Gladiators star says it changed his life as he confirms he was asked to return

Gladiators star Rhino has opened up about his involvement with the new series.

The ITV show originally ran from 1992 until January 2000 and saw contenders take on gladiators in a number of gruelling challenges. Gladiators was presented by Ulrika Jonsson throughout its original run alongside John Fashanu (1992-96, 1999-2000), and Jeremy Guscott from 1997 to 1998.

In 2022, it was confirmed the BBC were rebooting the iconic series, which is set to air in January 2024. The 11-episode reboot will follow the same format as the original, with a group of contenders going head-to-head with Gladiators in the ultimate test of physical strength and ability.

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It will be hosted by The Chase's Bradley Walsh and his son Barney Walsh. As soon as the reboot was announced, fans questioned whether any of the original cast would be making a return.

Rhino, real name Mark Smith, first appeared during the show's fourth series in 1995 and remained until its cancellation. In an exclusive chat with Daily Star, the bodybuilder confirmed he was supporting the new show.

He said: "I promoted it quite a lot this year, earlier in the year for BBC. I was on quite a few different TV shows to promote it, to inspire other people to go for Gladiators, big guys and the contenders to submit the application."

The actor added: "I thought it was great when they said it was coming back. It changed my life so it could change anyone’s life out there. It’s a great opportunity and I said for them to seize it, really go for it and enjoy the ride."

Mark revealed he was asked to get involved with filming the reboot, however his other commitment left him unable to attend. He explained: "They asked me to go up to Sheffield where they filmed, but I couldn’t do it because I was filming The Gentleman for Guy Ritchie. Then straight after that I did Heads of State with John Cena and Idris Elba."

Despite joining later on in the series, Mark admitted he was "welcomed with open arms", adding: "They’d all been through the process so they were all very nice and very kind, showed a lot of love and we became a family. I was close with all of them. There’s no one I didn’t get on with, girls or guys. There was great camaraderie."

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