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Gladiators superfan launches podcast alongside childhood idol Jet

PUBLISHED: 12:29 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:13 06 June 2020

David Blackmore and Diane 'Jet' Youdale, who have launched a podcast together. Picture: Gladiators TV

David Blackmore and Diane 'Jet' Youdale, who have launched a podcast together. Picture: Gladiators TV

Gladiators TV

For people of a certain generation, Saturday night television was Gladiators - the over-the-top game show which pitted ordinary people against super-fit athletes in tests of strength and agility.

David Blackmore, who has launched a podcast with Gladiator Jet. Picture: Ian BurtDavid Blackmore, who has launched a podcast with Gladiator Jet. Picture: Ian Burt

Presented by John Fashanu and Ulrika Jonsson, the Saturday night spectacle featured larger-than-life characters from the big bad Wolf, to object of Alan Partridge’s affections, Jet.

Decades later, a Norfolk superfan of the cult show is reliving its early 90s heyday through a new podcast alongside the same Gladiator whose poster once proudly hung in his childhood bedroom - Jet herself.

Journalist David Blackmore, of King’s Lynn, has launched The GladPod, a podcast sharing stories of the programme, which he presents alongside Jet - whose real name is Diane Youdale.

In the series, the pair catch up with some of the memorable faces of the show, including Hunter, Panther and Cobra, while also finding out just how close Jet came to presenting a millennium barn dance at Yeovil Aerodrome - as was once proposed by Steve Coogan’s comedy character.

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Mr Blackmore, 33, said: “I met Jet at an event celebrating the 25th anniversary at the show and we got talking. I don’t often get nervous when I meet people, but the first time I met her I was - I was such a big fan. To start with, I was quite star struck.

“What I loved about Gladiators is all the characters had their own personalities that you could like for different reasons - but more often than not Jet seemed to be people’s favourite.”

After staying in touch through social media, Mr Blackmore floated the idea for a podcast celebrating the show.

He added: “We had a really good time recording the episodes and we’ve put together a great first series. It was really fascinating hearing all the stories about how the show grew - how when they filmed the first series the arena was nearly empty, then all of a sudden it was rammed.

“We also exclusively reveal that if Alan Partridge did reach out to Jet for a date, she would think about it, but she’s worried he might have gone a bit cold on her now.”

The first two episodes of the series are available to listen to via Simplecast.


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