Popular Saturday night show Gladiators is making a comeback – eight years after it was axed by ITV, according to reports.
Members of the public will go head to head with a new team of TV warriors as the hit combat show is relaunched on Sky, says The Sun.
Footie legend Ian Wright is tipped to host the revamped show, which will be given a prime-time slot on Saturday nights.
And referee John Anderson – the man behind the legendary ‘Gladiators ready’ shout – is also in talks to return.
Producers are currently on the hunt for 12 new Gladiators to replace old favourites including Amazon, Cobra and Wolf.
And the new obstacle course-style challenges will include water and fire-based contests, and will feature alongside old favourites such as the Eliminator.
Gladiators launched on ITV in 1992 and, in its heyday, pulled in 12 million viewers.
Filmed at Birmingham’s NEC, it was originally hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and John Fashanu, who was later replaced by Jeremy Guscott.
It was axed in 2000 after viewing figures slumped – but Sky bosses are certain that the revamped format will win back old fans.
Sky’s Richard Woolfe said: “Just like the revival of Take That and the Spice Girls, the return of this David-and-Goliath contest will be unmissable.”
The relaunch follows the successful return of the US version, American Gladiator.
It was brought back to fill schedules hit by the ongoing US writers’ strike but is doing so well that NBC has commissioned a further series.
Auditions for competitors to take on the Gladiators will be held across the UK from next month. The show will be filmed in a new London studio.