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Gladiators star Cobra claimed stars had orgies in hotel as he exposed show's dark secrets

Gladiators star Cobra claimed stars had orgies in hotel as he exposed show's dark secrets

The body-builder star has exposed several secrets from the show

24 years since it first disappeared from our television screens, the hit sports reality competition Gladiators is finally making its long-awaited return.

A brand new batch of body-building stars will take to the arena on Saturday night (13 January) to be welcomed by fresh-faced hosts, The Chase star Bradley Walsh and his son Barney.

BBC announced the launch of the reboot last year, 31 years after the original series - an adaptation of the American TV show of the same premise - was first broadcast in October 1992.

The show - fronted by fan-favourite presenter Ulrika Jonsson - fast became a favourite among 90s telly-lovers for its staggering physical challenges, utterly ripped contestants and, let's face it, iconically ugly outfits.

It ran for eight years, until January 2000.

Gladiators made several of its much-loved contestants super famous around the world, including British sportsman Michael Willson, otherwise known as 'Cobra'.

Despite the show coming to an end over two decades ago due to falling figures, Willson has continued to make a name for himself by exposing some of the original series' 'darkest secrets'.

Cobra was one of the original Gladiators on the show.
Comic Relief/Comic Relief via Getty Images

The programme saw competitors take on a number of physical challenges against the 'Gladiators', who were basically a bunch of athletes who you would never back yourself to beat at any sort of physical challenge.

But while they may have looked like they were in tip top condition, it turns out they apparently got stuck into all kinds of debauchery when the cameras weren't rolling.

In fact, Willson previously claimed he was sometimes bladdered while making the show.

Speaking to The Sun back in 2022, the now 60-year-old 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.

Willson claimed he was sometimes drunk on the show.
George Bodnar/Comic Relief via Getty Images

"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."

On top of the drinking culture, Michael said gladiators and crew members would meet up for communal bonk sessions at the Holiday Inn near the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, where the show was filmed.

"There were orgies going on in the hotel," he recalled. "I was cheesed off — no one invited me."

Guinness, orgies and getting paid to t**t people with big sticks - is it just me, or does this sound like the dream job?

Willson claimed his co-stars even enjoyed 'orgies'.
George Bodnar/Comic Relief via Getty Images

Aside from the hedonistic lifestyle, Cobra also claimed that the show was rigged.

"If you look at some of the old shows, on the travelator you see a little man's head," he said.

"There's a bloke sitting there. He can slow it down, because it's always dramatic when it's a close one right at the end.

"If someone's struggling it's easy to take the brake off so it goes faster suddenly and the guy they like is going to go up there.

"They would put someone like Warrior, who wasn't quick, on the wall.

"Then they know that the contestants that they like are going to get away and get the points."

LADbible previously contacted ITV for comment.

Featured Image Credit: George Bodnar/Comic Relief via Getty Images

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, Sex and Relationships, BBC