As Gladiators returns to TV, where are the original cast now? From drug-fuelled plot to winning Miss Universe

SHADOW was once one of Gladiators’ brightest stars – but now he’s a convicted criminal.

Cops released a shocking mugshot of the former bodybuilder, real name Jefferson King, after the 59-year-old admitted taking part in a drug-fuelled blackmail plot.

Hollow-cheeked and dead-eyed, the custody photo shows King after years of drug addiction

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Hollow-cheeked and dead-eyed, the custody photo shows King after years of drug addiction

He demanded £1,000 last year from a mum for the safe return of her son who was allegedly being held hostage by a gang.

King is now in custody awaiting sentencing at the conclusion of a crown court trial of other alleged blackmailers.

In his Nineties heyday, King was a fan favourite as Shadow on Gladiators

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In his Nineties heyday, King was a fan favourite as Shadow on GladiatorsCredit: Rex

He was axed from Gladiators in 1995 after testing positive for steroids, and he’s battled substance abuse issues in the years since.

But how are the rest of the Gladiators doing these days? Kate Jackson catches up with them.

JET

Diane Youdale, pictured in 1996, appeared as Jet on the Nineties Saturday night show

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Diane Youdale, pictured in 1996, appeared as Jet on the Nineties Saturday night showCredit: Rex

Glamorous Diane Youdale was beloved by fans around the country as Jet.

Now 51, she recently hinted at a troubled love life which left her needing to “decompress”.

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But speaking on the Celebrity Catch Up podcast, she added how she is now ready to find love again.

She said: “I’ve been single for some time. But I thought this year I may start dating because I’ve thought, ‘I’m not going to be alone for ever’.”

Diane is now a pilates instructor and runs her own counselling business

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Diane is now a pilates instructor and runs her own counselling business

Diane, famed for her hair-flicking and cartwheels, left in 1996, aged 26, after fracturing her neck in a fall.

She is now a pilates instructor and runs her own counselling business.

LIGHTNING

Kim Betts won bodybuilding Miss Universe

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Kim Betts won bodybuilding Miss UniverseCredit: Rex

Buff Kim Betts has won bodybuilding Miss Universe and has 10,500 Instagram followers.

The former gymnast has spent 16 years in property development and running her beauty parlour and fishery.

Kim, 49, lives on a farm with her hubby and two kids.

She also worked in property development

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She also worked in property developmentCredit: Rex Features

AMAZON

Sharron Davies has built up a career as a TV presenter

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Sharron Davies has built up a career as a TV presenterCredit: Rex

Sharron Davies was probably the most famous of the Gladiators. Before joining the team she was a Team GB Olympic swimmer.

The mum of three, now 58, took a break from swimming aged 18 and built up a career as a TV presenter.

She was also on Dancing On Ice on ITV in 2010.

Sharron attends Mamma Mia! The Party premiere in Sep 2019

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Sharron attends Mamma Mia! The Party premiere in Sep 2019Credit: Getty – Contributor

WOLF

Bodybuilder Michael Van Wijk took on the role of the show’s pantomime villain

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Bodybuilder Michael Van Wijk took on the role of the show’s pantomime villainCredit: Rex

Indian-born bodybuilder Michael Van Wijk took on the role of the show’s pantomime villain, drawing boos from the crowd as he used every trick to make life tough for the contestants.

In 1994 he played one match for the reserve team of Gillingham FC. But after appearing in all eight series, Wolf moved to New Zealand and opened a chain of gyms.

Wolf reunited with his Gladiators co-stars

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Wolf reunited with his Gladiators co-starsCredit: Rex

The 68-year-old dad of four also took up cage fighting.

ZODIAC

Kate Staples now runs schools coaching clubs

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Kate Staples now runs schools coaching clubsCredit: Rex

A former British pole vault record holder, Kate Staples broke her neck on Gladiators game Pole Axe in 1996 but made a full recovery after surgery.

Zodiac left Gladiators before the 1997 series, as she was pregnant with daughter Ella, whose dad is former Gladiator Trojan – and who counts Jet as her godmother.

Kate, 55, now runs schools coaching clubs with former Olympic gold medal decathlete Daley Thompson.

HUNTER

James Crossley was just 19 when he joined the show

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James Crossley was just 19 when he joined the showCredit: Rex

Baby-faced beefcake James Crossley was just 19 when he joined the show and was crowned the Ultimate Gladiator in the 1999 final showdown, Gladiator vs Gladiator.

He was rumoured to have dated the show’s host Ulrika Jonsson, something she confirmed in her 2002 autobiography.

Now 47, the bodybuilder is even more muscly and runs a personal training business.

James is now a strength and conditioning coach, he teaches yoga and gong baths in London.

Now 47, the bodybuilder is now even more muscly and runs a personal training business

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Now 47, the bodybuilder is now even more muscly and runs a personal training businessCredit: Rex Features

He is also a “fit at 40” ambassador with his DVD “fit at 40 plus” available on Amazon.

He’s a keen musician and has two adorable bulldogs. 

NIGHTSHADE

Judy Simpson continued to work in the fitness industry

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Judy Simpson continued to work in the fitness industryCredit: Rex

Former British heptathlete Judy Simpson competed at three Olympics and won medals at another three Commonwealth Games.

She was also awarded an MBE because of her sporting achievements.

After Gladiators the 60-year-old continued to work in the fitness industry.

She suffered tragedy in 1999 when her baby daughter Joan Mary died of meningitis.

SARACEN

Saracen became a firefighter after starring on Gladiators

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Saracen became a firefighter after starring on GladiatorsCredit: Rex

Part of the original line-up, Mike Lewis competed in all eight series.

The former bodybuilder joined the ITV show after working at a gym in central London.

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When he left the series he became a firefighter.

Now 57, he was last seen on Gladiators’ successor, Ninja Warrior, in 2015, where he proved just as agile as his fans remembered.

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