Gladiators star Wolf explains how small budget led to failing reboot

Gladiators star Wolf on why the last attempt to reboot show failed

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Gladiators star Michael Van Wijk, famed for his Wolf character during the 1990s has reflected on the reboot of the show in 2008. He told Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain about the reasons Sky could not recreate the success of ITV on its original run. Michael appeared alongside his son Dean, who is hoping to appear in a third edition of the show.

Ben said to Michael via video link: “Michael, they did try to bring Gladiators back 14 years ago in a slightly different guise but it didn’t do so well that time.

“What makes you think this time it will be a success?”

Michael replied: “Basically, in all due respect to Sky, they tried to do it on a small budget and in a small studio where you can only get about 400 people in if you’re lucky.

“Whereas all our shows were in the national indoor arena and there was a 10,000 live audience.”

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He added: “So the atmosphere and the whole vastness of the arena came across whereas when you are limited to a little studio it’s not very good.”

Kate agreed with the former star of the ITV phenomenom and said: “You need that big roar of a crowd don’t you?

“Let’s hope the producers are watching.”

The father-son duo were looking to attract show-makers to go ahead with a new series of the nostalgic show in 2023.

Sky relaunched the programme in 2008 for two series presented by Kirsty Gallacher and Ian Wright.

Despite the eight year gap since its final outing on ITV, the show was cut from Sky after only a year.

The original hit show was presented by Ulrika Johnson and John Fashanu and made stars of characters like Jet, Saracen and Rhino.

During the interview, Dean was kitted out in his famous father’s iconic Wolf vest and explained he was “ready to go tomorrow”, should another series be on its way.

There have been rumours of a new edition coming to TV screens since the summer.

Broadcast magazine reported in July that filming was expected to start in Sheffield Arena next year.

Holly Willoughby was fancied as the new face of the programme, after her production company Hungry Bear Media was linked to the reboot.

However, in September The Sun claimed Bradley and Barney Walsh were set to take the reins.

The BBC has since confirmed in August that Gladiators will be coming to the network and The Sun report the show will also be hosted by the presenting pair.

They reported: “The BBC love the idea of having a unique duo fronting Gladiators and that’s what hiring a father and son gives them.

“It’s certainly a break from the presenters the show had previously.

“They already know they have a great dynamic, thanks to appearing together on their travelogue, Breaking Dad, as well as the drama, The Larkins.”

Good Morning Britain airs every week day at 6am on ITV

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