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Strict rules Gladiators reboot contestants will have to follow ahead of return

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Strict rules Gladiators reboot contestants will have to follow ahead of return

Fans of classic UK telly rejoice, because it has finally been confirmed that Gladiators is set for a return to our screens next year. Here's a little taste of the stuff we can expect to see once the show does return.


The revival announcement came from the BBC back in August, with the show returning after 14 years away from the limelight.

That’s right – the show is set to be on the BBC instead of on ITV, but we can still expect more of the same from the new incarnation.


That means we’ll have ordinary athletic folks competing against gargantuan Gladiators in feats of skill, agility and strength.

Presumably, that will end with a run up a travelator and a swing through a branded sign at the end.

However, with the old series the subject of a lot of speculation in recent times regarding the use of performance enhancing substances and drugs, it has been speculated that this time around the BBC is laying down a hard set of rules that must be followed by the Gladiators in order to avoid a similar controversy.

An ‘insider’ quoted by The Sun says that the Beeb are ‘hell bent’ on keeping next year’s contest ‘clean as a whistle’ meaning that the ‘superhumans’ that we’ll be seeing on screen will have to be created by entirely human means.


That means more of a Batman vibe than a Superman, you’d have to imagine.

The original Gladiators. Credit: ITV
The original Gladiators. Credit: ITV

The idea is that the Gladiators themselves will not become embroiled in scandal regarding performance enhancing drugs such as steroids, as well as more traditional and recreational drugs such as cocaine, which it has been alleged was a problem on the previous iteration of the show.

The insider is quoted as having revealed: “They have their work cut out on this one because the type of eye-popping muscles they will want displayed on screen don’t just come from eating lettuce, chicken and protein shakes!”


Well yeah, if we’ve learned anything from the Liver King in recent times, it’s that not everything is quite what it seems.

According to the same source, applicants to become contestants on the show are being asked questions about who would play them in a movie about their life, as well as what their ‘superpower’ is.

The team behind the revival also ask hopefuls to list their GP, who may be required to provide medical evidence they're not taking steroids. They'll also need to consent to routine drugs testing during filming.

A lot of the speculation about what used to go on back in the day came from an interview that was given to The Sun by ex-Gladiator Cobra.


Cobra, known outside the arena as Michael Willson, said that he used to drink heavily on filming days and crew members even had orgies during his time, though he says he wasn’t invited.

Expect more pugil stick action as well. Credit: ITV
Expect more pugil stick action as well. Credit: ITV

He said: "There were about three shows I was drunk on.

"Sometimes I would have six pints of Guinness, and two hours later I'm out in front of the cameras.


"There's one show when I'm on the game called swingshot, which is like a bungee, and you can hear me going, 'Ada ada wee'.

"I remember looking up the wall, chasing the guy who had ten seconds head start. I'm seeing two of them. I'm thinking, 'Which one have I got to catch?'

"Ironically, I did catch him."

He added: "There were orgies going on in the hotel,

"I was cheesed off — no one invited me."

LADbible has contacted BBC for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Granada Media International

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, BBC, ITV, Health

Tom Wood
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