Gladiators fans share ‘gay awakening’ memories as reboot draws huge viewing figures

Gladiators arrived on the BBC after 24 years and LGBTQ+ fans are gagged

Nineties gameshow Gladiators rebooted on the BBC on Saturday night (13 January) to explosive viewing figures and LGBTQ+ fans are reminiscing on the show’s cultural impact.

From 1992 to 2000, the lycra-clad Gladiators dominated British TV with a healthy dose of dazzling abs, super-human speed and gorgeous faces for the British public to feast upon each week.

The popular entertainment series introduced the world to some iconic characters from Jet (Diane Patricia Youdale) to Gladiators winner turned pro, Eunice Huthart (aka Blaze).

Naturally, baby queers underwent their own sexual awakening while the show was airing back in the day. Over two decades (and one failed Sky revival) later, the Gladiators reboot is carrying on this tradition.

The latest cast, Apollo, Athena, Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro, Electro, Giant, Steel, Comet, Viper, Fury, Phantom, Sabre, and Dynamite, are already delivering with their Lycra-clad looks and jaw-dropping talent.

The season premiere – hosted by father-and-son TV personalities Bradley and Barney Walsh – saw our 16 Gladiators go up against four contestants across a variety of athletic challenges. The familiar format proved a great success with the BBC Press Office announcing the episode hit a peak of 6.4 million viewers (averaging at six million).

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And that isn’t the only area the new series has cause for celebration in.

“I’m pleased to say that the new Gladiators is as CAMP and HORNY as it was when it made me gay in the 90s,” one person wrote, after viewing the first episode of the new series.

Gladiators was one of the things that made me aware of my sexuality in the 90’s,” another wrote. “Pleased to say tonight it’s letting me know my queer little [ass] is still gay a.f!”

Gladiators airs every Saturday at 5:50pm on BBC One and will available to catch up with on BBC iPlayer.

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