Gladiators: Doncaster rival Finlay in his 'pinch me' moment

image source, BBC/Hungry Bear Media

image caption,

Finley Burkitt (left) wins and advances to the quarter-finals

One of the first contestants on the newly revived TV show Gladiators has spoken about her „pinch me moment”.

Finley Burkitt, 22, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, appeared on the BBC show last Saturday – with a knee injury.

Despite stopping action as he was treated for pain, he completed the final challenge and secured a place in the quarter-finals.

„It was a pinch moment for me, I've never experienced anything like it before.”

„I wanted to go out and put on a show for everybody,” he added.

„I'm not normally like that. I'm very reserved – but as soon as I went out, there was a switch and I went into gladiator mode.”

Mr Burkitt, who works as a trackman for the railways, was injured while taking part in the gauntlet challenge.

image caption,

Contestants compete against gladiators in a series of game challenges

„All I remember was being pushed back a little bit by the Phantom, and then I felt pain,” he recalled.

„I couldn't see anyone, I just wanted to see my mom to give her a nod that I was fine.”

He then said that the Phantom checked that he was okay and that all the gladiators were behind the scenes supporting him.

„He was there and came to comfort me and told me what a good job I did, so I really respect him,” she said.

Mr Burkitt defeated Miles Harris from Leeds, West Yorkshire in the final eliminator.

image source, BBC/Hungry Bear Media

image caption,

Finlay Burkitt said anyone wanting to compete should know „it's harder than it looks”.

The BBC said an average of 6 million viewers tuned in to watch the one-hour opening episode last Saturday, filmed at the Utilita Arena Sheffield.

Made up of athletes, bodybuilders and athletes, gladiators each have a name that best describes them.

This year's lineup includes Apollo, Athena, Legend, Fire, Bionic, Diamond, Nitro, Electro, Giant, Steel, Comet, Viper, Fury, Phantom, Saber and Dynamite.

First broadcast from 1992 to 2000, the original series was hosted by Ulrika Johnson and footballer John Fashanu.

Gladiators is on Saturday 17:50 GMT on BBC One and iPlayer

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