Whatever Happened to Gladiators?

Contestant- rrrready! Gladiator- rrrready!”

Bet you haven’t heard that for a while, have you?

It’s been thirteen years since Referee John had us on the edge of our seats with those four powerful words, but it seems like just yesterday that we got all red faced over an eppy of Gladiators. We’re not talking the one year revival flop. Oh no no no, that mattered less to us than the return date on our blockbuster video.

We’re talking classics.

Admittedly, it wasn’t the most glamorous show on TV. Think electric perms, satin boxer shorts and socks with sandals. Not to mention those cheesy grins and thigh-scraping bodysuits that shone in the dark. The signature Gladiator left very little to the imagination. There wasn't a chiselled inch of Wolf that wasn't burned into your retinas. Thank goodness we had small TV’s.

Though I think that’s why we found it so loveable: like an old sofa on a cold winter’s day. “We Will Rock You” never failed to lull us to sleep after all the Eliminator induced excitement was gone. Besides, the cheese was all part of the fun. It was the naughty nineties, and Gladiators was unarguably the greatest game show in late British history. Shut up. It was.

The show had fans in Sweden and Oz too, which shows that the love of latex is a worldwide phenomenon.

Another international staple was the smarmy arsed contestants, who soon learnt greasing their limbs with baby oil and untying their shoe laces would give them the upper hand. The contestant always won in the end, everybody knew that. 

Cheating gits.

Things weren't quite so rosy for all the Gladiator clan: dark haired beauties Jet and Scorpio kicked their careers thanks to back injuries. It’s not all bad news, though. Scorpio is now writing creative literature and Jet is helping kids beat life destroying bouts of bulimia. 

Good on them!

Now it’s 2013 and there’s nothing decent left to watch on the telly. LWT hasn’t produced anything nearly as great since and our dreamy haired superstars have gone on to do grown-up things: Vulcan appeared in “The World is Not Enough” alongside Peirce Brosnan, Lightening is living in France with her family and Amazon has three beautiful children.


As touching as this is, we’d still give our right arm to have The Gladiators back on our box. At least Referee John is still a ref.

3…2…1... BOOM!

Words by Leonie Ann Garlick