'I messed up' - Joel Dommett makes Celebrity Gladiators confession amid spin-off rumours

Virgin Radio

16 May 2024, 10:23

Joel Dommett, Gladiators

Credit: Getty / BBC

Comedian Joel Dommett has finally addressed those Celebrity Gladiators rumours after accidentally suggesting he had a spot on the spin-off. 

The revival series of Gladiators became one of the biggest launches of 2023, immediately becoming a family-favourite on the BBC weekend schedules. 

Hosted by father-son-duo Bradley and Barney Walsh, the athletic challenge series introduced a new batch of superhuman Gladiators replacing the gang who first appeared on the original series from 1992 to 2000. 



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The original Saturday night show ran on ITV from 1992 to 1996, and then from 1999 to 2000, and was hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and footballer John Fashanu. At its peak, it drew a huge 14 million viewers and, over eight seasons, the likes of Wolf and Jet became household names.

Since then, show boss Dan Baldwin confirmed there would be a celebrity spin-off of Gladiators, with plenty of names being thrown into the ring. 

One of those names is Joel Dommett, mainly after he posted a post-gym selfie which hinted at a potential appearance on the star-studded series. 

Alongside a photo of Joel flexing his muscles, the caption read: “Ultimately we all just want to be a Gladiator and be hugged by Bradley Walsh.”

Many fans leapt into the comments section to get the lowdown on whether the Masked Singer star was indeed about to run through the Eliminator, but alas, Joel has now put those rumours to rest.

During an exclusive chat with virginradio.co.uk, Joel admitted he’d “messed up” posting that Instagram picture. 

Explaining the origins of the post and why people were begging for his Gladiators debut, the Survivor host shared: “I had a picture of me when I was doing Survivor. I looked pretty hench. I was thinking of a good caption, and you can't just go 'I look good in this'. That's not a good caption. 

“Instead I went ‘Oh, is there anything better than being a Gladiator?’ I just didn’t think about it.”

It turns out that when the story blew up about his Gladiators hint, Joel was out with wife Hannah on his first night away from newborn son Wilde, and it came as a surprise to see the headlines. 

“Suddenly the next day, and it was like, ‘Are you going to be on Celebrity Gladiators?’ I was like, ‘Oh no, I've really messed up here’. This is a PR disaster. Everyone's asking me about it.”

Joel insisted that while he “doesn’t know” if his time on Celebrity Gladiators is “a thing or not,” as a fan of the show, he would “happily do it.”

“It does look absolutely amazing,” he confessed. “I genuinely know some of the Gladiators and used to train with them. I've known them for a while and it's the dream job for them. They've done it so well and Bradley's brilliant.”

Joel was also chatting to virginradio.co.uk all about life as a new dad, having welcomed son Wilde Cooper-Dommett with Hannah in September. 

Joel and Hannah have recently joined forces with Pampers to save parents’ sleep, after the nappy company’s new research found that 3 million hours of sleep is lost every week due to night-time nappy leaks.

Speaking about the sleep deprivation and becoming a new parent, Joel revealed: “It's definitely been a roller coaster, that’s for sure. It changes life. But honestly, it's been so fun. I mean, as many parents will know, the sleep changes. It really does. 

“I've been working with Pampers a lot recently, and they've done loads of research into sleep deprivation. I think 82% of parents experienced sleep deprivation. Personally, I feel like that's lower than I would have thought!”

Despite the lack of sleep, the Survivor host did confess it’s still “the best thing” that’s ever happened to him. 

“I genuinely didn't expect to love him this much,” he continued. “I know everyone says the cliches…but the love is deep. You would do anything for this little thing.”