Lifestyle

Gladiators rich list reveals stars cashing in on Instagram… including beefcake who’s pals with I’m A Celeb winner – The Sun


THEY work together to defeat the contenders – but who’s winning the battle to become the richest Gladiator?

Since the reboot of the iconic 90s show on the BBC last month, the contenders’ profiles have skyrocketed and turned them into fully-fledged influencers.

Elle-Mae Rayner, aka Comet, getting her influencer game on

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Elle-Mae Rayner, aka Comet, getting her influencer game onCredit: @ellamaerayner
The BBC has rebooted Gladiators with a brand new line-up this year

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The BBC has rebooted Gladiators with a brand new line-up this year

One contestant has gone from a firefighter to being pals with an I’m a Celebrity star, while another is raking in masses of attention – arguably helped by his glamorous wife.

So which Gladiators are cashing in the most on their newfound Instagram fame?

1. Harry Aikines Aryeetey – aka Nitro

He is as quick as lightning on the track – and it appears Team GB sprinter Harry Aikines Aryeetey, 35, is hard to beat on social media, too.

Harry, known as Nitro on Gladiators, is a Commonwealth and World gold medallist sprinter who has competed at the highest level since his youth.

Harry Aikines Aryeetey showing off his incredible washboard abs

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Harry Aikines Aryeetey showing off his incredible washboard abs
Harry, known as 'Nitro' on the show, with his adorable daughter and partner

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Harry, known as ‘Nitro’ on the show, with his adorable daughter and partner

He became the first athlete to win gold medals at both 100 and 200 metres at the World Youth Championships and won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year at 17.

Harry also runs a personalised coaching business for budding athletes, which has taken off on Instagram and helped boost his following to 272,300.

The proud dad, who often shares sweet snaps with his daughter, can earn over £3,000 per post, according to social media analytics site Hypeauditor.

He previously told the BBC: “Becoming a Gladiator is another great achievement! A childhood dream come true!”

2. Matt Morsia – aka Legend

Matt Morsia posing with his wife Sarah

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Matt Morsia posing with his wife SarahCredit: @mattdoesfitness
Matt is known as 'Legend' on the show

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Matt is known as ‘Legend’ on the showCredit: BBC

While Matt Morsia may be known for his international track and field accolades, it seems posts of his family life with his glam wife is what the fans want.

A snap of him and Sarah showing off their phenomenally toned bodies beside a pool has attracted more than 20,000 likes.

Matt – aka Legend, a name he loves to live up to on the show – has an impressive one million Instagram followers, which can reportedly earn him around £1,500 per Instagram post.

He also has a huge audience as a successful fitness influencer, with more than 355 million views on YouTube.

The former Championship bronze medal winning long and triple jumper and silver medal winning powerlifter reportedly trains up to six times a week to keep in shape.

In 2020 he released his first book, The 24/7 Body, which became a Sunday Times Bestseller.

3. Elle-Mae Rayner – aka Comet

Elle-Mae Rayner is now a fitness influencer on Instagram

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Elle-Mae Rayner is now a fitness influencer on InstagramCredit: @ellamaerayner
She is known as 'Comet' on the show

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She is known as ‘Comet’ on the show

With her striking good looks it’s no wonder Elle-Mae Rayner, known as Comet, is a shooting star on social media.

Elle-Mae is a former elite gymnast who made the move into semi-professional diving before studying sport science at university.

There she made a name for herself coaching and competing in University Cheerleading Championships. 

After suffering a career-ending ankle injury, Elle-Mae became a fitness model and has since gone on to score endorsement deals with nutrition companies like Bulk.

She boasts a following of 321,200 fans on Instagram and can earn an estimated £1,300 with every sponsored post.

She usually posts about her daily routines, letting fans in on her hot tips to stay trim.

4. Zack George – aka Steel

Zack George pictured with Ashley Cain left and his family right

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Zack George pictured with Ashley Cain left and his family right
He goes under the persona 'Steel' on Gladiators

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He goes under the persona ‘Steel’ on GladiatorsCredit: BBC

Winning the title of the UK’s Fittest Man in 2020, contender Zack George has built an impressive brand – even landing himself a spot on the front cover of Men’s Health magazine.

Most of his posts are workout clips and fitness related, with a smattering of famous faces – including Ashley Cain – and snaps of his family.

Dad Zack was motivated to help people with their fitness after undertaking his own personal fitness journey as a teenager.

Zack has 223,000 followers and it’s estimated one of his motivational sponsored posts could earn him £860.

5. Jamie Christian Johal – aka Giant

Jamie Christian Johal hugging Sam Thompson

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Jamie Christian Johal hugging Sam ThompsonCredit: @akathegiant
Jamie appears as Giant in the arena

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Jamie appears as Giant in the arenaCredit: BBC

Former firefighter turned bodybuilder Jamie Christian Johal has become a beast on social media, boasting 149,700 followers.

