Gladiators is coming back. Here's where the original stars are now.

If you grew up in the '90s in Australia, then it was impossible to escape Gladiators. The spandex! The battles! The smack-talk! The pure camp of it all!

At its height, the Channel 7 series was watched by over two million Australians each and every episode. 

And now Gladiators will return to Australian screens in 2024 on Channel 10. 

The revived show will feature a new bunch of superhumans – the Gladiators – as they compete against Aussie Contenders, in challenges like Hang Tough, Duel, The Wall, Power Ball, Pyramid and The Eliminator.

Gladiators Australia will be hosted by sporting icons Liz Ellis and Beau Ryan. 

“It’s an iconic franchise and I’m excited about the reboot,” Ellis said. 

“It is set to showcase some of my favourite Gladiator challenges from the original series as well as throw up a few new ones for us to fall in love with!”

Ryan added, “I am beyond excited to be hosting Gladiators Australia alongside the great Liz Ellis. Liz is a national treasure, and we are going to have a lot of fun. I grew up watching and loving Gladiators Australia and can’t wait to get into it. It’s going to be spectacular.”

The original series was adapted from the US version, which is enjoying a revival right now in light of the Netflix documentary, Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators

While the US format ran from 1989 to 1996, the Australian version had a shorter shelf life only airing from 1995 to 1996. But they sure were two magical years of television! 


Watch some highlights from Gladiators on Where Are They Now? Post continues after video.

Video via Channel 7. 

It was a TV concept like nothing that had appeared on Australian TV before and the only show that might rival it in present times is Australian Ninja Warrior, which is comparatively tame.

Gladiators ran for three seasons on the Seven Network. The games were filmed inside the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. The series was hosted by Kimberley Joseph, Mike Hammond and Aaron Pedersen, and refereed by Mike Whitney of Who Dares Wins fame

The reality show would see a group of Challengers face-off in a series of battles against the Gladiators, who were a group of physically elite men and women with superhero-like names such as Vulcan, Storm, and Hammer. Some of the most iconic challenges included the Powerball and Pyramid. 

The series was rebooted in 2008 but it failed to grab viewers like it did in the late-90s. Will they have more luck in 2024?

Until then, let's catch up with what happened to some of the men and women who for a short time became Australian heroes. 



John Seru was a wrestler when he was discovered by the Gladiators producers. He would go on to become one of the show's biggest success stories. After his stint on the Channel 7 series, Seru was cast in The World Is Not Enough, where he played a henchman alongside Pierce Brosnan's James Bond. 

The Fijian-born wrestler would go on to appear in local TV shows Fat Pizza, White Collar Blue and Underbelly

These days, Seru is the owner and head coach of Club Vulcan Gym where he offers training for emerging wrestlers. He told SBS in 2019 that he hopes to help young people from a variety of backgrounds build confidence. "Some of these kids when they’re at school, or wherever they go, people look down on them and say they can’t do anything,” he said. “But they’ve got one thing in common – they love wrestling.”

John Seru as Vulcan. Image: Channel 7.



Bev Carter was an accomplished gymnast before becoming Balde. She was a member of the Great Britain National Elite Gymnastics Squad and once she moved to Australia, she was crowned NSW Aerobics Champion, National Teams Champion, Australasian Team Champion and took sixth place in the Suzuki World Cup.

She was in her 30s when she auditioned for Gladiators and was given the role of Blade, who became a fan favourite. 

Bev is now the director of It's Time to Shine where she works as a trainer and motivator. She wrote in a 2015 blog about her experience on Gladiators and she didn't paint a pretty picture. "The filming process in series one was horrific, the only food provided for us Gladiators was bananas and rice crackers," she claimed. "Meanwhile, the TV crew all had catered food, breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner."

She also claimed that she was only referred to as 'Blade' during her time on the show. "Everybody involved in the show, including riggers and set designers, were only to call us by our Gladiator name or be fined a small fee. We could never use our real names in press or public appearances." 


Bev Carter as Blade. Image: It's Time To Shine. 


Mark McGaw was already a famous footy player when he signed on to Gladiators. He's played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs, along with representing the New South Wales Blues in the State of Origin series. 

As of 2023, McGaw is the founder and CEO of Mark McGaw Institute of Sports Science which offers fitness training courses. 


Mark McGaw as Hammer. Image: Channel 7.


Storm was played by Charlene Michin (marital surname Symonds) in the Gladiator TV series. Her background is steeped in years of karate training, as she was a medallist in the Australian Karate Championships.

She would go on to win multiple gold medals at various Australian Karate championships and became the first Australian to win a gold medal at the World Karate Championship in Spain.


Flashing forward to today, Storm has hung up her karate whites for academia. She studies speech pathology at the University of Newcastle after several years of working as both a caregiver and speech pathology assistant. 

Charlene Machin as Storm. Image: Channel 7.


Alistair Gibb became known as Condor to thousands of Australian households in the '90s. Prior to signing on for Gladiators, he was a black belt karate instructor at the age of 18, which lead him to winning the Victorian and Australian Kickboxing Title 10 years later. 


He would also go on to conquer WKA Heavyweight Mauy Thai. These days, Alistair has a normal job working as a finance and insurance manager at a Toyota branch in Melbourne. 

Alistair Gibb as Condor. Image: Channel 7.


Linda Byrnes became the reality show's resident fiery redhead, Flame. Before joining the show, Linda was an advanced life support officer at the ambulance rescue squad. She also competed in the Strongest Women competition and was a Miss Australia Heavyweight title holder. 


Since ending her time as Flame, Linda has worked as a personal trainer and a financial planner while riding horses in her spare time. According to her StarNow profile, she's open to work as a presenter and actor. 

Linda Byrnes as Flame. Image: StarNow. 

Feature image: Channel 7.

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