BBC Gladiators fans fume ‘Get rid!’ as star given official warning over behaviour towards ‘frightened’ contestant

BBC Gladiators fans fume ‘Get rid!’ as star given official warning over behaviour towards ‘frightened’ contestant

Contender gets revenge on cheating Viper

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 03/03/2024

- 16:46

Updated: 03/03/2024

- 22:35

The revived series is based on the original 1990s game show of the same name

Gladiators recently returned to screens after the 1990s series was revived, and while the stars are different, fans of the original series enjoy the nostalgic feel of the game show, which has kept to a similar format.

However, the latest episode on Saturday left people furious as Gladiator Viper pinned down a contestant, leaving him “frightened” and resulting in an official warning.

Viper, whose real name is Quang Luong, was deemed to be playing unfairly during one of the challenges and the show's referee had to intervene.

The Gladiator seems to have taken on the role of the villain in the game, much like Wolf in the original show, who was famed for being the "bad" Gladiator.

During one challenge called The Ring, the contenders were tasked with reaching the middle of a circle and hitting a button to win points.

Of course, there were Gladiators trying to stop the hopefuls from achieving the points. One player, Ash, was left terrified as Viper grabbed him and pinned him to the ground.

Quang Luong, AKA Viper

Viper was given an official warning by the referee


The commentator of the programme observed: “Viper is not letting go. Sonia’s trying to prise him away, but he’s at it again. He’s more like a python than a viper. Ash looks genuinely frightened.”

The audience quickly responding, chanting: “Off!” before referee Mark Clattenburg was forced to step in and put a stop to the cheating during the game.

He stated: “Viper! This is a formal warning! I told you in the locker room, no holding!” Fans watching from home were equally angered with the display of broken rules.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, several viewers asked for the show to “get rid” of the Gladiator.


Viper presents himself as the "villain" of the series


“Please get rid of Viper. Absolutely appalling acting, just ruins it. #Gladiators,” one complained. Another penned: “Viper has to be the worst gladiator in the history of gladiators #Gladiators.”

“Please dont bring Viper back, the joke has worn thin!” a third echoed while another viewer fumed: “Viper on #Gladiators trying his hardest to be the new wolf is a awful watch.”

A fifth joked: “You’d be so pleased if you came up against Viper in the #Gladiators . The guy puts so much effort into being ‘bad’ he forgets he’s actually got a job to do.”

However, there were other fans of the show who took a different view on the villainous Gladiator.

Legend, Bionic and Viper

Fans complained about Viper's treatment of a recent contender


One wrote: “People online can say Viper is a poor man’s Wolf but my kids cheer when he comes on. He plays the bad guy part well. #Gladiators.”

“I won’t accept the Viper slander, he’s absolutely doing a job that the kids are buying into #Gladiators,” (sic) someone else agreed.

Meanwhile, Mike van Wijk, who played Wolf in the original series, recently welcomed the return of the show but confessed the BBC snubbed his offer to be a part of it.

He told GB News earlier this year: “I really enjoyed doing it and to be perfectly honest with you, all joking aside, I could do it right now. I'm 71 years old. I'm 71 years old and fit. I'm strong. I've never stopped training.

He added: “I wanted to take part in some shape or form in the new series, or even be a co-host, but when I contacted them, I got no reply."

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