And it’s not just because of his 6ft 5in gigantic frame – earning him the name Giant.

Most of his posts are tailored towards bodybuilding – but his irresistible smile is causing his numbers to surge, too.

The hunk has become so lovable he’s even won over I’m a Celeb winner Sam Thompson, with a photo of the pair hugging.

For every sponsored post it’s estimated the former emergency serviceman can earn around £640.

6. Sheli McCoy – aka Sabre

Sheli McCoy posing for Instagram

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Sheli McCoy posing for Instagram
The Scot goes by the name 'Sabre'

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The Scot goes by the name ‘Sabre’Credit: BBC

A bombshell blonde, Sheli McCoy – aka Sabre -describes herself as a “grafter” and trains 16-19 hours per week.

Her Instagram follows her journey though competitive weightlifting and CrossFit – becoming Scottish champion in both fields. Stunning Sabre also runs her own gym in Dundee.

She has 114,200 Instagram followers, which can earn her up to an estimated £550 per post.

She told the BBC:  “I truly hope Sabre will inspire and empower the younger generation of strong capable females just as the Gladiators I once watched inspired me to be a confident athletic women.”

7. Jodie Ounsley – aka Furie

Jodie Ounsley is a winger for the Exeter Chiefs

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Jodie Ounsley is a winger for the Exeter ChiefsCredit: @jodieounsley
She appears as 'Fury' on Gladiators

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She appears as ‘Fury’ on Gladiators

Known for her blistering pace for the Exeter Chiefs, Jodie Ounsley also has solid influencer game.

Given the Gladiator name Fury thanks to her power and passion, the former England Women’s Rugby Seven’s player, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu British Champion and five times World Coal Carrying champion has a wide-ranging profile.

Posting a mix of healthy eating, on-field drama and a glamorous personal life, Jodie has attracted more than 34,300 followers to her Instagram page, and is estimated to earn about £418 a post.

She has Gladiators in her blood; her father was a contender on the show in 2008, and she has been training to outdo him ever since.

8. Karenjeet Kaur Bains – aka Athena

Karenjeet Kaur Bains has been surrounded by fitness her whole life

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Karenjeet Kaur Bains has been surrounded by fitness her whole lifeCredit: @karenjeet_bains
She is 'Athena' on the show

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She is ‘Athena’ on the showCredit: BBC

Not too many people can call themselves Guinness World Record holders, but Karenjeet Kaur Bains can.

The gifted athlete has marketed her sporting prowess on her social media to build her brand that has brought in roughly 37,300 fans.

Her posts champion healthy living and mindset, travel and fitness – and can earn her a reported £380 a pop.

Karanjeet represented Team GB at powerlifting and won three Gold and two Silver Commonwealth medals.

She is also a five time All England Powerlifting Champion and five time British Powerlifting Champion, and holds the Guinness World Record for Most Bodyweight Squats in a Minute.

Trained as a Chartered Accountant, Karanjeet is a perfect mix of brain, brawn and beauty, just like the Ancient Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena.

9. Livi Sheldon – aka Diamond

Former Worcester City FC star Olivia Sheldon is now a Gladiator

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Former Worcester City FC star Olivia Sheldon is now a GladiatorCredit: Instagram @livisheldon
Livi competes as 'Diamond'

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Livi competes as ‘Diamond’Credit: Instagram @livisheldon

A football star and a force to be reckoned with in the gym, Livi Sheldon boasts 28,600 followers on Instagram.

A lot of her posts show off her body as well as her fitness clients – in one post she says she helps “females build strong minds and bodies”.

It’s estimated she can earn up to £284 per post.

It’s no wonder she got the Gladiator name Diamond for being both striking and indestructible.

Livi’s passion for sports began at age six, when she played for a boys football team.

Eventually moving over to a girls’ team, she captained her junior team before signing with Worcester City Ladies team.

An avid trainer, the star studied Sports Science and took up bodybuilding – becoming a British Finalist ‘England Toned Figure’.

10. Jade Packer – aka Electro

Jade Packer modelling

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Jade Packer modelling
Jade goes by the Gladiator name 'Electro'

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Jade goes by the Gladiator name ‘Electro’Credit: PA

An athlete, model and a creative is how Jade “Electro” Packer advertises herself on Instagram.

Her profile is full of stunning pics including professional shoots in active and street wear.

Jade’s endorsements can be traced back to her junior days when she was ranked among the Top 10 Fastest Runners in the UK for 150m before coming a teenager.

At 18, Electro discovered bodybuilding and has since meshed the two together to become a renowned fitness model.

Jade was recently awarded gold at the English Grand Prix – a competition run by the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation.

