Gladiators (2008 Australian TV series)

Gladiators was an Australian television series which aired on the Seven Network in 2008. It was a revival of the earlier series of the same name, and was based on the American version of the show, which was also revived in 2008.

2008 Australian Gladiators Logo.png
GenreSports entertainment
Created byDan Carr
John Ferraro
Developed byEndemol Southern Star
(Licensed from MGM Television)
Presented byTom Williams
Zoe Naylor
Narrated byAndy Paschalidis
Theme music composerNeil Sutherland
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes15 (list of episodes)
Executive producersRikkie Proost
Lisa Fitzpatrick
Production locationsThe Dome, Sydney Showground, New South Wales
EditorThom Cochoran
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time60 minutes (including commercials)
Production companyEndemol Southern Star
Original networkSeven Network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital Pro Logic II
Original release30 March (2008-03-30) –
6 July 2008 (2008-07-06)
Preceded byGladiators (1995–1997)

The show was filmed at The Dome at the Sydney Showground, and was hosted by Tom Williams and Zoe Naylor. Well known NRL referee Bill Harrigan was one of the two referees for the show, the other was John Forsythe, who was a referee on the original series. Although not credited, the Sydney Altitude Cheerleaders were present in every episode, doing various routines throughout each episode whether an event was taking place or not.[1]

Behind the scenes, highly respected military fitness expert 'Chief' Brabon (head strength & conditioning coach) was responsible for preparing the gladiators for their extremely physical roles.

The revival of Gladiators was first announced on 9 September 2007,[2] and premiered on 30 March 2008 at 6:30 pm.[3] The Challengers in this series competed to win A$50,000 and a new Subaru Forester.

No official announcement was made by the Seven Network as per the future plans for the series.


To ensure that both Gladiators, and Challengers were of the highest possible calibre, all prospects were submitted to a grueling physical selection process designed by the shows head strength & conditioning coach 'Chief' Brabon.

The so-called 'Barrier Test' was based on similar selection programs that Chief had designed for elite military and law enforcement tactical response teams.

The barrier test was so successful at vetting would-be Gladiators & Challengers that less than 10% of applicants successfully completed the first event known as the Grunt Challenge. The challenge required participants to do a burpee style exercise (Grunts) to a cadence called by Chief himself. Prospective Challengers were required to complete a minimum of 75 Grunts to pass through to the next event, whereas Gladiators were required to complete 100 Grunts.


Note: Challengers which are bolded advanced through to the next stage. Times listed next to the challengers' name is their runtime for the Eliminator. DNR indicates the challenger did not run the Eliminator due to the other challenger pulling out from injury.


Heats   Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Grand Final
  Damien Nicholls 0:55  
  Sam Brodie         Damien Nicholls    
  Simon Pavolo       Nick Hicks 1:01  
  Nathan Wood 1:05         Philip Breslin    
  Marcus Saltmarsh           Nick Hicks    
  Nick Hicks 1:04       Nathan Wood  
  Phillip Breslin 0:57     Phillip Breslin    
  Shane Elisara           Nick Hicks  
  Shaun Baxter           Paul Baird  
  Joseph McKay 1:06       Joseph McKay    
  Lincoln Burns 1:08     Lincoln Burns    
  Nikolai Sawaszenko           Joseph McKay  
  Simon Orton DNR         Paul Baird    
  James Stretch         Simon Orton  
  Hayden Forder       Paul Baird    
  Paul Baird 0:56  

The eventual winner of the Grand Final was Paul Baird.


Heats   Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Grand Final
  Natasha Haines 1:19  
  Bryony Barker         Nicole Sawon    
  Georgie Leake 1:27     Natasha Haines 1:11  
  Janere Reid           Natasha Haines    
  Julie Casella           Georgie Leake    
  Nicole Sawon 1:21       Georgie Leake  
  Rony Lebovics       Ashleigh Kelly    
  Ashleigh Kelly DNR         Natasha Haines  
  Jacqueline Watson 1:26         Jacqueline Watson  
  Emily Sharp         Kim Papp    
  Kim Papp 1:26     Jacqueline Watson    
  Louise Symonds           Jacqueline Watson  
  Michelle Halemai           Michaela Williams    
  Michaela Williams 1:26       Kristine Banks-Smith  
  Kristine Banks-Smith 1:28     Michaela Williams    
  Jessica Scott    

Winner of the Grand Final was Natasha Haines.

Episode eventsEdit

Episode Number Air Date Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4
1 30 March 2008 Gauntlet Duel Pyramid Pendulum
2 6 April 2008 Hit and Run The Wall Sumo Ball Pyramid
3 13 April 2008 Hang Tough Atlasphere Suspension Bridge Vertigo
4 20 April 2008 Pendulum Gauntlet Hang Tough Powerball
5 27 April 2008 Duel Vertigo Pyramid Hit and Run
6 4 May 2008 Gauntlet Hit and Run Sumo Ball The Wall
7 11 May 2008 Gauntlet Duel Pendulum Pyramid
8 18 May 2008 Suspension Bridge Powerball Hang Tough Atlasphere
9 25 May 2008 Pendulum Whiplash Gauntlet The Wall
10 1 June 2008 Atlasphere Vertigo Suspension Bridge Pyramid
11 8 June 2008 Gauntlet Hang Tough Powerball Sumo Ball
12 15 June 2008 Hit and Run The Wall Duel Pyramid
13 22 June 2008 Vertigo Suspension Bridge Powerball The Wall
14 29 June 2008 Pendulum Gauntlet Duel Whiplash
15 6 July 2008 Gauntlet Hang Tough Sumo Ball Pyramid





