Gladiators Return as BBC Series Lineup is Finalised

Gladiators, one of the most exciting and energetic sports entertainment gameshows ever, will be returning to TV in its brand new home on the BBC – on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The much loved Saturday night staple will be back with an 11-episode series, made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK, and will welcome a brand new generation of superhumans who will compete against contestants in the ultimate test of speed and strength.

The new series will include brand new games alongside classic challenges, culminating at the end of each episode with fan favourite The Eliminator.

Viewers can look forward to feeling the power of the Gladiators once again and can enjoy the challenge of the champions later in 2023.

Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted at the BBC, says: “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!”

Scot Cru, EVP of Global Formats and Unscripted Content, MGM Television, says: “Gladiators is a format that resonates with viewers worldwide. We are thrilled to bring this revered series to the BBC and can’t wait to introduce our UK Gladiators.”

Dan Baldwin, Managing Director Hungry Bear, says: “It’s the perfect time for Gladiators to return. What other show combines electric excitement, superheroes, giant sponge fingers, elite athletes, and a pinch of pantomime? Watch out for the new breed of superhuman, supersized, superstars bursting on to your screens on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.”

Dom Bird, SVP MGM International Unscripted Television says: “MGM UK is incredibly excited to deliver a huge show with the scale, energy and drama that Saturday nights on BBC One are made for. It’s going to be an epic series, pushing our next-level Gladiators and contestants to the very limits of their physical abilities.”

Filming will take place at the Utilita Arena Sheffield.

Sabre, Apollo and Dynamite are the latest Gladiators ready to take on the contenders at the arena in Sheffield for one of the most iconic and exciting sports entertainment gameshows, coming to BBC One and iPlayer.

Fierce, powerful and agile; the main attributes of a Sabre and also of Sheli McCoy who joins the Gladiators line-up.

An unstoppable force, she describes herself as a ‘grafter’ and trains 16-19 hours per week! She has competed in 5 British Weightlifting Championships events and numerous CrossFit championships all over the world and has simultaneously been Scottish champion in both sports. Sabre runs her own gym in Dundee, hoping to inspire future generations to reach their full fitness potential.

Contenders be afraid of an attack from Sabre, she’s fearless and ferocious, once she catches sight of prey, there’s no escape!

Sabre (aka Sheli McCoy) says: “I truly hope Sabre will inspire and empower the younger generation of strong capable females just as the Gladiators I once watched inspired me to be a confident athletic women. It is Sabre’s time to shine – here come the powerful girls!”

With the cheeky good looks of a Greek god and the speed of a rocket, it’s no surprise Alex Gray has earned the name Apollo.

He started his career playing rugby under 16s and moved onto the Premiership and then England 7s team. He captained English Rugby teams for 16’s, 18’s and 20’s.

He was scouted to go to NFL for his skillset, making him the first British rugby player to transfer over to the NFL. Signed for Atlanta Falcons and then became the first international player to Captain an NFL team.

He trains hard wanting to be the best and has a super strong competitive nature.

Apollo wants to win and won’t stop until he does. Don’t be fooled by his smile and charm, if you’re in his way he’ll take you down.

Apollo (aka Alex Gray) says: “Gladiator ready?? You better believe I am!! After playing Rugby and in the NFL, the opportunity to inspire as Apollo is a dream come true. I plan on leading from the front and never giving up”

Small, explosive and dangerous, just like Dynamite, 20 year old, Emily Steel, is the youngest Gladiator in the current line-up.

With a background in swimming competing at a national level until she was 15 years old, she’s now a full-time elite CrossFit athlete, also juggling second year studies full time at university in sport and exercise science. Recently competing internationally at one of the largest fitness festivals in the world and becoming an under 23’s weightlifting British record holder.

Don’t underestimate Dynamite. She may look small, but she’ll blast into the competition and obliterate her opponents.

Dynamite (aka Emily Steel) says: “I’m too young to remember the original Gladiators, but my parents loved it and suggested I try out. Dynamite really does represent who I am and I’m excited to showcase what I can do in the games”.

Completing the line-up of superhuman Gladiators is Bionic, Electro, Phantom and the silent but deadly Viper.

They are ready to battle contenders at the arena in Sheffield and compete in the most iconic and exciting sports entertainment gameshow, coming to BBC One and iPlayer.


At a towering 6ft 6in Bodybuilder Matty Campbell is so massive and strong, he’s a machine, leading to his name Bionic.

