Gladiators: 'Dream come true' for Leeds man to appear on first episode of BBC reboot of classic 90s ITV series
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Myles Harris, 32, of Bramley, grew up glued to the screen every Saturday evening in the 1990s watching the likes of Wolf, Jet, Warrior, Shadow and Cobra, take on members of the public in a selection of gruelling games in a packed out arena.
The ITV show became a regular weekend feature for millions of people, who tuned in to watch everyday folk battle it out with the jacked Gladiators in contests such as Hang Tough, Duel and Atlaspheres.
Myles and his family were among them so when the BBC announced in 2022 that it would be remaking the show for a new audience, the former semi-pro footballer and “religious” gym-goer was quick to put his name forward to take part.
The DJ and IT engineer said: “It was my all-time favourite show as a kid and I would say ‘I wish I was allowed to have a go’.
"I came across the cast advert on social media and thought ‘Yes! This is the time’.”
Myles said that the try-outs were “brutal” but that finding out he would be one of the 10 male contestants on the reboot was “absolutely amazing”.
“The try-outs were so hard”, he said. “I wasn’t sure it was for me. There was no messing about.”
Training took place in Sheffield before the show was filmed at the city’s arena in front of a packed out audience. Myles said that the nerves kicked in hard as he was waiting to be picked up from his hotel room and that arriving and seeing the set – which maintains the style and feel of the 90s series – “didn’t feel real”.
"It was madness”, he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.
"As soon as you walk out to that crowd it’s like something takes over you. It pumps you up that much that when the Gladiators come out you’re just determined not to let them show you up and just give it your all.”
Despite his established background in competitive sport Myles said that appearing on Gladiators was the “ultimate test".
He said: “They were all a good bunch but as soon as you get in their arena it’s game time. It’s one-on-one.
"You forget about the audience and you’re just ready to go.
"It was proper competition. Some of them intimidated me but I wanted to get the full challenge.”
Myles added that he was confident that the reboot would find a new audience and captivate it’s old demographic as it “brings that 90s nostalgia back”.
“They’ve done a wicked job. It was a childhood dream come true.
“It was rough but it had to be done. You don’t often get these chances in life.”
The series will be hosted by father-son team Bradley and Barney Walsh and starts on Saturday (January 13) at 5.50pm on BBC One and iPlayer