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BBC One are delving deep into 90s nostalgia and bringing back the Saturday teatime TV classic Gladiators.
Originally aired on ITV between 1992 and 2000, the hugely popular entertainment series featured members of the general public taking on “the mighty Gladiators” in strengths of speed, strength and skill.
The original show made household names out of Gladiators such as Wolf and Jet and the last ever ITV episode, which aired on New Year’s Day 2000, was watched by more than 6 million viewers.
Sky One brought the show back for two series, but this will be the first new series of Gladiators on British TV in 14 years.
Here is everything you need to know about the return of Gladiators to Saturday nights…
Who are the Gladiators presenters?
Father and son, Bradley and Barney Walsh have been confirmed as the presenters of Gladiators.
The duo have a strong connection to the entertainment show. Bradley's wife Donna was the head choreographer for the original Gladiator cheerleaders.
Bradley took part in a celebrities vs jockeys special in 1997 and Barney took some of his first footsteps on the arena floor as a young child.
"I can’t believe that I’ve been asked to be part of this iconic show," said Bradley Walsh.
"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 ?!"
His son Barney 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."
When does new Gladiators start?
Gladiators will air later in 2023 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
The much-loved Saturday night staple will be back with an 11-episode series.
Filming is taking place at the Utilita Arena Sheffield in June, which means the series will probably be ready to air in the autumn.
The show is expected to air alongside Strictly Come Dancing as part of a bumper evening of Saturday night entertainment on BBC One.
What do we know about the new Gladiators format?
The new series will include brand new games alongside classic challenges, culminating at the end of each episode with fan favourite The Eliminator.
"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!" said BBC director Kate Phillips.
Dan Baldwin, managing director of producers Hungry Bear said: "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."
How to watch new Gladiators? What channel is it on?
Gladiators has a new home on BBC One. The series will air on Saturday nights on BBC One and iPlayer.
Who are the Gladiators?
The new cast lineup of Gladiators haven’t been revealed yet by the BBC.
The original ITV series featured notable Gladiators such as Sharron Davies as Amazon, Diane Youdale as Jet, Kim Betts as Lightning, James Crossley as Hunter, Jefferson King as Shadow and Michael Van Wijk as Wolf.
Everything you need to know about the original Gladiators
Gladiators first aired in the UK in 1992 and ran for eight series. The last episode aired on ITV on New Year’s Day, 2000.
The series was hosted by Ulrika Jonsson for its full run. She was joined in different series by ex-footballer John Fashanu and former England rugby star Jeremy Guscott.
The show’s referee John Anderson also became a minor celebrity, becoming notable for having to control the rowdier and panto bad guy Gladiators such as Wolf.
John Sachs (Dancing on Ice, Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow) provided commentary on the series.
Famous winners of the series included Eunice Huthart, who went on to become Gladiator Blaze in later series. She went on to have a career as a stunt double for Hollywood stars including Angelina Jolie and Uma Thurman.
Series 5 winner Mark Mottram also became a stunt man, working for Pierce Brosnan on the James Bond films.
Sky One brought the series back in 2008, hosted by Ian Wright and Kirsty Gallacher. It got a second series, where Caroline Flack replaced Gallacher, but it was dropped by the channel in 2009.
How to get audience tickets for Gladiators?
Viewers can be part of the action by applying for free tickets on Applause Store to witness the new generation of Gladiators in action.
Filming will take place in and around the spring school holidays at the Utilita Arena, Sheffield, and audiences can be the first to experience the power in this spectacular family day out.
Dan Baldwin, managing director of Hungry Bear said: “Watching Gladiators live in the arena is the perfect day out for all the family. Being close-up to the action is going to be an incredible experience like no other. Plus, we're making the tickets free, so it won't cost you a penny to get in!”
Watch Gladiators on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.
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