Gladiators: Where are they now?

We investigate what happened to Jet, Wolf, Saracen and the rest of the 1990s Lycra-sporting TV stars.

Gladiators, the much-loved and missed 90s TV gameshow, celebrates its 25th anniversary this month.

It's a quarter of a century since John Fashanu and Ulrika Johnsson kicked off Saturday nights with the first 'Awooga!' and introduced Britain to Jet, Wolf, Warrior and the gang of muscle machines.

[Saturday Night TV Gold - A look back at Gladiators]

[Health and fitness tips from Hunter's Gladiator]

Jet (Diane Youdale), Hunter (James Crossley), Panther (Helen O'Reilly), Ace (Warren Furman) and referee John Anderson appeared on This Morning this week to celebrate the show's 25th birthday and remember the show's glory years, when it regularly pulled in millions of viewers.

Gladiators reunite on This Morning

Keep reading to find out what happened to the stars of the hit show:

[Read more: 10 important life lessons from Gladiators]

Jet (Diane Youdale)

Jet in Gladiators - Then and Now

A firm favourite with dads, Jet is probably the best remembered of the Gladiators despite having to quit the show in 1996 due to a back injury.

After being forced out of the show, she had a short career as a TV presenter with roles on Games World, You Bet! and Finders Keepers.

She has also worked as a trained psychotherapist, radio presenter and pilates instructor and still pops up with TV cameos on shows such as Celebrity Big Brother.

Speaking on This Morning about her memories, she said: "Injuries aside, it was amazing.

"A lot of the guys bounced back. I bruised my spinal cord quite badly and left after four and a half years."

Saracen (Mike Lewis)

Saracen in Gladiators - Now and Then

After lasting every series of the ITV show, smiley Saracen swapped Gladiators for the fire service.

He didn’t give up the showbiz life entirely, popping up on TV occasionally for Sport Relief and This Morning.

The hard-man also returned to screens earlier this year for ITV obstacle course entertainment show Ninja Warrior. Unfortunately for Saracen, he went out in the first round to the amusement of many viewers.

Hunter (James Crossley)

Hunter from Gladiators - Now and Then

The dashing heartthrob is probably best remembered for his romance with Gladiators host Ulrika Johnson, which earned the duo plenty of tabloid coverage in the mid 90s.

After the romance fizzled out (and the show ended), Hunter tried his hand at acting with touring theatre companies, even giving Shakespeare a go with a production of As You Like It in 2003-4. It was a long way away from the foam fingers, pugil sticks and travelators of ITV on Saturday nights.

More recently he’s started working as a “Body Transformation Specialist”. We think that means a personal trainer.

On This Morning, the star also revealed that he had turned to God.

"I had a real turd in the swimming pool moment. I used to think I was really blessed because I had all this money, girls, everything. I was too busy looking down at people to ever look up," he said.

"It was really interesting for me because God will forgive the sin. He'll take the turd out of the pool and you're in a relationship with him."

Lightning (Kim Betts)

Lightning from Gladiators - Now and Then
Able to demolish a contestant with the biggest of smiles, Lightning was one of the most popular Gladiators.

After the show finished she kept busy by moving to Spain, returning to Britain, presenting TV for the British Forces Broadcasting Service and even launched her own successful property business.

She now lives on a farm with her husband and two kids.

Cobra (Michael Wilson)

Cobra in Gladiators - Then and Now

We know very little about what 'The Cobra' got up to after Gladiators, but the last update we have is that he moved to the West Midlands and that he’s a respected local celeb.

The muscle-mountain was apparently a regular in the area at schools and youth clubs, teaching keep-fit and exercise lessons to those with biceps that aren’t the size of a small hippo.

Wolf (Michael Van Mijk)

Wolf from Gladiators - Then and Now

Every TV show needs its panto villain and the Wolf Man fitted the bill perfectly, bullying contestants, disobeying ref John Anderson and taunting the crowd at every opportunity.

Wolf returned for Sky’s ill-fated Gladiators revival as a team manager but the series flopped. He also was an unfortunate victim of TV spoof comedian Chris Morris, appearing in his controversial series Brass Eye.

Thankfully he’s had more success with his fitness career, launching his own Wolf’s Gym in New Zealand.

Describing his future ambitions a few years back, Wolf said that he would love to play the lead in Doctor Who.

“I've always wanted to play Doctor Who, obviously one with more muscle and aggression. I was so glad when it came back. I could campaign to get me on it, but I'd have to wear a wig, because I've lost my hair now,” he said.

Warrior (Michael Aherne)

Warrior from Gladiators

One of the most powerful and feared Gladiators, Warrior had one of the biggest falls after the show ended.

In 1997, he was sent to prison for corruption and perverting the course of justice in a firearms case and served part of a 15-month jail sentence.

Despite this set back, Aherne bounced back with his own business, Mike Ahearne’s Pro Gym, in Birkenhead.

Watch This Morning on weekdays at 10.30pm on ITV.

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Photo Credit: Rex/Shuttestock

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