Paul Campbell: Oldest ever Gladiators contender describes thrill of competing in home city Sheffield

He said the other contenders couldn't believe his age when he told them
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A grandfather from Sheffield is set to become the oldest contender to ever appear on Gladiators.

Paul Campbell, now 58, was 57 when he took on the new generation of Gladiators in the BBC reboot of the all-action game show, which was filmed last summer at Utilita Arena Sheffield and is due to begin airing on BBC One on Saturday, January 13.

Paul Campbell, from Sheffield, became the oldest contender ever in Gladiators when he took part in the show aged 57Paul Campbell, from Sheffield, became the oldest contender ever in Gladiators when he took part in the show aged 57
Paul Campbell, from Sheffield, became the oldest contender ever in Gladiators when he took part in the show aged 57
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Describing the experience in a video shared by Sheffield Council, he said: "Well it meant everything. It's my home town, it's a chance to get on the Gladiators show, which is TV, you know, it doesn't happen every day, so for me it excited me no end to perform in Sheffield, in front of the home crowd."

Asked what viewers can expect, he added: "It's very exciting, lot of action, lot of fit people, and everybody's giving 100 per cent, so yeah it's good, it will make good TV."

And on making history, he said: "I was the oldest contestant ever on Gladiators, England and US, I don't know anywhere else that does it.

"So yeah, 57 years old, oldest, I'm not saying I'm the fittest 57-year-old but I'd like to take anybody else on at 57/58, let's see where I'm at."

One of 15,000 applicants for Gladiators

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Paul, who lives in Millhouses and works as a sales manager, said the other contenders didn't believe him when he revealed his age.

He explained how he likes to keep fit and works out at the gym most days, runs, does yoga and boxes.

The dad-of-three, who has five grandchildren, said he was one of 15,000 people who applied to be on Gladiators and he was amazed to be chosen.

He described how he had a bit of fun on the show, even putting a call out for potential matches as he was single at the time of filming.

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The 11-episode series is hosted by father-and-son duo Bradley and Barney Walsh, with ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg responsible for keeping the contestants and Gladiators in check.

Football commentator Guy Mowbray will describe the action as contenders go head to head on apparatus old and new with the fresh line-up of Gladiators, including former Team GB sprinters and a fitness model who appeared in a James Bond film.

Discussing the new series being filmed in Sheffield, Councillor Martin Smith, chair of Sheffield Council's Economic Skills and Development Committee, said: "It's great to see a major TV production being filmed in Sheffield. It shows the rest of the media that as a city we're able to host large productions and it gives the city a bit of a buzz because, let's be honest, it's a bit of fun."

Sheffield is also due to host the 2024 MOBO Awards, which will be broadcast live from Utilita Arena Sheffield on February 7.

The first episode of Gladiators is set to air on BBC One on Saturday, January 13, at 5.50pm. It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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