‘Oldest Gladiators contestant’ wants to represent over-50s

Barney Walsh has confirmed that the “oldest ever” Gladiators contestant has taken part in Saturday’s show.

Hygiene product salesman, Paul, from Sheffield, lost out to mechanic Dev, 30, from Essex for a place in the quarter finals on the BBC One show.

Walsh, who presents the game show with his father Bradley Walsh, congratulated Paul on taking part before saying: “First off, I’ve got to say, oldest ever contender on gladiators. I mean, you must be proud of yourself.”

Gladiators,10-02-2024,5,(L-R) DEV PANKHANIA, BRADLEY WALSH, PAUL CAMPBELL ,*** UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00:00:01 06-02-2024 ***
Dev, host Bradley Walsh and Paul (BBC/Hungry Bear Media Ltd,)

Paul, 57, said he was “very proud” of how he performed in the events.

Before the competition, the hygiene product salesman said: “I want to represent over-50s, knowing, listen, that anybody can do what I can do.

“I can’t wait for my grandkids to see it and say: ‘That’s grandad.'”

Saturday’s episode also saw a female contestant beat a Gladiator during the Duel challenge, where two people try to push each other off a podium using pugil sticks, and a challenge replayed following one of the resident superhumans using an “illegal manoeuvre” against a contestant.

Legend, real name Matt Morsia, was criticised by the referee for using his legs in a scissor movement to knock down Dev on the bridge.

Former football referee Mark Clattenburg told him: “All of you Gladiators have been warned it’s against the rules to make any scissor action and therefore Dev will replay the event.”

He also said: “This is a form of warning, any more of these actions and you will be eliminated from the event.”

Legend defend his actions, by saying: “I have a medical condition that prevents me from fully closing my legs on that basis my medical condition… your (the audience is) booing my medical condition.”

Gladiators,10-02-2024,5,(L-R) BETTI WORTH, BARNEY WALSH, TUATHLAITH MURTAGH,*** UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00:00:01 06-02-2024 ***
Betti, Barney Walsh and Tuathlaith (BBC/Hungry Bear Media Ltd)

When it was replayed, Dev was taken down by the Gladiators and there were more questions over what the announcer said could be another “illegal manoeuvre”, but the referee concluded this was OK.

Elsewhere, Belfast contestant and personal trainer Tuathlaith was able to knock Gladiator Athena, Karenjeet Kaur Bains, off the podium.

Tuathlaith said this is “my least favourite event” and was amazed that she had done so well.

Her fellow competitor, sports coach Betti, also took “a huge tumble on the edge” and was taken off by paramedics but she prevailed after the obstacle course, the Eliminator.

She returned to the competition and won to progress to the quarter-finals.