Gladiators used to be the best thing about Saturday nights. Roaring crowds, epic battles and lots of muscle flexing made for glorious nights on the sofa. So when the old gang got back together recently in Birmingham, where the original show was set, RadioTimes.com was hit by a powerful wave of nostalgia.
Wolf, Jet, Hunter and the rest of the team looked thrilled to see each other. The (still) incredibly loud referee John Anderson was there, as was presenter Ulrika Jonsson who was feeling the nostalgia: “Gladiators was a huge part of my life. I haven’t been back here [to the arena] since, I guess it must have been 1999 so it feels very strange.”
This brilliant 90s throwback took place for Saturday Night Story, an ITV show which looks back at how shows have evolved over the years.
So here’s the Gladiators crew, then and now…
Saracen, or Mike Lewis, now works as a firefighter, still occasionally appearing as his Gladiator alter ego for events and specials like Sport Relief.
Jet, or Diane Youdale, is now a trained psychotherapist and still does lots of TV and radio, appearing on a daily show on BBC Tees.
Wolf, or Michael Van Wijk, went back to Gladiators in 2008 as a team captain for a short-lived revamped show on Sky (it was cancelled after just a year). Michael has four children and lives with his second wife Paula in Auckland, New Zealand where he runs two “Wolf’s gyms” and still does lots of cage fighting.
Ace, or Warren Furman, was famous for a brief engagement to Katie Price in the late ’90s. These days he keeps a low profile. He lives in East Yorkshire and has a son called Bailey.
Hunter, or James Crossley, went on to train as an actor, and toured with Sir Peter Hall in Shakespeare’s As You Like It plus several other national productions. He now spends most of his time as a health and fitness specialist.
Lightning, or Kim Betts, spent 15 years in property development but now lives on a farm with her husband Frank and her children Lexus and Skye.
The Saturday Night Story starts on Saturday 15th August on ITV at 8pm