Back in the nineties, Gladiators was the Saturday night family-friendly equivalent to Britain's Got Talent.
From the brutal games and eye-popping muscles to skin-tight lycra as far as the eye could see, there was no shortage of excitement to keep viewers hooked.
But life off-camera has proved to be just as action-packed for some of the muscle-bound stars of the ITV show.
From drug scandals and jail to group sex behind the scenes… here we reveal the most sensational secrets of the show…
Shadow's drug sacking
Bodybuilder and wrestler Jefferson became one of the most formidable Gladiators on the show as the ever dominant Shadow.
However, his TV career was cut shot in 1995 when he found himself at the centre of a headline-grabbing drug scandal.
A drug test found steroids in his system and he was booted from the hit show.
He said at the time: "There is no excuse for cheating. I was mixing with drugs before Gladiators and when I was tested during the show there were no traces of cocaine but they found steroids".
Jefferson's marriage collapsed amid a cheating storm and he went on to spend the best part of 20 years battling a crippling drug addiction and legal problems.
He eventually managed to get clean and turn his life around, and now works in a drug rehabilitaion centre.
Jefferson is also believed to have restored contact with his ex-wife and their children after years of estragement.
Warrior's jail time
Mr Ahearne, 56, from, Oxton, Wirral, played rugby union for England at youth level before becoming a prize winning bodybuilder.
The 6ft 4in former Mr Universe competitor then became a household name as one of the stars of Gladiators, which attracted 14m viewers at its peak in the 1990s.
But he fell from grace in 1998 after becoming embroiled in a plot to foil the prosecution of Philip Glennon Jnr, a then associate of former international cocaine baron Curtis ‘Cocky’ Warren.
Glennon Jnr had been accused of firing a handgun at a police officer outside a nightclub in 1996 and was charged with attempted murder.
In 1997, he was sent to prison for corruption and perverting the course of justice in a firearms case and served part of a 15-month jail sentence.
The Swedish-born host dated Hunter, real name James Crossley, from 1996 to 1997, but allegedly had an affair with Gladiator's cameraman Phil Piotrowski.
Rhino (Mark Smith) also later claimed that he too had bedded Ulrika.
However, Hunter was no saint. He was living with Jet (Diane Youdale) before he got with the Ulrika, and later cheated on her with Australian Gladiator Cheeta.
Years after the show ended, Hunter opened up about the sexually-charged show, claiming things happened that would make your mum blush.
"Not everyone was involved but we were young, virile guys – I will leave it to you to work out what happened," he previously told the Daily Star.
"There was a lot of sexual tension… We were a bunch of young girls and guys at the peak of physical fitness. Not everyone was involved but we were young, virile guys – I will leave it to you to work out what happened.
"There was a lot of testosterone flying about. Sometimes people would go off in threesomes or foursomes – sometimes even groups of boys or girls together.
"Of course there were affairs – some of which have never come out. I reckon those involved will be taking that stuff to the grave."
Showbiz editor's picks
Source: Read Full Article