christian Johal) – a firefighter turned bodybuilder, who, at 6’5″ is one of the tallest bodybuilders of all time
  • Fire (Montell Douglas) – a former Team GB sprinter and Olympic bobsledder
  • Legend (Matt Morsia) – a former Championship bronze medal-winning long and triple jumper, and silver medal-winning powerlifter
  • Nitro (Harry Aikines Aryeetey) – a Team GB sprinter and Commonwealth and World gold medallist sprinter
  • Diamond (Livi Sheldon) – a bodybuilder with a degree in Sports Science

Gladiators, ready! (Picture: BBC)
  • Sabre (Sheli McCoy) – a CrossFit champion and bodybuilder
  • Apollo(Alex Gray) – a former NFL player
  • Dynamite (Emily Steel) – a CrossFit athlete and under 23’s weightlifting British record holder
  • Athena (Karenjeet Kaur Bains) – a Team GB athlete and Guinness World Record holder
  • Comet (Ella-Mae Rayner) – a former elite gymnast, and fitness model and coach
  • Bionic (Matty Campbell) – a bodybuilder and former sprinter and footballer
  • Electro (Jade Packer) – a sports model, fitness coach and hybrid athlete
  • Phantom (Toby Olubi) – a Team GB bobsleigher and sprinter
  • Viper (Quang Luong) – a bodybuilder and fitness model (and has made an appearance in James Bond)

When is the new Gladiators on TV? How to watch

Gladiators is returning to TV on January 13, at 5.50pm.

All 11 episodes have already been filmed, as the live shows took place in the Utilita Arena in Sheffield in June last year.

The episodes will air on BBC One, and be available to watch on iPlayer.

Gladiators returns to the BBC and iPlayer on Saturday, January 13, at 5.50pm.