Electro has 34,500 followers, and can earn an estimated £276 per post.

11. Emily Steel – aka Dynamite

Emily Steel striking a pose

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Emily Steel striking a poseCredit: @emillysteel
Known as 'Dynamite', Emily is the youngest competitor on the show

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Known as ‘Dynamite’, Emily is the youngest competitor on the showCredit: BBC

Emily Steel is small, explosive and dangerous – just like Dynamite.

With a passion for swimming and CrossFit, all while juggling university, Emily has attracted a young fan base with 18,000 followers.

Her posts can earn her an estimated £205, and have seen her score some lucrative deals.

She recently shared snaps from a beautiful spa, captioned: “Thank you for the lovely treat @moddershalloaks. Some much needed downtime before we head back into exams.”

Recently competing internationally at one of the largest fitness festivals in the world, Emily became an under 23s weightlifting British record holder.  

12. Toby Olubi – aka Phantom

UK bobsleigh champion Toby Olubi

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UK bobsleigh champion Toby OlubiCredit: BBC
His fierce competitive streak earned him the name 'phantom'

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His fierce competitive streak earned him the name ‘phantom’Credit: BBC

He may have just 9,600, but Toby Olubi still has an impressive engagement rate with his fans, meaning he can earn an estimated £114 per post.

His fame and glory comes from competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics with the Team GB Bobsleigh team.

The speedster shocked the world with an impressive performance, breaking the world record for the fastest ever bobsleigh at 97 mph.

A gifted athlete, Toby – aka Phantom – uses his platform to motivate other sportspeople.

One post showed off his washboard abs during training and was captioned: “No dream too big”.

It was met with a whopping 800 likes, with one fan remarking: “Hard work pays off.”

13. Alex Gray – aka Apollo

Alex Gray pictured in his Atlanta Falcons kit

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Alex Gray pictured in his Atlanta Falcons kitCredit: @alexander_thegrayt
He appears as Apollo

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He appears as ApolloCredit: INSTAGRAM @ gladiatorstv

Slowly coming up the ranks in American football, Alex Gray fortunately has the backing of a US fan base.

His social media is dedicated to his love for the game, which has seen him attract more than 8,500 followers.

He started his career as rugby union player, making the England Sevens team as well as captaining the English Rugby teams for Under 16s, 18s and 20s. before being scouted to the NFL.

He signed for Atlantic Falcons and then became the first international player to Captain an NFL team.​

Dubbed Apollo on Gladiators, he can earn an estimated minimum of £100 for content he posts.

14. Montell Douglas – aka Fire

Montell Douglas in the gym

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Montell Douglas in the gymCredit: PA
The sprinter is known as 'Fire'

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The sprinter is known as ‘Fire’

Bringing the heat to the Gladiators stadium is GB’s first ever winter and summer Olympic athlete Montell Douglas.

Known as ‘Fire’, the sporting trailblazer isn’t afraid to show off her sizzling physique to her 6,100-strong followers on Instagram.

And good luck to anyone up against the former Team GB Sprinter, who held the British woman’s record for fastest 100m sprint at 11.05 seconds, smashing the previous record which had stood unbeaten for 27 years.

Montell uses her platform to motivate women to achieve their own dreams, no matter what age or background.

It’s estimated she can earn about £70 per post.

15. Matty Campbell – aka Bionic

Matty Campbell showing off his bulging leg muscles

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Matty Campbell showing off his bulging leg musclesCredit: @matty___campbell
The bodybuilder is known as 'Bionic'

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The bodybuilder is known as ‘Bionic’

With bulging biceps and mind blowing quads, it’s clear Matty Campbell doesn’t skip leg day.

Named ‘Bionic’ thanks to his impressive physique and towering 6ft 6in frame, Matty promises to crush any opponent who gets in his way on Gladiators.

Matty became a gym junkie, eventually becoming a bodybuilder, after his dream of becoming a professional footballer was tragically cut short due to a car accident.

The 28-year-old said going to the gym is a form of therapy.

He is using his growing following of 5,800 fans to discuss issues such as body dysmorphia in men. It’s estimated he can earn about £47 per post.

16. Quang Luong – aka Viper

Quang Luong loves pumping iron

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Quang Luong loves pumping ironCredit: @legend_thegladiator
Viper from Gladiators

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Viper from GladiatorsCredit: Gladiators

Quang Luong is swapping the glamorous world of modelling and acting for the Gladiators area.

Named the ‘Viper’ for his silent and swift reactions, this buff bodybuilder is inspired by martial arts superstar Bruce Lee.

Viper has spent 15 years perfecting the art of bodybuilding at the gym and often posts photos of himself and his fellow gladiators training.

He has 3,300 followers, and it’s estimated he can earn £27 for posting sponsored content.



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