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Exeter rugby player becomes TV Gladiator

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Jodie Ounsley will follow in father's footsteps

An Exeter rugby player has been named as one of the first Gladiators ahead of the TV reboot later this year.

It was a smash hit back in the 1990s, but Gladiators is returning to our TV screens with an all-new line-up.

Heading up the new faces is Jodie Ounsley, who is swapping life as an Exeter Chiefs rugby player to take on the role of ‘Fury’ - one of two new Gladiators confirmed for the 11-part series.

Jodie, who has been part of Susie Appleby’s table-topping side this season, certainly has Gladiators in her blood as her father was a contender on the show in 2008. However, it’s her sporting background which also appeals to the show’s producers.

A former England Women’s Rugby Sevens player, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu British Champion and five-time World Coal Carrying champion, she won the title of Deaf Sports Personality of The Year in 2018. She is completely deaf in both ears and wears a cochlear implant to help her communicate.

Jodie said: "I'm proper buzzing. Watching Gladiators growing up I was always in awe of their strength and power and now I am one! I hope contenders are ready to feel the Fury.”

The hosts for the show have been confirmed as Bradley and Barney Walsh when it moves to the BBC later this year.  The competition will kick-off in Sheffield this summer.

Competitors from the general public will take part in a series of brand new games alongside classic challenges including fan favourites Duel, Hang Tough and The Eliminator. 

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