BBC confirms 'Gladiators' is being rebooted in 2023

·Contributor
·2 min read
Ulrika Jonsson hosted the hit show. (George Bodnar/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
Ulrika Jonsson hosted the hit show. (George Bodnar/Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Sports game show Gladiators is being rebooted, the BBC has announced.

The series - which was hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and was a huge hit for ITV in the 90s - will return to screens next year.

The BBC said that the 11-episode series, made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK, would be filmed at the Utilita Arena Sheffield and will welcome a brand new generation of "superhumans who will compete against contestants in the ultimate test of speed and strength".

Read more: John Fashanu backs Gladiators for TV return

As well as classic challenges, there will be some brand new games for viewers to enjoy.

The Eliminator - which was the last event of the show and always a highlight - will be back.

The news comes amid speculation that there would be some sort of reboot or reunion as the programme is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kate Phillips, the BBC's director of unscripted, said: “Gladiators is back and a whole new generation of viewers can now look forward to watching a Saturday night spectacle like no other.

"Will the contenders have the will and the skill to succeed against our mighty new Gladiators? You’ll have to tune in to find out!”

Ulrika Jonsson was one of the hosts. (John Jones - PA Images via Getty Images)
Ulrika Jonsson was one of the hosts. (John Jones - PA Images via Getty Images)

Hungry Bear's managing director Dan Baldwin, who is Holly Willoughby's husband, said it was "the perfect time" for the much-loved show to make its comeback.

"What other show combines electric excitement, superheroes, giant sponge fingers, elite athletes, and a pinch of pantomime?" he asked.

"Watch out for the new breed of superhuman, supersized, superstars bursting on to your screens on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.”

The show was a huge hit. (PA Images via Getty Images)
The show was a huge hit. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Gladiators originally aired from 1992 to 2000 and was hosted by Jonsson and John Fashanu.

Read more: Gladiators star Cobra reveals he was sometimes drunk on the show

It saw members of the public going up against Gladiators including Jet (Diane Youdale), Hunter (James Crossley), Wolf (Michael Van Wijk) and Nightshade (Judy Simpson) in a series of gruelling challenges that tested their stamina and strength and was a massive success.

It was dropped in 2000, but resurrected in 2008. However, its comeback proved to be brief and it ended again in 2009.

Watch: Ulrika Jonsson on lost loves, surviving abuse and celebrating her body