'Gladiators' star Wolf wants to hand legacy on to his son for reboot
Gladiators star Michael Van Wijk, aka Wolf, has revealed his son has applied to take on his role in the upcoming reboot.
The bodybuilder - who now lives in New Zealand - admitted he would love to take part in the BBC's resurrection of the hit 90s show but thinks at 70 he may be considered too old.
Van Wijk told Birmingham World: "My son looks exactly like me, he is 6ft tall, he looks exactly like me, he has applied to be a gladiator.
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"He hasn’t said he is my son, but he has sent his details off. He is super fit, muscular, an amazing athlete - he wants to be the new Wolf. His enthusiasm is the same as mine and his sense of humour is the same as mine, I think he would go down really well.
"I would love to go back and do the show, I am fit enough to do it, fitness isn’t the problem, but I don’t think they would take me on at 70."
Wolf's son is called Dean and is 34.
Van Wijk added he would be keen to host the new 2023 series.
The original Gladiators, filmed at the Birmingham NEC, was hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and footballer John Fashanu.
Gym owner Van Wijk was a fan of the US version of the show and so applied to be a gladiator when he heard London Weekend Television (LWT) were making a UK version.
He revealed he faced 800 applicants in a series of series of fitness trials at Woolwich Army Barracks to be picked as a gladiator.
Van Wijk claimed it was his idea for his character to be the villain of the show but producers were unsure at first.
He said: "I went up to the producers and I was like ‘Can I be bad’ and they said no, and I explained how I would do it for one show and if they don’t like it he won’t ask again.
"I became bad, and it just took off, people loved it."
The Saturday night sports entertainment show aired on ITV from 1992 to 2000 and featured members of the public taking on the gladiators in a series of fitness challenges.
It was briefly resurrected between 2008 and 2009.
Read more: Gladiators star Cobra reveals he was sometimes drunk on the show
The BBC have confirmed the new 11-episode series, made by Hungry Bear Media and MGM Television UK, will be filmed at the Utilita Arena Sheffield in 2023 and will welcome a brand new generation of gladiators.
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