  • Atlasphere
  • Duel
  • Gauntlet
  • Hang Tough
  • Hit & Run
  • Pendulum
  • Powerball
  • Pyramid
  • Sumo Ball
  • Suspension Bridge
  • The Wall
  • Vertigo
  • Whiplash
  • Eliminator


In early 2007, an episode of the television series Where Are They Now? featured some of the original Gladiators as special guests. The Seven Network used this segment as research towards reviving the show depending on viewer numbers for the episode as well as if the ratings fell after the end of the segment.

On 9 September 2007, it was officially announced by Seven that the show was being revived and will return for its fourth series in early 2008. Auditions for new gladiators took place via e-mail and closed on 16 October 2007 while auditions for challengers took place in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth from 20 October to 4 November 2007. Once the gladiators and challengers had been chosen, filming of all the episodes for season four took place from 6 January 2008 to 10 February 2008 at The Dome, Sydney Showground, New South Wales.

Speculation around who was going to host the new series was evident, with many reports in the media about celebrities which have either successfully or unsuccessfully auditioned. Seven Network presenter Tom Williams was reportedly the only male who was auditioned, and was picked up for the male co-host role immediately. For the female co-host role, the process was more intense, with many females auditioning, including swimmers Elka Graham and Brooke Hanson as well as actors Zoe Ventoura[14] and Samantha Noble.[15] On 18 December 2007, it was reported in the media that former McLeod's Daughters actor Zoe Naylor was being seriously considered as the female host, with an insider stating that "She looked amazing in the screen tests and there was a great vibe between her and Tom. She's fresh and fun."[16] She ultimately ended up being chosen for the female co-host position.

With new Gladiators being chosen for the new series, it was reported on 30 December 2007 that former Australian rules footballer Anthony Koutoufides and Olympic Pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva were two of the new gladiators for the new series, but the Seven Network refused to confirm the selections, even though these reports ended up being true.[17] Strongman Derek Boyer is the third celebrity to be picked up as a Gladiator, followed by former ironwoman Hayley Bateup being the fourth.[18] The other ten Gladiators have a non-public background.


The following Table displays the Total Audience (5 City Metro) for each episode, as recorded by OZTAM and reported on MediaSpy[19]

    • - Gladiators was not shown in Perth on 29 June due to live AFL Coverage.
Airdate Total Viewers Position in Nightly
Top Ten
Position in Timeslot
30 March 2008 1,847,000 #1 Winner
6 April 2008 1,571,000 #1 Winner
13 April 2008 1,427,000 #5 Winner
20 April 2008 1,560,000 #3 Winner
27 April 2008 1,366,000 #7 Second
4 May 2008 1,276,000 #6 Second
11 May 2008 1,298,000 #6 Winner
18 May 2008 1,379,000 #4 Winner
25 May 2008 1,262,000 #6 Second
1 June 2008 1,229,000 #8 Second
8 June 2008 1,035,000 #9 Second
15 June 2008 1,277,000 #10 Second
22 June 2008 1,264,000 #7 Second
29 June 2008 1,020,000* #11 Second
6 July 2008 1,258,000 #6 Second


  1. ^ "Sydney Altitude Cheerleading". Archived from the original on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
  2. ^ Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Seven Network press release Retrieved on 11 October 2007
  3. ^ Clune, Richard Gladiators Back The Daily Telegraph 6 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  4. ^ Archived 7 July 2012 at "Bunbury's Gladiator Star", "The Bunbury Mail", 16 April 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  5. ^ a b Downie, Stephen. "Glamour gladiator", The Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  6. ^ a b New Male Australian Gladiators. Retrieved 30 November 2008
  7. ^ Rothfield, Phil. "Wendell Sailor goes it alone", The Sunday Telegraph, 6 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  8. ^ Reines, Ros. "Gladiator dad", The Courier-Mail, 6 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  9. ^ Tejszerski, Eva. "This Amazon woman is the girl next door" Archived 3 April 2008 at, St George & Sutherland Shire Leader, 27 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Tiffiny Hall gets ready to join the Gladiators", Herald Sun, 13 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  11. ^ Cartwright, Darren. "Gladiators wins ratings war", The Courier-Mail, 31 March 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  12. ^ Smart, Nick. "Bateup is back - bigger and better", Gold Coast News, 11 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  13. ^ [1]. Retrieved 23 April 2008
  14. ^ Gladiators role for Ventoura? Herald Sun 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  15. ^ New top tip for gladiators The Daily Telegraph 11 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  16. ^ Grant, Sarah Zoe Naylor the new host of Gladiators The Daily Telegraph 18 December 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  17. ^ Byrne, Fiona Anthony Koutoufides and Tatiana Grigorieva join Herald Sun 30 December 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  18. ^ Field, Katherine Hayley turns from ironwoman into Gladiator The Daily Telegraph 10 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  19. ^ Media Spy - Forums -> Television Ratings

External linksEdit