Gladiators TV show: New Gladiators cast revealed and it's giving us all the nostalgic feelings

Contenders READY!...Gladiators READY! All you need to know about the iconic revamped show as 'another one bites the dust'

Gladiators 2023 cast
(Image credit: BBC One)

If like me, you spent your weekends in the 90s figuring out how to recreate the Gladiators assault course in your back garden then you'll love that Gladiators TV show is making a comeback.

Yes, 16 new Gladiators are ready to take on the challengers - or competitors as they were known as in the OG series - to be pitted against each other for a series of physical games testing speed and strength.

Cue the giant 'cotton bud' fight on the podiums with players desperate to not fall off, the swinging and spinning gymnastic rings, and not forgetting the ultimate travelator and paper tearing finale - a fave. And it's bound to give parents sweaty palms at the thought of their kids running up the wrong way of the escalator the next time they're at the supermarket or shopping outlets.

The show, which is set to feature more lycra than Primark with the new costumes made by Burnt Soul, and be ready to get goosebumps as the unpredictable stars try to live up to their terrifying names as the iconic theme tune rolls.

Bradley Walsh and his son Barney Walsh are hosting the re-run - and their involvement runs in the family as fun fact - his wife Donna Walsh used to work as choreographer for the cheerleaders on the original series.

Here's all you need to know about the new BBC One show...

Gladiators 2023 cast

Top row – Left to right: Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro

  • Legend
    Needing no introduction, bringing his power and strength to the arena, he simply is Legend.
  • Fire
    Fire is fast, unpredictable, dangerous and will ravage anyone in her path.
  • Bionic
    Contenders stay out of the path of Bionic, he will crush anyone who gets in his way.
  • Diamond
    Don’t be deceived by Diamond’s bright beauty, she is unbreakable and super strong.
  • Nitro
    With his lightning fast speed and agility, contenders will have their work cut out getting past Nitro.

2nd row – Left to right: Electro, Giant, Steel, Apollo, Comet

  • Electro
    Electro will make sparks fly, so don’t be shocked when she unleashes her full force onto the contenders. 
  • Giant
    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.
  • Steel
    Steel is strong, he’s tough and just like Steel, nothing is going to break him! 
  • Apollo
    Apollo has the cheeky good looks of a Greek god and the speed of a rocket. He wants to win and won’t stop until he does. 
  • Comet
    Comet is a force of nature, flashing past you. Collide with her and you’ll be dust!

3rd row – Left to right:  Viper, Athena, Fury, Phantom

  • Viper
    A man of few words but beware, Viper vows to smash any contender that stands in his way.
  • Athena
    Just like the ancient Greek goddess of war and wisdom, Athena is a combination of brain, brawn and beauty.  She may be small but she’s mighty.
  • Fury
    Contenders beware, when that game starts you’ll feel the wrath of Fury.
  • Phantom
    Unbelievably strong and frighteningly unstoppable, Phantom is bringing all his force and will leave you shivering in his wake!

Bottom –  Left to right: Sabre, Dynamite

  • Sabre
    Fierce, powerful and agile, the main attributes of a Sabre, she’s fearless and ferocious, once she catches sight of prey, there’s no escape!
  • Dynamite
    She may look small, but do not underestimate Dynamite, she’ll blast into the competition and obliterate her opponents. 

Gladiators rumoured start date

Gladiators rumoured start date is expected to be sometime in 2023 but no official date has been set for the return of the 11 episode series. Filming is currently underway at Sheffield's Utilita Arena. Create 180 Ltd have been involved in the construction of the game props as they shared some pictures of the infamous gameplay items and captioned them, "Gladiators Ready! Building the Games".

And if anyone has ever tried making them at home DON'T. Believe me, filling carrier bags with clothes and taping them to either end of a mop or - in my case a plastic pole from the frame of my pop up Wendy house - standing on a dining room chair in the living room with the sofa cushions around the bottom isn't going to end well when competing against your older or even younger sibling. Just don't try it at home. watch it on the TV instead when it comes to BBC One and iPlayer.

And those lucky enough to get tickets to watch the shows being filmed are also loving the nostalgia. One audience member tweeted, "Relived my childhood yesterday and took my kids to watch the gladiators being filmed - long ass day but they loved it."

Another spectator tweeted, "Being at the gladiators today was amazing!!!! 7 and half hours of filming, Shouting, cheering and fun! Great end to half term. 6 weeks and it’s the summer holidays!"

And a third shared, "Yesterday I was an audience member while they were filming for the new Gladiator series. 12 year old me would have screamed much louder, but I gave it my best The new gladiators were incredible and the contestants did so well! NO SPOILERS HERE THOUGH."

John Anderson Gladiators replacement

John Anderson Gladiators replacement for the revamped show is Mark Clatternburg alongside Sonia Mkoloma and Lee Phillips. The ex-Premiere League football referee will be picking up his whistle to take on the prestigious role, Mark said, "It’s amazing. When you look back to when it first started in the 90s, Gladiators was so iconic and wherever you go in the world, people have heard of Gladiators. 

"Growing up, I used to sit and watch every show. John Anderson the original referee was so legendary. For me, it’s such an honour and such a privilege to now in 2023 to now be part of Gladiators. To be named referee after John Anderson is such an honour. Even though I’ve refereed some of the biggest games in the World – this is one the most amazing things I will do in my life.” 

Sonia is a former English international netball player who made her sporting debut in 1999, making 123 international test appearances. Sonia said, “I’m super pumped to be keeping an up close and personal eye over all the action. I’m not afraid to call out any rule breakers!”

Meanwhile, fitness professional, firefighter and athlete Lee Phillips, added, "It's exciting to be part of such an iconic TV show, I look forward to bringing all my knowledge and experience to the arena floor to keep the gladiators and contenders in line as part of the referee team."

Speaking about his new presenting gig, Bradley said, "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 ?!"

Grab your foam fingers and watch this space for its release date.

Gladiators is returning to BBC One and BBC iPlayer soon.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)