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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Mark Jefferies & Harry Rutter

Gladiators original 90s stars unrecognisable as new stars revealed ahead of BBC reboot

Gladiators are ready! The first two competitors Fury and Steel have been revealed - along with the new hosts of the BBC reboot of Gladiators.

Bradley Walsh and son Barney will front the revamped Gladiators, which was originally broadcast from 1992 to 2000 on ITV.

The 11 part series will see a new generation of "superhuman Gladiators" compete against a brave set of contenders in the test of speed and strength. And the first two new fitness fanatics who will take on the contenders were named last night.

Professional Exeter Chiefs Rugby Player Jodie Ounsley has been named ‘Fury’ thanks to her power and passion for competition.

UK CrossFit star Zack George won the title of the UK’s Fittest Man in 2020. He has appeared on. the cover of Men's fitness magazines and his unbreakable strength has earned him the name ‘Steel’.

Bradley and Barney Walsh have been confirmed as hosts (David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)
The father and son duo will front the reboot (Getty Images)

Competitors from the general public will take part in a series of brand new games alongside classic challenges including fan favourites Duel, Hang Tough and The Eliminator - the gruelling obstacle course .

The competition will kick off at the Utilita Arena Sheffield in June.

Announcing their new hosts, the BBC said the show "has always been a huge part of the Walsh family" as Bradley's wife Donna was head choreographer for the Gladiator cheerleaders and Bradley appeared in the Celebrities vs Jockeys special in 1997.

As fans of the iconic series get excited about the reboot, we take a look at what the stars of the ITV show are up to these days.

John Anderson - Referee

John was snapped walking his dog (
He was the original Gladiators referee (LWT)

Now 90-years-old, Anderson appeared to have swapped contender Wolf for a friendlier furry pal as he enjoyed a stroll in Leicestershire with his dog.

He was renowned for keeping the Gladiators in check in a no-nonsense fashion and uttered the words “Contender Ready... Gladiator Ready” at the start of every game.

When the Gladiators reunited on This Morning on ITV in 2017, viewers said Anderson had barely aged a day.

They Tweeted at the time: "John Anderson doesn't look a day older haha!"

Ulrika Jonsson - Host

Ulrika was spotted shopping in Oxfordshire (

Ulrika, who presented every series of the show on ITV was spotted shopping in Oxfordshire.

The host recently shared a string of selfies to celebrate her 55th birthday and in one she was topless.

The mum-of-four posted the smoking snap on Instagram in which she lies in bed looking longingly at the camera.

In another shot the presenter sticks her middle finger up while in a third she holds up some freshly baked bread grinning from ear-to- ear. Captioning the snaps, Ulrika wrote: HBD to me!!! Newest member of Club 55.

“I’m smart. I’m funny - peculiar AND haha. I’m kind. I’m generous. I’m lively and opinionated. I’m stronger than you could ever imagine. I’m also soft af. I’m impatient. I’m filthy. I’m perceptive and know you better than you know yourself."

James Crossley - Hunter

James was seen out for a walk in south west London (
He famously had a fling with Ulrika (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

James, who played Hunter on Gladiators and famously had a fling with Ulrika, was seen out for a walk in south west London.

He first found fame many years ago on the popular TV show and since went on the appear on the third series of The Circle.

He raised eyebrows last year when he went into the show, where you can chose to lie about your identity, impersonating an NHS nurse named Gemma.

Asked if he was worried about any backlash he might get about his chosen persona not being real, James, at the time, said: "I don't think so because that's the name of the game, isn't it? It's not like people are walking in blindfolded.

If you can't see the poll, click here

"They all know that there's catfish in there, it's transparent so I don't really see why somebody would kick off. But it’s hard to know because I've never been in this bubble-like situation to see and understand how connected you get to people.

"I also feel that I’m using the nurse aspect of my catfish for the right reasons. The NHS have patched me up countless times over the years. They are absolute heroes and that has been highlighted hugely through this pandemic. I want to win for them."

Helen O'Reilly - Panther

Helen O’Reilly was spotted carrying bottles of water (
A gym was named after her Gladiators character Panther (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Meanwhile, Helen was spotted carrying bottles of water into her West London gym which is named after her Gladiators character Panther.

She joined Gladiators from the beginning in 1992 and is one of Britain's top women bodybuilders.

She has reigned as Miss Central Britain, Miss Europe, Miss North Britain, Miss England, Miss World, Miss Great Britain, Miss Russia and Miss Universe.

Helen now runs Panthers Gym in Uxbridge full-time after leaving the fifth series of Gladiators in 1996.

Michael Wilson - Cobra

Cobra was spotted on the Kent coast walking his pet pooch (
The athlete was part of the original Gladiators (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Michael, also known as Cobra, was spotted on the Kent coast walking his pet pooch - still wearing all blue like his Gladiators costume.

The athlete, who was part of the original Gladiators line-up when it started in 1992, revealed in 2019 that he was often 'bleeding drunk' while battling contestants.

But while he was super fit and had rippling muscles, Cobra says he'd often struggle to chase contestants up the infamous 32ft-high wall because he was so drunk.

The 55-year-old told The Guardian: "I remember looking at The Wall and thinking, 'I've got to chase this guy up it and I'm bleeding drunk'." Cobra says some of his fellow stars took it very seriously though.

He added: "Hunter, the swot, would be up there early in the morning, practising on the Wall. That’s why he used to catch everyone."

Cobra says when bosses found out about his boozing they wanted to ask him, but the production crew stood up for him and he kept his job until 2000.

Speaking of the brand-new series of Gladiators, Kate Phillips, director of unscripted at the BBC, said: “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!”

Gladiators is coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in June

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