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Contenders Ready! Gladiators Ready! Iconic series Gladiators returns

Gladiators TV show logo.

Gladiators, one of the most exciting and energetic sports entertainment gameshows ever, will be returning to TV in its brand new home on the BBC - on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The much loved Saturday night staple will be back with an 11-episode series, made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK, and will welcome a brand new generation of superhumans who will compete against contestants in the ultimate test of speed and strength.

Father and son duo Bradley and Barney Walsh will bring their charm, wit and on-screen chemistry to the Gladiators arena as they host the much anticipated, iconic sports entertainment show when it returns to TV.

Gladiators has always been a huge part of the Walsh family; Donna Walsh, Barney’s mum and Bradley’s wife, was head choreographer for the Gladiator cheerleaders on the original series. Bradley, and a very young Barney were regular visitors on set, with Barney taking some of his first steps on the iconic arena floor. Not to be outdone, Bradley followed in his small son’s footsteps when he took part in a Celebrities vs Jockeys special in 1997!

Bradley Walsh says: “Wow! I can’t believe that I’ve been asked to be part of this iconic show. 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?!“

Barney Walsh says: “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.”

The new series will include brand new games alongside classic challenges, culminating at the end of each episode with fan favourite The Eliminator.

As exclusively revealed on This Morning earlier today, Thursday 18 May, Giant, Fire and Legend are ready to duel and compete in one of the most iconic and exciting sports entertainment gameshows

Tv show gladiators.


Former firefighter turned bodybuilder Jamie Christian Johal has earned the name Giant. Standing at 6ft 5inches he made history by becoming one of the all-time tallest bodybuilders. Now he’s bringing that power into the Gladiators arena. He may look like a big, friendly giant, but don't be fooled, he won't be holding back when it comes to the games.


Blazing into the Gladiators stadium like a Flash is Montell Douglas. She’s fierce and will burn through the arena destroying anyone who gets in her way, earning her the name Fire.

Former Team GB Sprinter and Olympic Bobsledder, she held the British woman's record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds, smashing the previous record which had stood unbeaten for 27 years. In January 2022, Montell made sporting history to become the first female UK athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. In 2010, she won Commonwealth Gold in the 4x100m relay race in Delhi - and holds a European Under-23 Silver Medal in 100m. Montell moved into bobsledding in 2016, and the following year finished within the Top 10 at her World Cup debut. When competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Montell returned to the city where she had competed 14 years previously at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Montell loves inspiring women to achieve their dreams, no matter what age, height or background they’re from.

Contenders should beware of Fire. She’s fast, unpredictable and dangerous and will ravage anyone in her path.


Training up to six times a week in bodybuilding and powerlifting, former international athlete, Matt Morsia describes himself as a Legend - hence the name!

The former Championship bronze medal winning long and triple jumper, and silver medal winning powerlifter, loved the ‘showmanship’ of competing.

After retiring from international competitions, he continued performing to a huge audience becoming highly successful fitness influencer and professional YouTuber - amassing over 355 million views. In 2020, he released his first book, ‘The 24/7 Body’, which became a Sunday Times Bestseller, upon its release.

Bringing all his power and strength to the series, the contenders will not forget Legend.

Gladiators tv show

Giant (AKA Jamie Christian Johal) says:

"I feel like everything in life has lead me here. I’m honoured to be part of this iconic show that I watched as a child. I’ll be bringing my GIANT stature and personality so contenders better come prepared!"

Fire (AKA Montell Douglas) says:

“I’m so pleased I’ve been asked to be Fire! Being a gladiator has been a secret lifelong dream of mine. As a strong and powerful woman, I’m living proof that you can achieve your dreams, no matter what age or background, if you believe and keep pushing. I’m ready to light up the competition!”

Legend (AKA Matt Morsia) says:

"I've been training like a beast for the show but realistically I didn’t need to. I could’ve spent the last two months eating doughnuts and playing Dungeons & Dragons and I’d still be better than everyone else. I’m called Legend for a reason! I can only apologise for the irreparable damage I’m about to do to the contenders. Actually, that’s a lie, I’m not sorry at all. I’m actively looking forward to it"

Giant, Fire and Legend join the previously announced Fury and Steel as part of the new generation of mighty Gladiators ready to challenge a brave set of contenders.

Gladiators Fury and Steel.


Professional Exeter Chiefs Rugby Player, Jodie Ounsley, is named ‘Fury’ thanks to her power and passion for competition. A former England Women’s Rugby Seven’s player, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu British Champion and five times World Coal Carrying champion, she won the title of Deaf Sports Personality of The Year in 2020.

Jodie has Gladiators in her blood, her father was a contender on the show in 2008, and she has been training to outdo him ever since. When she was younger she even dressed up as a Gladiator and practiced the games in her living room! Contenders beware, when that game starts you’ll feel the wrath of ‘Fury’.


UK CrossFit star, Zack George, won the title of the UK’s Fittest Man in 2020, and also ranked number 26 out of a whopping 126,461 on the global CrossFit leader board! His unbreakable strength has earned him the name ‘Steel’.

Zack was motivated to help people with their fitness after undertaking his own personal fitness journey as a teenager. As Steel, he hopes that he can inspire a new, young generation of fans to get into fitness as well. Like Steel he’s strong, tough and nothing will break him, including those contenders!

Fury (AKA Jodie Ounsley) says: "Watching Gladiators growing up I was always in awe of their strength and power and now I am one! I hope contenders are ready to feel the Fury."

Steel (AKA Zack George) says: "I was inspired by the Gladiators as a child, but never imagined I’d be physically fit enough to be considered a ‘superhuman’! I hope a new generation of fans will look up to me as their new strong, unbreakable hero, Steel."

Viewers can look forward to feeling the power of the Gladiators once again and can enjoy the challenge of the champions later in 2023.

Audiences can be the first to experience the power of the new Gladiators by applying for free tickets here. (Terms and conditions apply)

Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted at the BBC, says:

“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!”

Scot Cru, EVP of Global Formats and Unscripted Content, MGM Television, says:

“Gladiators is a format that resonates with viewers worldwide. We are thrilled to bring this revered series to the BBC and can’t wait to introduce our UK Gladiators.”

Dan Baldwin, Managing Director Hungry Bear, says:

“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 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.”

Dom Bird, SVP MGM International Unscripted Television says:

“MGM UK is incredibly excited to deliver a huge show with the scale, energy and drama that Saturday nights on BBC One are made for. It's going to be an epic series, pushing our next-level Gladiators and contestants to the very limits of their physical abilities.”

Further information about Gladiators including broadcast details will be announced in due course.

Audiences can be the first to experience the power of the new Gladiators by applying for free tickets here. (Terms and conditions apply)


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