Post People: 1992 Gladiator winner Weininger Irwin

PUBLISHED: 12:06 14 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:06 14 May 2013

Weininger Irwin the first Gladiator winner in 1992 with his trophy

Weininger Irwin the first Gladiator winner in 1992 with his trophy


Weininger Irwin, from Dagenham, won the first ever series of hit show Gladiators...

Twenty-one years ago I won the first series of Gladiators. I had watched the American version of the show and as soon as I saw an advert for the UK auditions in The Voice newspaper I applied straight away.

I was then invited down for an assessment day with thousands of people where we had to do some fitness tests and then show how competitive we were by duelling against another competitor, but I think they were more assessing it on how you came across on camera. I competed over two weeks for three shows: the preliminary round, the semi-final and the final.

Each show took two days to film and each event took about an hour to set up, even though the entire show was only one hour in itself.

I competed against the legendary Wolf and beat him climbing the wall.

Then there was the Duel.

For those who remember the show they’ll remember the best guy was Shadow. In the first series I was the only contender that drew with him on the Duel.

There was also Hang Tough, Atlaspheres, the Wall, Swingshot and then the Eliminator – that was absolutely top drawer.

It was an experience that I’m glad I did and I will never forget.

I won £5,000, which went on a new car but I had some outstanding debts so I didn’t see much of it.

I’ve still got the yellow top I competed in hidden somewhere in the house.

I’m now 50, I’m married and I have four kids aged from 16 to 10 years old. They have no option but to watch me in Gladiators. When their friends see it they are bit like “oh boy”, but they know the score, it’s a big part of my past.

I still keep fit and teach dance at the Becontree Heath Leisure Centre in Dagenham.

When I look back at my time on Gladiators it makes me smile.

They still do re-runs on Challenge TV and sometimes I get people wishing me luck, not realising that it was years ago.

They tried to bring the show back a few years ago but it was a mistake and didn’t work.

Gladiators had its time. I think just celebrate it for what it was.

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