Gladiators (British series 7)

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Gladiators (British series 7)
StarringUlrika Jonsson
Jeremy Guscott
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes15
Original networkITV
Original release5 September (1998-09-05) –
12 December 1998 (1998-12-12)
Series chronology
Next →
Series 8 (1999)

Following a dip in audience figures from the previous series, several changes were implemented for this series. Four gladiators left the show - Warrior (Michael Ahearne) was sacked after being arrested for a firearms offence. Gold (Lize Van Der Walt), Khan (Radosev Nekic) and Rocket (Pauline Richards) also departed, all three had only lasted one series. Two new gladiators joined the team, Diesel (Darren Crawford) and Vulcan (John Seru). Vulcan joined the UK series after his native Australian series had been cancelled, and was essentially brought in to give established bad guy Wolf (Michael Van Wijk) a run for his money. This dropped the number of gladiators for this series to fifteen. Somewhat strangely though, neither Diesel or Vulcan's faces were added to the opening credits of the show.

Furthermore, this series introduced new costumes for the gladiators. The iconic individual kits that signified each gladiator's identity were out, and in came a new, unified kit which looked more the same on every gladiator with the design's slightly altered on each one so that no gladiator had the same or similar outfit style.

Four established events were given major facelifts. Powerball now featured two contenders against just two gladiators, with each gladiator targeting a specific contender. Pendulum now became a game where contenders had to light flashing sectors to score points before they were caught in the usual way, with 2 points each for three main sectors and a special 4 point sector located at the bottom of the pendulum, if the gladiator falls, the contender still automatically scored 10 points. Gauntlet's point system changed to scoring 10 points for completing regardless of the time, which remained at a 30-second limit, if a contender was beaten by the clock, they would score a point for every gladiator they got past. And on Whiplash, the design of the dogbone was changed to make the game more of a challenge for both the contender and the gladiator.

Finally, more behind the scenes cuts were used in this series, this included showing the backstage coin toss for certain events when contenders discovered which gladiator they would face in each one.

New events[edit]

Three new events were introduced in this series. Pyramid was axed for a second time after its redesigned format in the previous series received a poor reception from viewers. In total, nineteen events were used, the most in any one series. The only events that did not appear in this series were Tilt, Joust, Pyramid and Pursuit.


Contenders and Gladiators face one another on bungee cords. Contenders have sixty seconds to deposit as many balls as possible into their goal basket, which the gladiators have to defend. Two points are scored by the contender for each "goal".


Contender and Gladiator are each strapped to their own airship (blue for the contender, red for the gladiator). Using hi-tech combat clubs, they have thirty seconds to try and eject their opponent from their airship. Two strikes to their body hit sensor results in an ejection. A contender scores five points for hitting the gladiator once and ten points for ejecting them.


Contender and gladiator climb up a giant pole and must use only their body weight to traverse across four other similar poles, before grabbing a giant ring to fly back down to the floor. If the contender wins, they will score ten points, if the gladiator wins, the contender scores a point for every pole they have successfully traversed.


Episode Title Original airdate Viewers[1]
1"Heat 1"5 September 1998 (1998-09-05)[2]Under 6.67
2"Heat 2"12 September 1998 (1998-09-12)[3]Under 7.13
3"Heat 3"19 September 1998 (1998-09-19)[4]Under 5.63
4"Heat 4"26 September 1998 (1998-09-26)[5]Under 5.76
5"Heat 5"3 October 1998 (1998-10-03)[6]Under 6.22
6"Heat 6"10 October 1998 (1998-10-10)[7]Under 6.12
7"Heat 7"17 October 1998 (1998-10-17)[8]Under 6.20
8"Heat 8"24 October 1998 (1998-10-24)[9]Under 7.31
9"Quarter-final 1"31 October 1998 (1998-10-31)[10]Under 7.06
10"Quarter-final 2"7 November 1998 (1998-11-07)[11]Under 6.80
11"Quarter-final 3"14 November 1998 (1998-11-14)[12]Under 6.18
12"Quarter-final 4"21 November 1998 (1998-11-21)[13]7.08
13"Semi-final 1"28 November 1998 (1998-11-28)[14]6.76
14"Semi-final 2"5 December 1998 (1998-12-05)[15]7.34
15"Grand Final"12 December 1998 (1998-12-12)[16]7.02


  1. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  2. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0003)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  3. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0001)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  4. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0005)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  5. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0004)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  6. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0002)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  7. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0006)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  8. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0007)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  9. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0008)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  10. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0009)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  11. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0010)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  12. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0011)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  13. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0012)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  14. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0013)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  15. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0014)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  16. ^ "GLADIATORS (EPISODE 0015)". ITN Source. Retrieved 15 July 2017.