Time Out

"Contender ready! Gladiator ready! Bolesworth ready!"

That is the exciting prospect for visitors to the Ashford Farm Bolesworth CSI**** International this month, when one of British television's cult programmes of the last 20 years makes an eagerly-awaited appearance at Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall, Chester.

Gladiators was must-watch viewing during its long peak-time ITV run as characters like Hunter, Jet, Lightning, Ace and Saracen became household names.

The knockout competition will be hosted by supermodel Jodie Kidd and original Gladiators referee and instantly recognisable voice of the show, John Anderson, on Saturday, June 20 2015, providing exciting family entertainment on a night that will also see the band Scouting for Girls performing to a packed audience.

The hugely popular line-up, which includes household names such as Hunter, Jet, Lightning, Ace, Saracen and referee John Anderson have been warming up this week at Bolesworth

Bolesworth International

Gladiators' arrival at the stunning Cheshire venue represents a major coup for Bolesworth International owner and show president Nina Barbour.

Gladiators at Bolesworth will comprise a knockout competition of three rounds, starting with eight teams, and include riders on horses, Gladiators and Contenders battling it out across a variety of races and events such as Duel and Atlaspheres, culminating in a relay-format Eliminator final.

Hunter and Ace with Nina Barbour and the zorbing Atlaspheres
Hunter and Ace with Bolesworth International owner and show president Nina Barbour with the 'zorbing' Atlaspheres.

There will also be an opening ceremony and prize-giving as spectators get a rare opportunity to watch the Gladiators up close and live.

It promises to be 90 minutes of thrills and spills, and arguably one of the most famous Gladiators of all can't wait to get stuck into the action.

Hunter (actor, television presenter, fitness director and athlete James Crossley) enjoyed a nine-year run in Gladiators, and in the final showdown in 1999 was crowned 'The Ultimate Gladiator'.

ITV's Gladiators Reunion Selfie
ITV's Gladiators Reunion, featuring John Anderson, Hunter, Wolf, Lightning, Jet, Saracen, Ace and Ulrika Jonsson.

James said: "Some of the guys I have kept in touch with, and some I haven't seen for quite a long time, so it will be great to be back together at Bolesworth. We had a little reunion a few weeks ago, which was part of a show about former Saturday night TV programmes, and Wolf flew over from New Zealand, which was fantastic."

"It was David versus Goliath, and everyone likes super heroes. At our peak, we had 18 million viewers, which was incredible, really."

"The last show of the ITV series we did Gladiators versus Gladiators. I think they wanted to go back to Roman days and have the ultimate winner. I remember I did the whole show with a dislocated shoulder! It was the last show, so I thought I might as well go for it."

James, who has presented fitness and lifestyle shows for ITV and Sky, is currently a partner and fitness director of the Ri Studio Centre in Croatia and Chelsea Fitness in London. He has competed in numerous triathlons, marathons and strength events.

Hunter takes on BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell on the Duel
Hunter takes on the Duel.

He continued: "We are doing a test training day at Bolesworth this week. Some of us are going to be team leaders and helping with the warm-ups for the contestants."

"I still work in fitness, as does Wolf out in New Zealand, but everyone is doing different things, and getting together again at Bolesworth is something we are all really looking forward too."

Tags: Classic Gladiators Hunter Saracen Ace Jet Lightning