Contender ready! Gladiators ready! With cult TV show Gladiators set to return to our screens in the autumn in a blockbuster reboot, ICE 36 sat down with one of its most beloved stars, Diane Youdale, AKA Jet, to discuss the next instalment of the cult classic.
Read Diane's thoughts below as she looks forward to the new series release!
How excited are you about the reboot that will be shown on the BBC this year?
I’ve just had some pictures sent to me today from a producer on the show and I can’t tell you how amazing it looks! It is absolutely mind-blowing. The lighting colour scheme and the atmosphere – it is going to be amazing.
I always felt that the lighting on our version of the show was so important. It looks like they’ve added a lot more to the traditional red and blue lights – it looks a lot more dramatic. Even though the events take place in this huge, cavernous arena, they’ve manged to highlight the lighting schemes on each of them and they look really quite sexy and very beautiful.
I think that’s exciting because I really like the technical side of television and how these vast spaces are shot. I can’t wait to see it.
Do you think the BBC version will fare better than Sky’s attempted reboot in the noughties?
Without being disparaging to Sky, most definitely. The BBC show is being produced by Dan Baldwin, so I’m pretty confident it is going to be very good. I’m sure the budget will be quite big, and that the production value will be what the show deserves.
Sky did try to make it work, but it was in a tiny studio in Shepperton. I can remember going down to see it and interviewing some of the new glads. it didn’t have the scale of the original. The arena didn’t feel very gladiatorial or the production value.
I’m glad that they tried to make it work. People were excited about it coming back and they introduced some modifications to the events, like adding water to stop injuries from high falls.
They added elements like wind, fire and water. The girls and the boys were beautiful. I also felt like they were better athletes than the original gladiators because of the modifications to training and the overall advancement of fitness.
Unfortunately, the show didn’t get the ratings. From what I’ve seen, this is going to blow people’s minds.
What advice would you offer the new collection of Gladiators?
Be outstanding! I know that there going to be under a lot of pressure and filming is under way – I’ve seen there have been a few injuries, but that’s expected on a show like Gladiators. You can’t just be good on the events; you have to be so much better than the contenders. It’s not about being good, it’s about being very good!
The audience will be expecting you to be a gladiator and the contenders will be better than anything we’ve ever seen before because of the advancement in training and access to different training methods. It’s the job of the gladiator to show the disparity between the two roles. Even if one of the gladiator’s excels at one event, that’s better than nothing. The worse thing any gladiator can be is average. They need to be the best. Make the contenders fight for the prizes.
Why do you think there is so much excitement about the show coming back?
It’s a really special show. It’s one of the few shows that’s ever been made that combines beauty, athletic prowess, amazing sets, design, drama – it really has it all!
We’ve now got a generation of people in there 30’s, 40’s and older who will have families of their own that will want to relive the moments that they shared watching it.
Of course, there is a nostalgia element to it and people that were there the first time around will love to watch the events and will remember what they were like in the 90’s.
It’s one of those rare shows that appeals to all walks of life and all members of the family. The next generation of viewers will be able to come and watch it on a Saturday night – they’ll love it!
It will bring people together, even if it is only for an hour or 90 minutes, where everyone can relax and enjoy spending time with one another watching a great entertainment show. Everyone will be able to enjoy it together.