Find out what Panther is up to now and why she loved being on Gladiators
Panther from Gladiators, aka Helen O’Reilly, was one of the show’s original stars, appearing in the first ever series of the ITV hit, which started in 1992.
Panther, who had a a fearsome reputation and would take to the stage to the theme tune of Janet Jackson’s Black Cat, went onto appear in five series.
Helen was one of Britain’s leading women body builders, with titles including Miss Great Britain, Miss Universe and Miss North Britain. She also made TV appearances on children’s show Live & Kicking, cult classic Gamesmaster and legendary gameshow Play Your Cards Right?!
Looking back on Gladiators, Helen says: “It was great to inspire so many people into the sport, to be able to be strong and to be able to be feminine at the same time.”
So do people still recognise Helen as Panther from Gladiators?
Well Helen said in a recent interview with Fans of Gladiators that she didn’t often get recognised nowadays. “I think I’ve changed quite a lot… most people don’t recognise me… age, hair, colour change and of course I don’t war the trademark Panther Lycra anymore!”
What did Helen do after Gladiators?
She opened a fashion shop in Surrey with Gladiators co-stars Vogue (Suzanne Cox) and Saracen (Mike Lewis).
And what’s Helen up to now?
Helen, who’s now 56, runs a gym in Uxbridge. No prizes for guessing what it’s called… yep, Panthers Gym! According to its website, it can “help you to lose weight, help you to get fit, and course, help you to unwind thanks to its range of equipment.”
Helen says: “I’ve got a gym. We do prepping of athletes. I travel all over the world, judging fitness girls, bikini girls, men’s physique and body building.”
Gladiators pics: ITV/REX/Shutterstock. This Morning pic: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock