I was one of the original Gladiators – but nearly ruined my life with steroids, booze and doomed love with Katie Price


IF you’ve rippling muscle tissues and suppose you look good in skimpy Lycra, you might be a contender for the revival of Nineties telly hit Gladiators.

The BBC is trying to find “superhumans” to participate within the resurrected recreation present, which begins filming subsequent yr.


The BBC Nineties telly hit Gladiators is trying to find ‘superhumans’ to participate within the resurrected recreation present, pictured: AceCredit score: Rex Options
Former Gladiator Ace warns that the role has a dark side, including his doomed relationship with Katie Price


Former Gladiator Ace warns that the function has a darkish aspect, together with his doomed relationship with Katie ValueCredit score: Information Group Newspapers Ltd
Host Ulrika Jonsson with Gladiators Khan, Saracen and Ace in 1997


Host Ulrika Jonsson with Gladiators Khan, Saracen and Ace in 1997Credit score: Rex
Warren Furman cooks pizza on Christian Instagram post


Warren Furman cooks pizza on Christian Instagram publishCredit score: instagram/aceactiveministry

However former Gladiator and fan favorite Ace has warned that the function has a darkish aspect, and instructed of steroids, alcohol abuse — and a doomed ­relationship with Katie Value.

He mentioned: “I noticed harmful forces come into my life. My harmful selections have been slowly killing me.”

Blond hunk Ace — in actuality, bodybuilder Warren Furman — thought that being a Gladiator would assist him to develop into the brand new Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Having joined the unique ITV present for its fifth collection in 1996, he was incomes £2,000 an hour, started hanging out with celebrities and acquired engaged to mannequin Katie.

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He thought Hollywood would quickly beckon — however as a substitute, Warren developed a booze behavior, cut up from Katie, and after Gladiators was axed in 2000, he struggled financially.

He mentioned: “The upper I acquired, the decrease I needed to come down.”

Now TV manufacturing firm Hungry Bear Media, which is behind the revival, is asking Gladiator wannabes to ship of their functions.

Warren, 50, who lives in York along with his spouse and two kids, thinks they are going to must be powerful women and men who’re unwilling to accept second place — and he warns in opposition to a woke “It’s the participating that counts” strategy.

He mentioned: “Though it was the primary actuality TV present, I believe it celebrates individuals for the precise causes.

Family names

“Individuals have been in competitors and it was wholesome competitors, which was bringing out the perfect in one another.

“While you went in opposition to one other contestant or Gladiator it was all achieved within the spirit of sportsmanship, which I liked.

“I believe nowadays we’re nervous about offending one another, or the notion that we shouldn’t do competitors as a result of there’s no such factor as second place. No, we’ve got to toughen up a bit of bit.”

Gladiators first body-slammed on to our TV screens in 1992 with Solar columnist Ulrika Jonsson and ex-footballer John Fashanu presenting the prime-time battle of brawn.

At its peak it drew in 16 million viewers, and turned the likes of Michael Van Wijk as Wolf, James Crossley as Hunter and Kim Betts as Lightning into family names.

Viewers liked to see these Gladiators taking over members of the general public within the area.

It could be as much as Ace and his colleagues to defeat these contenders in a collection of rounds, making them fall from suspended rings in Grasp Robust or blocking the trail of their big hamster-ball “pods” in Atlaspheres.

A earlier try to revive Gladiators on Sky in 2008 lasted solely a yr. The brand new 11-episode collection guarantees to revive lots of the unique challenges, ending once more with the fearsome Eliminator assault course.

Warren was a roofer from Harlow in Essex when he signed up for the unique present. He recalled: “I all the time wished to be a hit, I all the time wished to be accepted.

“I used to be a shy child and I used to be an insecure particular person and I used to be all the time in search of adulation and acceptance. I believed showbiz meant you bought fame and wealthy and also you lived fortunately ever after.”

Because of his blue eyes, 48in chest and 6ft 1in body, Warren as Gladiator Ace proved a right away hit with feminine followers. Two years later he began relationship Katie, higher recognized again then as glamour mannequin Jordan.

He was the primary man she agreed to marry, however their engagement didn’t final. Her former fiancé joked: “I believe perhaps Katie had the fortunate escape — what do you suppose?”

Their relationship had lasted solely 18 months — because of the strain of being within the public eye. Warren mentioned: “We have been each equally in charge for the breakdown of our relationship.

“We have been each younger, we have been each courting the Press. We have been very comparable individuals, we got here from working-class backgrounds and we acquired on very nicely, however the pressures of fame cursed the connection in loads of methods.” They parted on good phrases, with Katie commenting that Warren was one of many few boyfriends who didn’t cheat on her.

The issue was that each of them have been so busy in search of success that they didn’t have time for one another. Warren mentioned: “My idol was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s a person simply conquering the world with large muscle tissues.

I believe nowadays we’re nervous about offending one another, or the notion that we shouldn’t do competitors as a result of there’s no such factor as second place.

“I believed that’s what I’d do — I’d go to Hollywood and develop into a film star. One other Gladiator, Trojan — Mark Griffin — had achieved that. He acquired to Hollywood and was showing in motion pictures with the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme.”

Like many bodybuilders, Warren was so determined to have bulging calves and biceps that he took banned development hormones. However the Gladiators producers warned him that if he stored taking steroids he could be ditched.

Warren mentioned: “I dabbled in steroids, then I acquired the TV present. On the TV present they drug-tested you. So that they mentioned, ‘When you’re taking any steroids the extent should come down, if not, then we’ll sack you’. In order that was an actual blessing that Gladiators got here alongside for me, as a result of within the sport of bodybuilding, steroids are rife.

“The fact is steroids are a killer. I used to be very fortunate.”

The celebration way of life that got here with being a TV superstar was not really easy to give up. Slightly than residing the lifetime of an athlete, Warren started to smoke and drink closely.

He admitted: “I used to be an athlete and sportsman on a TV present that required me to be match, however I began to choose up some habits that I by no means thought I’d ever, like smoking and consuming alcohol, and numerous it.”

After the programme was axed in 2000 Warren quickly discovered that casting brokers weren’t knocking on his door.

Christian religion

And quite than engaged on Hollywood blockbusters he discovered himself starring in pantomime.

Ultimately he returned to the development trade and his wage dropped to £20 an hour.

Warren mentioned: “As soon as the bubble bursts the celebrity and riches don’t deliver success and happiness.”

Realising he had not discovered fulfilment at showbiz events, Warren then started looking for it in faith. And he maintains that because of his Christian religion, he has been in a position to surrender tobacco and now solely drinks alcohol socially.

Nowadays he’s a preacher whose work contains visiting faculties throughout his North Yorkshire patch.

He nonetheless retains match, and hopes that the return of the Gladiators will persuade at this time’s kids to do extra train.

He mentioned: “I believed it was factor that Gladiators is coming again. I believe we’d like a TV present to advertise well being and health as a result of we’ve acquired issues now on this nation with weight problems and diets and all these issues.

“Youngsters want function fashions and to take care of themselves bodily.”

Warren additionally hopes that 44-year-old Katie, who has been married thrice and lately hung out in rehab, can flip her life round, like he has.

He mentioned: “I pray for her as a result of in that way of life of hers it’s very troublesome to maintain on the straight and slender, and it’s very troublesome to belief individuals. I pray that her household can keep collectively and I pray that she will be able to cool down and discover peace and happiness.”

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However simply because Warren is a preacher nowadays, it doesn’t imply that he wouldn’t make a comeback as Ace. He did return for Sky’s Gladiators collection and says his door can be open to the BBC.

He added: “If God sends me to the highest of an area with a stick in my hand and asks me to hit somebody over the pinnacle, I’d do it.”

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