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Gladiators' Wolf says other contestants took advantage of their fame

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Gladiators' Wolf says other contestants took advantage of their fame

One of the most famous stars of Gladiators says that some of his co-stars took advantage of their celebrity during the show’s 90s heyday.

If you fancy a blast from the past, you can take a look at a vintage Gladiators clip below:


Gladiators was a seriously big show for a long time there, absolutely dominating prime-time weekend telly.


Featuring ordinary folks – well, pretty athletic ordinary folks – competing against each other and against the chiselled Gladiators, the contestants had to perform various bizarre and unusual feats of athleticism.

From bashing each other around with pugil sticks - ask your dad, kids - to hanging around on a gigantic net-covered football, the show had a bit of something for everyone.

Right at the centre of that was the infamous Wolf.

He was the pantomime villain of the show, with his every appearance greeted by a hail of boos.

The Wolf (farthest left) with his co-stars. Credit: ITV
The Wolf (farthest left) with his co-stars. Credit: ITV

In truth, the Wolfman was really called Michael van Wijk and he’s nothing at all like his on-screen persona.

Starring on the show between 1992 and 2000, Wolf was one of the main reasons everyone kept tuning in.

Everyone loves a good scoundrel, right?


However, he didn’t let his success go to his head, as he claims some of his colleagues did.

Speaking with the Daily Star, Wolf said: “I don't think people thought it would take off how it did. It went from zero to 100.

"I went from being able to go shopping in the mall to not being able to do that anymore.

“Next thing there would be 200 people around me."


While Wolf was married and a bit older, so travelled with his wife, that wasn’t massively concerning for his fellow Gladiators, who used their fame to live the high life.

"What a lot of the other Gladiators did, and they made the mistake of doing it because they were single, they were taking advantage of what they could do," he said.

"Every show I did, my wife stayed in the hotel with me and we'd order room service and watch a movie, so I'd be up and fresh the next day to perform.

“But how you perform decides whether you come back next year.


"And then we get up in the morning to go to breakfast and we'd see girls in evening dresses leaving the other Gladiators rooms.

“Then we'd be down at breakfast and they would be like, 'Oh, I've been up all night. I'm shattered'."

The whole cast of Gladiators. Credit: ITV
The whole cast of Gladiators. Credit: ITV

But, if you’re knackered from burning the candle at both ends, it’s not the most professional thing to do.

The Wolfman added: “You had to treat it like a professional athlete.

"You can do whatever you want afterwards, take advantage of being a celebrity.

"But don't do during the filming because all you're doing is destroying yourself to get into a future show."

Sound advice from the Wolf, there.

Not that most of us need to worry about becoming a professional Gladiator, anyway.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, ITV, TV and Film, Celebrity, Weird

Tom Wood
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