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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Daniel Bird

Gladiator legend Falcon hung up her leotard for new career before her death

Gladiators legend Falcon hung up her shiny leotard after finding fame and opted to live a quieter life with a very different job.

The star, whose real name was Bernadette Hunt, sadly died aged 59 earlier this month following a battle with cancer.

Despite shooting to fame on the popular show having previously competed in pageants such as Miss Natural Health, she decided that a life away from the camera was more suited for her.

Bernadette first appeared on Gladiators in 1993 during series two, before she finally hung up her leotard in 1999 during series nine, as well as appearing in stints such as Sheffield Live and Wembley Live.

She was widely regarded as one of the kindest Gladiators, Falcon was always on hand to congratulate people even if she didn't win the competition.

Gladiator's Falcon had a very different life away from cameras (REX/Shutterstock)
The star first appeared on the show back in 1993 (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Following her stint on the show, she instantly became known for her loveable persona, taking time to chat to fans as well as signing autographs.

Despite her fame, Bernadette opted to channel her energy into becoming a fitness instructor at Basingstoke Sports Centre, where she regularly held classes.

Sadly, her death was announced earlier today, by the partner of Falcon's sister in a heartfelt Facebook post.

In a post on a Facebook group for the show, Rick Jango said: "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you of my partner's younger sister Bernadette Hunt.

"Most people will remember her as Falcon From the hit TV Show Gladiators."

Falcon died following a battle with cancer (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
The TV star worked as a fitness instructor in Basingstoke (LWT)

It continued: "I had the privilege to be in her company a few times & I have to say she was one of the most loveliest people I have ever met

"She never had a bad word to say about anyone, indeed she was always known a the nicest 'Gladiator' always stopping to speak & sign autographs for anyone.

"She had been battling cancer for a number of years until sadly she lost the fight R.I.P. Bernie."

In a later comment, it was confirmed the funeral for the TV star would be a private one attended only by family.

Fans went on to pay tribute, with one writing: "So sorry to hear this. Bernie was an absolute gem and one of the most giving people you could meet. Condolences to the family. A sad day RIP."

"Absolutely heartbroken to hear that Bernie has died. When I arrived in Basingstoke I joined the gym and she was the lady that did my induction and became a friend," said a second before adding: "She ALWAYS made everyone feel amazing, she knew everyone's name, she made it so personal and the world just got a little colder without her warmth."

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