Rail commuters in Sheffield experienced an unexpected treat on their Thursday afternoon journeys home (11th January) as Gladiators Steel and Giant, adorned in their full-costume glory, took charge of Sheffield train station. The dynamic duo not only waved off trains but also lent a helping hand to passengers, carrying bags, assisting with embarkation and disembarkation, and diligently checking tickets during the bustling peak hours.
This dazzling stunt unfolded just days before the highly-anticipated return of the legendary sports entertainment gameshow, Gladiators, to its brand-new home on BBC One. Starting on Saturday, 13th January at 5.50 pm, viewers can witness the action-packed spectacle hosted by the charismatic father-son duo Bradley and Barney Walsh.
The upcoming series introduces a fresh generation of superhuman Gladiators, including Apollo, Athena, Bionic, Comet, Diamond, Dynamite, Electro, Fire, Fury, Giant, Legend, Nitro, Phantom, Sabre, Steel, and Viper. These formidable figures will engage in a series of new challenges alongside iconic favourites such as the fan-beloved “The Eliminator.”
The entire 11-part series was exclusively filmed in Sheffield, the city of steel, at the Utilita Arena, with thousands of enthusiastic fans in attendance. BBC One will broadcast the action-packed show starting this weekend, marking a significant step in the BBC’s commitment to its “Across the UK” strategy. This initiative aims to distribute creative expenditure and decision-making more evenly across the country, ensuring that every household receives value from the BBC.
The Gladiators’ stunt aligns with the BBC’s effort to surpass its target of allocating 60% of Network TV commissioning spend outside of London by the next Charter in 2027. Two years into the transformational blueprint, the BBC is ahead of schedule in achieving this goal.
Katrina Bunker, Senior BBC Head of Content Production for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, says: “There’s a real buzz around this new series of Gladiators especially in Sheffield where it’s been so good to host the series.
“Our city of steel is the perfect home for a show where the whole family can gather round the TV and cheer on the battles.
“Today’s stunt will have ramped up the excitement even more for everyone tuning in to iPlayer/BBC One for episode one on Saturday.”
Hungry Bear executive producer, Dan Baldwin, says: “We absolutely loved filming ‘Gladiators’ in Sheffield. We wanted to make the series somewhere in the heart of the UK, to enable people from all over the country to travel and experience the show live.
“The crowds from Sheffield, and those who travelled further, were incredible. Thank you to everyone who came along.”
“Gladiators” (11 x 60’) is a joint venture by Hungry Bear and MGM Alternative UK for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, commissioned by Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted. The Executive Producers are Dan Baldwin and Lou Brown for Hungry Bear, and Dom Bird for MGM Alternative UK. The BBC’s Head of Entertainment Commissioning, Kalpna Patel-Knight, and Commissioning Editor, Clodagh O’Donoghue, oversee the project.