Gladiators' Wolf "wouldn't mind" cameo in revival, wants son to join cast
The former Gladiator spoke with this week's issue of Radio Times magazine.
The highly anticipated Gladiators reboot arrives on our screens this Saturday (13th January), 15 years after the competition show last aired.
The new series will see contestants taking on a fresh cast of Gladiators in a mix of brand new games and classic challenges, including fan favourite obstacle course The Eliminator.
One of the most beloved former Gladiators, Wolf (real name: Michael Van Wijk), spoke with this week's issue of Radio Times magazine and gave his verdict on the prospect of the reboot - saying he was "pleased" when he heard the news.
He said: "I’ll be interested to see it — I live in New Zealand now so I’ll have to watch it on YouTube. I’m just a bit sad my son isn’t taking part, which I would’ve loved. He’s a superb athlete and the spitting image of me. I thought it might add a nice layer to have Wolf’s son."
When it was pointed out to Wolf that there’s a Gladiator called Viper in the reboot, who has long hair and snarls at the crowd like he did, he said: "A carbon copy! Well, somebody has to be the baddie. It’s flattering; I guess they know how popular Wolf was."
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Wolf also said he "wouldn’t mind" a cameo in the show, adding that he could do it "tomorrow" as he still works out five days a week, "lifting weights with guys half my age".
Asked whether the new series will work in the present day, the star – who moved to New Zealand and opened a chain of gyms following the conclusion of the original show – suggested that the revival might struggle to equal the 1990s version, at least when it comes to overnight viewing figures.
"No disrespect to the new Gladiators but there’s a lot more competition now with streaming and social media. We pulled in 13m viewers at our peak. They’ll have difficulty matching that."
Wolf isn't the only former Gladiator to have entertained the possibility of a return - Jet also said she would have liked to have been involved in the new series, when speaking exclusively with RadioTimes.com.
She said: "I was contacted to go and sit in the audience and have a few interviews. I would have liked to have done consultancy work behind-the-scenes because I'm a psychotherapist and I also know the arena inside out.
"I'd love to have done some background interviews about what's going on for you psychologically, how you go about going into that arena and approaching that event and this contender whose proven themselves to be awesome. I'd love to have done that."
Gladiators will air on BBC One and iPlayer on Saturday 13th January 2024 at 5:50pm.