Entertainment

Gladiators Easter weekend final attracts more than four million viewers

After 11 weeks of gruelling challenges the rebooted series came to an end on Saturday.

Gladiators champions
Gladiators Gladiators champions (James Stack/BBC / James Stack / � Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

The final of Gladiators drew more than four million viewers to the BBC One programme, according to overnight ratings.

Marie-Louise Nicholson and Finlay Anderson were crowned the winners of the rebooted 90s series which saw “superhuman” Gladiators take on Contenders in a series of challenges testing strength and endurance.

The final was the biggest programme of the day across all channels, according to the BBC, and attracted a peak audience of 4.7 million viewers and an average of 4.2 million.

When the sports entertainment show, which was originally broadcast from 1992 to 2000, returned to screens on January 13 it drew in an average of six million viewers.

On Saturday, after 11 weeks of gruelling challenges, the BBC One show came to an end as Contender Anderson beat wrestler Wesley Male while Nicholson triumphed over firefighter Bronte Jones.

To reach the final, the contenders had to battle against the show’s 16 Gladiators in games testing strength, speed and dexterity, that continue to be family favourites from previous versions of the programme.

One of the challenges included Duel, and in the final Anderson took on Giant, who revealed one of the original Gladiators, Saracen, was in the audience.

Anderson was defeated in the game in just six seconds and said: “That’s actually 50% longer than I lasted last time against Giant.”

Finalists Bronte Jones and Marie Louise Nicholson
Gladiators Finalists Bronte Jones and Marie Louise Nicholson (James Stack/BBC / James Stack / � Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

Elsewhere, Jones said she was “gutted” after she went up against Fury on The Edge and came away with zero points.

In this challenge Nicholson managed to get an edge on Jones by scoring eight points.

Going into the final Anderson and Male were neck and neck with 14 points while Nicholson had four points over Jones, meaning that she scored a two-second head start.

In the series last challenge, The Eliminator, Nicholson managed to triumph over Jones, who emerged mere seconds behind her after she crossed the threshold and and burst through the paper to become champion.

Anderson gained victory over Male, who had fallen down on the balance beam and tripped up on the travelator.

Wesley Male and Finlay Anderson
Gladiators Wesley Male and Finlay Anderson (James Stack/BBC / James Stack / � Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

The series, which was hosted by Bradley Walsh and his son Barney, was filmed at the Sheffield Arena.

The Gladiators were Sabre, Legend, Nitro, Diamond, Phantom, Athena, Bionic, Fire, Giant, Dynamite, Viper, Electro, Apollo, Comet, Steel and Fury.

The show was originally broadcast from 1992 to 2000 on ITV before being resurrected by Sky between 2008 and 2009.

On Thursday it was announced that the sports show will return for a second series.

Kalpna Patel-Knight, head of entertainment at the BBC said: “It has been wonderful to hear how much families have loved watching this together, as part of the BBC’s Saturday evening entertainment offering.

“We can’t wait for more action from the Gladiators.”

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