- Venue: Big Top Arena, Carnival City, Gauteng, South Africa and Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Years: 1995, 1997, 1999-2001
- Series: 5
- Episodes: n/a
- Gladiators: 35
- Events: 12
- Produced: Shaw Pictures & MTN
- Broadcaster: SABC 3
South African Gladiators (MTN Gladiators)
The South African Gladiators first appeared in the second International Gladiators series filmed in Birmingham, England, without actually having recorded a domestic series of their own. They returned again for a three-part special Springbok Challenge series against the UK in 1997 - still without having recorded a domestic show.
The show was picked up domestically in 1999, mainly due to the success of the Springbok Challenge series. The show began by touring South Africa with a special 'Beach Gladiators' format to help advertise the first series.
The first four series were presented by Glenn Hicks and Ursula Stapelfeldt with Cyril Mitchley as referee and Ingrid Chantler as timekeeper.
The show had a revamp for it's fifth season in 2000 and moved to a new home in Carnival City. James Lennox joined Ursula as hosts and Wayne 'The Boss' Price and Marion 'Ice' Hind were the new referee team. New blood was also fed into the Gladiators team with 8 brand new stars. Although the classic Gladiators format had been retained, the show didn't prove as successful and sadly the series came to an end.
During the history of the MTN Gladiators, two Gladiators from the UK team had transferred to the South African series. Fox (Tammy Baker), who had been competing in the second Springbok Challenge series, joined the team in Series 5 after impressing the shows producers. UK Gladiator Laser (Tina Andrew) also briefly transformed into Sheena during the first Springbok Challenge mini-series in 1997.
Sahara (Christy Skoglund), the longest serving and one of the most popular South African Gladiators, tragically died on the 3rd June 2001 from a severe brain haemorrhage caused by an aneurysm.
Produced: Shaw Pictures & MTN
Broadcaster: SABC 3