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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amy Denman

Gladiators icon Falcon dies aged 59 after cancer battle

Gladiators star Falcon, real name Bernadette Hunt, has died at the age of 59 following a battle with cancer.

Bernadette's death was announced by Rick Jango, the partner of Falcon's sister.

The sad news was announced in a Facebook group.

A tribute to the Gladiators legend posted alongside a photo of her read: "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."

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

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

"She had been battling cancer for a number of years until sadly she lost he 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.

The sad news was met with an outpouring of tributes from fans.

One wrote: "Such sad news.She was the loveliest person RIP Bernie".

Another added: "Oh I’m so sad to hear this. Bernie was just the loveliest person. So warm and friendly. Please send my love and condolences to the family. Xx"

"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," a third wrote.

Another added: "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.

"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".

Bernadette joined the hit TV show for its second series in 1993 and was well known amongst fans as the 'nicest' Gladiator.

Falcon remained a core part of the show until 1999.

She also made appearances on International Gladiators between 1994 and 1995.

In the years following her TV fame, Bernadette worked as a fitness instructor in Basingstoke, according to reports.

Her career could have taken a very different path as it was previously reported she was accepted into the London Contemporary Ballet School at the age of 18.

However, her hopes of becoming a dancer were scrapped as she suffered a back injury.

Bernadette later took on body building and won the first competition she entered, which was Miss Natural Health in 1992.

She went on to win other titles including Miss Novice Britain, Miss London and Home Countries 1992 and Miss South Britain.

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