It's the surprise standout entertainment show so far this year, and it's safe to say that Saturday nights in have been changed for the better with the return of Gladiators.


The revived series has notched up a loyal legion of fans - new and old - so far, but according to a Gladiator from the original series, the hosting talents of Bradley and Barney Walsh are slightly lacking.

Speaking to The Daily Star, original Gladiators and Cobra star Michael Wilson was asked about what could be improved, and said: "The outfits. They're really unflattering and just horrible, really. I thought they could have done a lot more with them."

He went on to speak about the father-son presenting duo and said: "I'll have to watch a little more, but after initially seeing them, I'm not sure if was the right fit."

The pair present the popular series, which sees contestants go head-to-head with the Gladiators and, eventually, each other in a series of physical challenges and one brutal Eliminator to crown a winner.

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Bradley and Barney Walsh in the Gladiators arena surrounded by the 2024 Gladiators and referee.
Gladiators hosts Bradley and Barney Walsh with the cast. BBC

Although Wilson may not have warmed up to Bradley and Barney Walsh just yet, it seems as though the presenting duo don't deter many viewers from tuning in - with official ratings declaring Gladiators to be the biggest entertainment launch for the BBC in seven years.

The BBC previously announced that Gladiators attracted an audience of 8.7 million across its first week, reaching major success with the 16-34 demographic (which comprises 1.1 million of that total).

At the time of those figures being announced last month, Kalpna Patel-Knight, head of entertainment at the BBC, said: "The return of Gladiators has taken the nation by storm, with viewing figures showing that Saturday nights in are back on BBC One for all the family.

"The hugely popular presenting duo of Bradley and Barney, combined with the timeless excitement of seeing the Gladiators and contenders in action, means the series continues to captivate audiences across the UK."

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The rebooted series features many of the beloved original show challenges, such as Powerball, The Wall and Hang Tough, but also includes new tasks like The Ring, Collision and The Edge.

As well as the Walshes at the helm presenting the show, referee Mark Clattenburg and commentator Guy Mowbray also feature, with a slew of Gladiators primed and ready to take on the hard graft of the challenges involved.

Gladiators airs on BBC One on Saturdays at 5:50pm. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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