SHE found fame on Gladiators, as popular for her strength and skill as her svelte figure and mane of glossy hair.

Diane Youdale, known as Jet from the iconic ITV show, popped into Horwich Leisure Centre, Victoria Road, on Friday evening as a guest instructor for the Hi NRG Fitnesse class.

About 50 people took part in the class, which Belinda Beaver and Melinda Barone recently re-launched at the centre after sessions were first held there 25 years ago.

The 44-year-old, who was a favourite on Gladiators between 1992 and 1996, said: “I met Belinda more than 20 years ago when I was doing a teacher training video for her company.

“They asked if I could come up and do part of the class for them.

“I haven’t taught in many years but I said, for you Belinda, I will. I think what they’re doing is wonderful.”

The weekly Hi NRG Fitnesse classes, held between 6pm and 7pm every Friday, are up-tempo, traditional aerobics-style classes while Diane’s guest section was dance inspired due to her background as a choreographer.

She was working as a dancer and actress when she was asked by Nigel Lythgoe, creator of Pop Idol, to become a Gladiator.

The former gymnast, who now works as a psychotherapist, said: “I enjoyed the show but then the accidents became so severe, I was happy to walk away after four years.”


Gladiators super fan Sarah Partington, from Over Hulton, was delighted to be reunited with the TV star, who she idolised in 1990s.

The 33-year-old primary school supply teacher, who used to travel to the NEC in Birmingham to watch Gladiators, said: “Back in the day, it got me into keeping fit and eating healthily.

“Jet was my favourite. She seemed really friendly on the TV and when I met her she was very approachable.

“I loved the action on Gladiators. Everyone would get round the TV on a Saturday night to watch it.”