Gladiators: Where are Jet, Wolf and the other original cast members now?

Virgin Radio

2 Aug 2022, 13:46

The cast of Gladiators

Credit: Rex

Now that the Gladiators reboot is almost here, memories have inevitably been stirred of Saturday evenings watching the original show in the '90s.

Back then, Gladiators was essential viewing. It drew a whopping 14 million viewers at its peak, and if you weren’t sitting in front of your telly to hear the words, “Contenders, you will go on my first whistle. Gladiators, you will go on my second whistle, 3… 2… 1…”, simply, you were in the wrong place.

Gladiators ran for eight seasons and was presented by Ulrika Jonsson and John Fashanu, and the likes of Wolf and Jet became big celebs due to the show’s popularity. 

With a whole bunch of new Gladiators set to pull on their lycra for the BBC revival, are you wondering what happened to the muscle-bound athletes who battled with members of the public back in the day? Well, wonder no more.

Here are the stories of what became of some of them…


Everyone’s favourite big bad Wolf, Mike Van Wijk occasionally still performs on the New Zealand cage fighting scene, despite his advancing years (he’s 71). 


As reported by The Sun, Judy Simpson is an honorary president of the Women’s Sports Federation, having been a British heptathlete who competed at three Olympic Games.


Former boxer Michael Wilson was on the show from the first series to the last. He has suffered serious illnesses in recent years, including in 2019, pneumonia, pleurisy and a ruptured bicep.

He now spends his time promoting how keeping fit can be fun.


Diane Youdale, aka Jet, was many a teenager’s crush. After her Gladiators' career was cut short due to an injury, she went on to train as a psychotherapist and pilates instructor. 

She also has appeared on TV shows such as Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, The Big Fat Quiz of the 90s, and Mel & Sue.

She also got a legendary mention in an episode of I’m Alan Partridge.


Another ever-present Gladiator throughout the series, Mike Lewis then worked for the fire brigade, and has also taken on the Ninja Warrior course.


As well as being a bodybuilder, Kim Betts also now runs several businesses, including a beauty parlour and fishery, and she is a property developer. 

She lives on a farm with her husband and two children.


Mark Smith stayed in showbiz, appearing in massive movies such as Batman Begins, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Argo. He also provided one of the voices in the hit animated movie Zootopia.


Despite picking up a serious neck and back injury during the show, Helen O’ Reilly has remained in the fitness world, and started her own gym in Uxbridge with her husband.


James Crossley joined in series two and remained until the end. He is now a personal trainer, and runs his own successful consultancy business.

After doing some acting, the Gladiator recently appeared in reality show The Circle, catfishing as a nurse.


Amazon was Sharron Davies, who was already a big name before she appeared on Gladiators. 

She was a Team GB swimmer and gold medal winner, and is now a TV presenter.

Referee John Anderson

As big a star as any of the athletes was the whistle-wielding Scot in the referee’s outfit. 

John Anderson is still going strong at the grand old age of 90. He apparently only stopped playing tennis a year or so ago, and has continued to mentor and coach athletics stars in recent years.

You can read about more of the Gladiators from the original series over at The Sun.