Gladiators’ star Giant given second chance by show’s bosses after dangerous boasts over steroid use

CONTROVERSIAL Gladiator Giant will be back for the BBC show’s second series despite admitting to using dangerous steroids.

The 6ft 5in Goliath brought the family show into disrepute when it was revealed he’d relied on the Class C drugs, which can lead to heart attacks, kidney failure and psychiatric trauma, to boost his muscles.

Gladiator Giant will be back for the BBC show’s second series despite admitting to using dangerous steroids

Gladiator Giant will be back for the BBC show’s second series despite admitting to using dangerous steroidsCredit: BBC

Giant brought the family show into disrepute when it was revealed he’d relied on the Class C drugs

Giant brought the family show into disrepute when it was revealed he’d relied on the Class C drugsCredit: PA

Giant pictured with Gladiators host Bradley Walsh

Giant pictured with Gladiators host Bradley WalshCredit: BBC
Online videos, including one titled “Take this and you will get big”, showed the ex-fireman advising other bodybuilders how to achieve “phenomenal gains” using anabolic steroids.


Despite the scandal, the BBC this week confirmed Giant, real name Jamie Christian-Johal, will be part of their tough troop for series two.



In January, the muscleman, 37, admitted he had come off the drugs in October 2022 – just eight months before filming for Gladiators began.

The revelation rocked the Saturday teatime show and left the BBC in crisis mode.

A source said: “The first series of Gladiators was a huge success for the BBC and so there was no surprise to hear that a second series had been ordered.

“What was more surprising, though, is that bosses had not taken the chance to weed out any of the less family-friendly characters through a shake-up of the Gladiator squad.

“It was a PR nightmare for the BBC at the time.


“It’s a family show and they somehow had not spotted this material from its biggest star.

“Fans could find his advice for taking steroids with just a simple Google search of his name.”

Some 9.8m viewers have now watched the first episode of the series, with an average of 8.3m across the run.

Tonight contender Finlay Anderson will battle Wesley Male, whilst Bronte Jones will take on Marie-Louise Nicholson to be crowned male and female winners.

Bradley Walsh ‘TAKEN OUT’ by Giant after unearthed clip shows the Gladiator ‘boasting of taking dangerous steroids’
They will grapple with the Gladiators, who also include the likes of Diamond, Athena, Legend and Bionic, as part of the grand finale, which was filmed at Sheffield Utilita Arena last summer.

This week BBC director general Tim Davie revealed that the show would be back for series two and the BBC confirmed to The Sun that all 16 Gladiators would return.

However, applications are now open for new contenders – and also Gladiators.

Parents of young fans were particularly concerned by the steroid revelations from Giant.

Gladiators stars were said to have taken frequent drug tests and been quizzed about their use of performance enhancing drugs before being signed up — but somehow Giant’s videos were missed.

In a Facebook post, he tells how he was 200lb in 2009 but now expected to hit 310lb.

In a YouTube clip the married father from Derbyshire declares: “I didn’t start taking steroids until I was 24 years old.”

Giant told The Sun: “I have always been open and transparent about my use of steroids whilst I was a professional bodybuilder.

“During that time, I spoke openly about the legal use of performance enhancements as a competitive bodybuilder and how to safely administer them.

“I stopped competing as a bodybuilder in October 2022 and responsibly came off steroids.

“I am no longer a professional bodybuilder and am no longer taking steroids and do not advocate the use of them.”

At the time, the BBC added: “The Gladiators production team were robust with their no-drugs policy and drug testing was part of the process which all Gladiators agreed to and complied with.

“The results showed that they were not taking performance enhancing drugs.”



Anabolic steroids are Class C drugs that can only be issued by pharmacists with a prescription.

They are legal to use but illegal to sell, even to friends.

The penalty is an unlimited fine, or jail term of up to 14 years.

Side-effects of anabolic steroids can include reduced sperm count, infertility, shrunken testicles, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, breast development and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

The final of Gladiators is on BBC One tonight at 5:50pm.

Giant, real name Jamie Christian-Johal, will be part of the BBC's tough troop for series two

Giant, real name Jamie Christian-Johal, will be part of the BBC’s tough troop for series twoCredit: Rex

The Sun's front page exclusively revealed Giant's video brag about the drug use

The Sun’s front page exclusively revealed Giant’s video brag about the drug use

FINALIST ALREADY WINNER IN LOVE

SUPERFIT Marie-Louise Nicholson will tonight vie to be named top girl in the Gladiators final.

But she reckons she’s already a winner — as competing in the BBC series helped her find love.

Marie-Louise Nicholson, pictured with Bronte Jones, will tonight vie to be named top girl in the Gladiators final
Marie-Louise Nicholson, pictured with Bronte Jones, will tonight vie to be named top girl in the Gladiators finalCredit: BBC
The training instructor, 28, was heartbroken by a recent split when she signed up.

She told The Sun: “I did think I might meet someone on the show but I didn’t really fancy any of the Gladiators or the other contestants.

“But Gladiators made me truly believe in myself — I’m now very loved up and off the market.”




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