Remember Gladiators? Here’s What The Cast Look Like Now!
All together now: “Do you feel the power of the Gladiators? Do you have the will and the skill? Do you have the speed, the strength, the heart to be a winner, it’s not for beginners, deep down in your soul. Are you a Gladiator?”
Gladiators was on the air from October 1992 until January 2000, and we’re sure that like us, you absolutely loved watching it every Saturday evening.
We all had our favourite Gladiator, from the ripped muscles and questionable hair of Hunter to the beautiful Jet, and we would relish the opportunity to watch them battle the show’s various contestants.
But have you ever wondered what the Gladiators have been up to in the two decades since the show ended its run on our TV screens?
And would you even recognise any of the muscle bound heroes if you saw them on the street? Well, read on to find out what became of eight of our very favourite Gladiators!
“Contender ready! Gladiator ready! 3, 2,1…”
8. Wolf (Michael Van Wijk)
Wolf was of course the show’s pantomime villain, and Michael Van Wijk played the role extremely well, constantly getting ‘sent off’ for pushing contestants, referees and even occasionally presenters!
After she show ended, Van Wijk moved to New Zealand and opened a successful chain of gyms. He also recently appeared on the Gladiators Legends Special.
7. Shadow (Jefferson King)
Do you remember the Gladiators event called Duel? It saw Gladiator and contestants on top of platforms with only a pugil stick to attack and defend. It was dominated by Shadow, which may have unfortunately been partly down to the steroid use that saw Jefferson King eventually kicked off the show.
King continued to struggle with drug abuse for nearly two decades, and was even given jail time as he turned to a life of crime to pay for his addiction. We are however pleased to report that King is now clean, and currently works at a drug rehabilitation clinic.
6. Jet (Diane Youdale)
We’re sure that many of you will remember Jet, who unfortunately had to leave the show in 1996 after sustaining a neck injury.
Diane Youdale actually trained as a choreographer before joining Gladiators when she was just 22 years old. She currently works as a psychotherapist and recently launched her own company called Soul Dynamics.
5. Hunter (James Crossley)
We remember Hunter being a master of the event called The Wall, where contestants attempted to climb up a 36 foot climbing wall, while the Gladiators give chase and attempt to pull them off.
James Crossley was awarded the title of ‘Ultimate Gladiator’ after competing against his fellow male Gladiators in 1999. After leaving the show he also took up acting, and appeared in a number of plays, including Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
4. Saracen (Mike Lewis)
Saracen sure was a mean competitor, and Mike Lewis can still occasionally be seen on our TV screens, most recently in Ninja Warrior, in which he was sadly knocked out in the first round.
Lewis switched his career path quite drastically when Gladiators ended in 2000, becoming a Firefighter!
3. Lightning (Kim Betts)
Lighting was the longest serving of the female Gladiators, and was known as the queen of Hang Tough, which was an event where contestants had to swing between one platform and another on gymnastics rings, with the Gladiator doing their best to intercept them.
Unbelievably, Betts gave birth to a baby boy just three weeks before competing in the 1999 Gladiators series. She and her husband Francis also have a daughter, and recently returned to the UK after a time spent living in Spain.
2. Cobra (Michael Willson)
Cobra, real name Michael Wilson, shocked us last year when he revealed that he was often drunk when competing in the show, saying “I remember looking at The Wall and thinking, ‘I’ve got to chase this guy up it and I’m bleeding drunk’.”
These days, Wilson often teaches exercise lessons at schools and youth clubs in the West Midlands.
1. Rhino (Mark Smith)
Rhino was an absolute beast when it came to Gauntlet, the event where contestants attempting to ‘run the gauntlet’ by passing Gladiators armed with ramrods.
But Mark Smith is now better known as an actor, appearing in some big films that include Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.