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Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
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Here's what all the Gladiators with London connections are up to now

Here's what all the Gladiators with London connections are up to now

What fan favourites like Wolf and Jet are up to

When ITV show Gladiators burst onto out screens 28 years ago, it was instantly a hit.

We got to see people at the peak of their physical fitness battle it out for our own entertainment.

Contestants faced off against the Gladiators themselves, larger than life characters like Wolf or Jet who eventually became fan favourites.

There was no shortage of excitement to keep viewers hooked each Saturday night with millions of us tuning in to see the dramatic battles, eye-popping muscles and skin-tight lycra as contestants faced off against the fearsome athletes.

When the show finished many of the Gladiators went on to have successful careers.

Here's what the London members of the show are up to now.

Hunter - James Crossley

James Crossley played Hunter in the TV programme Gladiators


James, 45, was the youngest cast member as he was just 19 when he started and he became the Gladiators heart-throb.

He even ended up in a relationship with the show's presenter, Ulrika Jonsson.

They dated for a year between 1996 and 1997, and they kept their romance out of the spotlight until the telly presenter told all in her 2003 autobiography.

After getting out of the Gladiators game in 2000, James has kept up his love of fitness and is a keen weightlifter. He spent years pursuing an acting career and working in theatre.

He is currently working as a fitness instructor and personal trainer and runs his own successful consultancy business, Chelsea Fitness, along with teaching strength and conditioning at London Yoga Hub, which is in East Sheen, in Richmond.

Rhino - Mark Smith

Mark Smith as Rhino in TV show Gladiators


Mark, now 50 years old, from Acton in West London, was one of the stars of the original American version of the show before transferring to the UK version.

He exited the show in 1999 and went on to become a successful actor, living in Los Angeles.

He guest starred in EastEnders as "Johnson" for four episodes between March and May 2005.

Then he went over to the US, where he's starred in shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

His movie roles include parts in acclaimed dramas Yardie, Creed, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

He also made an appearance in Batman Begins.

Wolf - Michael Van Wijk

Wolf's antics made him one of the most popular of the Gladiators


Bodybuilder Michael Van Wijk was born in Mumbai, India before moving to England and becoming the star of the very popular 90s TV show.

For eight series Michael played the role of Wolf in the Gladiators and soon became the show's villain who thrived off giving contenders poor sportsmanship and taunting the presenters.

Commentator John Sachs once described him as a "horrible brute" and Wolf's aggressive behaviour included forcefully pushing presenter Ulrika Johnson after she mocked his poor performance after failing a challenge.

He also attacked presenter Jeremy Guscott after losing a hang tough battle and had to be reprimanded by referee John Anderson.

Despite being a very sore loser, audiences absolutely loved watching his every performance and he was a real hit on the show.

Before his stint on the prime time show he was a bodybuilder who owned a series of gyms - including Wolf's Fitness Centre (previously Matrix) in Hayes, Bromley.

He has now returned to that, living in New Zealand where he runs his own business - Wolf's Gym.

Jet - Diane Youdale


Diane Youdale was a trained gymnast, dancer and choreographer before joining the cast of the Gladiators in 1992 at the age of 22 as Jet.

She was instantly propelled into fame and soon became a pin-up for teenagers up and down the UK as she mastered her infamous hair flick and cartwheels on the show.

But unfortunately Jet's spot on the Gladiators was short lived when she sustained a neck injury after falling from the Pyramid and decided she would need to give-up her prime TV role in 1996.

After leaving the show, Diane turned her hand to presenting before training to be a psychotherapist in London.

But even before appearing on the Gladiators as Jet, Diane was already making a name for herself in the entertainment world.



She starred in the TV series, She-Wolf of London between 1990 and 1991, and appeared on stage with future James Bond star Daniel Craig at the National Youth Theatre as they performed a variation of a Shakespeare play.

Now 49-years-old Diane is still fit and fabulous, and has found huge success within a psychotherapy career and now encourages others to live a happy fulfilled lifestyle.

Although, some of you may also recognise her from axed TV show Big Brother’s Bit on the Side show as one of their ‘Psyche’s'.

Zodiac - Kate Staples


Kate Staples is a former pole-vaulter who starred in Gladiators as Zodiac.

She was born in Westminster, going on to break the British pole vaulting records more than 29 times.

She joined the show in 1993, starring until 1997.

She left when had a daughter with fellow Gladiator Trojan. Ella, as the baby was called, is Gladiator royalty with none other than Jet (Diane Youdale) as her godmother.

Kate now lives out in Surrey and runs various personal training businesses including the Daley Thompson Athletics Academy in Wimbledon.

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