GLADIATORS fans were left staggered when the stars of the hit 90s series appeared on Good Morning Britain today (October 31, 2019) – looking almost unrecognisable.
The original gang – including Hunter, Cobra, Panther, Jet and Lightning – held an on-air reunion and viewers couldn’t believe how they’d changed since the show’s airing…
It has been 27 years since the show first appeared on ITV in 1992, quickly becoming a Saturday night fixture that ran until the year 2000.
Among the stars who made their return to the channel today were 55-year-old Cobra – aka Michael Willson – who came dressed in a Lycra outfit bearing his name.
The Sun Online revealed earlier this year that he had been hospitalised with pneumonia after destroying his body with “insane workouts”.
He was joined by Panther star Helen O’Reilly, who is now 58, and fan favourite Jet, who was played by Diane Youdale, now 49.
They appeared alongside Hunter legend James Crossley, 46, and Lightning star Kim Betts, 47.
Asked if the show could ever return, Panther insisted: “There is a demand for it. But I am 58, I don’t know if I am a bit past it.”
She then pointed at Cobra, and said: “He’s got a walking stick and two new hips.”
GMB host Ben Shephard asked: “Obviously we all recognise you and we all know you. Are you still called Jet? Are you still called Hunter?”
Hunter explained: “A lot of male Gladiators were called Mike. So if you said ‘Mike’, everybody turned around.
“Everyone used to think that we were from the planet Glad. So when kids would come around it would be like ‘Cobra! Lightning!’ and the kids would be like: ‘Wow!'”
Lightning added: “Even when I message them it’s like: ‘Hey Jet, Cobra, Hunter…’ I never call them their own name.”
The stars’ appearance sparked a wave of nostalgia among viewers – many of whom called for Gladiators to return to ITV.
Fans tweeted the likes of: Bring it back! It was great fun to watch” and “It would be great to see something decent on a sat night.”
But several were shocked at how much the stars had aged – despite the intervening decades.
One gasped: “Cobra’s face has completely changed.”