As a child he used to sprint and play football, reaching Academy Level. He had hoped to become a Pro until he was involved in a car crash, it was his rehabilitation that led him to finding the gym.

Despite having never previously been a gym-goer, he found that he had a ability and he started gaining muscle. He soon fell in love with the gym and subsequently started Bodybuilding.

Contenders stay out of the path of Bionic, he will crush anyone who gets in his way.

Bionic (aka Matty Campbell) says: – “Never in a million years did I expect to get the call to be a Gladiator, it’s a feeling that’ll never sink in. I’m just a normal lad from Teesside! All the training and hard work has finally paid off for me, I can’t wait to get started!”


Jade Packer is a quick, electrifying, unstoppable force, earning her the name Electro. She’s the perfect mix of strength, speed and skill.

Now a sports model, fitness coach and hybrid athlete she started her journey as a sprinter. Her speed and abilities led to her being ranked amongst the Top 10 Fastest Runners in the UK aged 12 for 150m and she went onto to race for titles at various championships over the 100m and 200 m.

She got into Bodybuilding at the age of 18 after discovering the sport on Instagram. Her dedication to training won her 4 x Top 3 UKBFF Placings in the Wellness Category, an invite to compete at the Arnold Classic and an IFBB Elite Pro Card by taking Gold at the English Grand Prix.

After training for only a year before her first show, she became an instant sensation and went on to represent the UK in both Barcelona and Madrid throughout her 2 seasons.

Now training in CrossFit, with a unique hybrid-style that incorporates her athletic background, she describes running as ‘still her forte’ alongside her strength and power.

She is on a mission to fulfil her true ‘athletic potential’ – and has no fears or limits. Her strong work ethic means she’ll do everything she can to succeed.

Electro will make sparks fly, so don’t be shocked when she unleashes her full force onto the contenders.

Electro (aka Jade Packer) says: – I hope Electro can spark an unstoppable pursuit for a new generation of athletes. I’m ready to light up the arena with a different kind of energy.


Toby Olubi is so terrifyingly fast, unbelievably strong and frighteningly unstoppable, he lives up to his name Phantom.

Toby was part of the Team GB Bobsleigh team and competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. In the same season, he and his team broke the world record for the fastest ever bobsleigh at 97 mph. They also made history by bringing home Great Britain’s first-ever gold medal in the 2018 Whistler World Cup.

Aside from bobsleigh, he has also been a sprinter a domestic level and has won the county championship for the UK men’s 60m sprints and has frequently competed in the British men’s 100m sprint Olympic qualifying championships. Phantom has also won the title of fastest Bobsledder in the UK push championships for four consecutive year (2015-2019).

Contenders be very afraid, Phantom is bringing all his force and will leave you shivering in his wake.

Phantom (aka Toby Olubi) says: This is a dream come true for me. I’m a 90’s kid so the Gladiators of past were my version of real life superheroes. Now I’ve got the chance to don the big “G” and be an inspirational figure myself.

Gladiators is all about stepping up against the odds and bringing the best version of yourself. We will be given the biggest entertainment platform to represent that ethos and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be a Gladiator…. Let the show begin!!


For the past 15 years, Quang Luong has dedicated his life to fitness, spending each day perfecting the art of bodybuilding. But it’s his precision and silent but fast reactions, that led to the name Viper.

As well as bodybuilding, he boxes daily and prides himself on his speed. A fitness model, he’s often been cast in films in powerful roles, even appearing in a James Bond film as a gangster. Alongside his power and precision he’s looking to devour his competitors.

Viper is a man of few words, but beware Viper vows to smash any contender that stands in his way

Viper (aka Quang Lunog) says: “I was born to be a Gladiator. I am strong, powerful and just like a Viper I can attack with speed.”

Bionic, Electro, Phantom and Viper complete the Gladiators line up and join the previously announced Athena, CometSabre, Apollo, DynamiteNitro, DiamondGiant, Fire, LegendFury and Steel as part of the new generation of mighty Gladiators ready to challenge a brave set of contenders in the 11-part series made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Alternative UK. They will take part in the ultimate test of speed and strength in a series of brand new games alongside classics culminating with fan-favourite The Eliminator.

The original American Gladiators series was created by Johnny C. Ferraro and Dan Carr and developed by Johnny C. Ferraro.

Audiences can be the first to experience the power of the new Gladiators by applying for free tickets here (Terms and Conditions apply).

Further information about Gladiators including broadcast details will be announced in due course.

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