A gay wrestler known as the ‘Barbie Gladiator’ has spoken out as he hopes become one of the stars of the upcoming Gladiators reboot.
The show that was famed for featuring ferocious fighters Wolf, Hunter and Rhino in the 90s could reportedly feature Cassius Paule, 28, who weighs just 10st 7lb, after he was picked out by BBC bosses.
It’s claimed producers think Cassius could help bring the show into the modern day as they want to include more diverse contestants.
An excited Cassius told The Sun: ‘It would be massive. The original was decades ago. Lots has changed since then and of course, these days not all Gladiators are going to be straight.
‘In 2023 if someone from the LGBT+ community could be on there it would be brilliant, and even better if it was me. I’d be the modern day Gladiator.’
New wrestling star: A gay wrestler known as the ‘Barbie Gladiator’ has spoken out as he hopes become one of the stars of the upcoming Gladiators reboot
Cassius studied television production at university but gave up on a career in the industry and turned his hand to wrestling 10 years ago.
He secretly joined a wrestling school when he was a teenager and only told his family of his sport when he became a professional.
The wrestler now competes around the UK wearing a brightly coloured pink costume under the name of ‘Barbie Gladiator’.
Cassius explained how he was approached on social media after a producer spotted his wrestling photos on Instagram.
He said: ‘I intend to be 1,000 per cent as flamboyant on the show as I am in wrestling.
‘I wouldn’t know what else to bring — that is me. They would love that.’
He insists he will continue to wear pink and purple on the show and will customise his outfits with tassels.
Fighting talk: The show that was famed for featuring ferocious fighters Wolf, Hunter and Rhino in the 90s could reportedly feature Cassius Paule, 28, who weighs just 10st 7lb
Positive change: It’s claimed producers think Cassius could help bring the show into the modern day as they want to include more diverse contestants
The popular 90s TV programme saw members of the public battle it out against the show’s cast of bodybuilders and gymnasts, known as Gladiators, and ran for eight series before ending in 2000.
The BBC has confirmed the show will make a comeback with an 11-episode series and will be welcoming a new generation of ‘superhumans’ who will compete against contestants in the ‘ultimate test of speed and strength’.
The programme, originally hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and John Fashanu, will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, and feature a host of new games alongside the classic challenges that long-time fans will know and love.
Each show will end with the ultimate fan favourite challenge – the intense obstacle course known as The Eliminator.
The rebooted programme will be filmed at Utilita Arena Sheffield in 2023, while the new hosts have yet to be announced.
At its peak, Gladiators – broadcast from 1992 to 2000 – drew huge audiences to its Saturday evening ITV slot as the famous call of ‘Contenders Ready? Gladiators Ready?’ echoed across TV screens.
Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted, said of the reboot: ‘Gladiators is back and a whole new generation of viewers can now look forward to watching a Saturday night spectacle like no other.
‘Will the contenders have the will and the skill to succeed against our mighty new Gladiators? You’ll have to tune in to find out.’
Viewers, are you READY?! Popular 90s TV show Gladiators is set to return to screens this year after over 20 years, it has been confirmed
The new series is to be made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK, with Scot Cru, executive vice president of global formats and Unscripted Content for MGM Television, adding: ‘Gladiators is a format that resonates with viewers worldwide.
‘We are thrilled to bring this revered series to the BBC and can’t wait to introduce our UK Gladiators.’
Dan Baldwin, managing director of Hungry Bear, said of the show’s big comeback: ‘It’s the perfect time for Gladiators to return.
‘What other show combines electric excitement, superheroes, giant sponge fingers, elite athletes, and a pinch of pantomime?
‘Watch out for the new breed of superhuman, supersized, superstars bursting on to your screens on BBC One and iPlayer.’
The classic show, originally aired on ITV, made household names of the Gladiators including Jet, Lightening, the Wolf, Nightshade, Hunter and Warrior.
It’s back! The show saw members of the public battle against the show’s cast of bodybuilders and gymnasts, known as Gladiators and ran for eight series before ending in 2000
The format – which originated in the US – travelled to Australia, South Africa, Russia, Finland, Germany, Nigeria, Denmark and Sweden.
The series was watched by over 14 million viewers and gruff referee John Anderson – known for his catchphrase ‘Contenders Ready? Gladiators Ready?’ – was on hand to keep the Gladiators and contestants in check.
But the show was axed in 1999 after it lost over half its viewers in later series dropping to six million.
The show has seen many spin-offs and was briefly revived by Sky One in 2009, but only lasted two series.
Yes! The BBC revealed that the show will make a comeback with an 11-episode series and will be welcoming a new generation of ‘superhumans’ (pictured: original cast in 1992)