Gladiators is all about glamour, guts and plenty of ‘gung-ho’. A new audience is full of love for the made-in-Sheffield Saturday night BBC One show with its all-action thrills and spills from daring athletes competing to the max.

And Diane Youdale-Gilbert is always tuned in to watch. As Jet in the original series way back in 1992, she became a fan favourite at the age of 22.

With a pedigree as a GB gymnast, she was an impressive athlete and had also trained as a choreographer so sport, performance and the spotlight came naturally to her. Standing still didn’t though, she remembers.

Talking about the pressure of being in front of the camera on the prime time show she says, ‘We were left to our own devices to develop our own persona.

‘One of the reasons I did that flicky hair, smiley somersault-y thing was because I didn’t want to stand still and pose. I just wanted to fly around the arena – hence the name Jet!’

In the arena on the current series, she is impressed by Legend, ‘He’s being tongue-in-cheek naughty and ‘it’s all about me’ - that’s a great character to put into the arena because he’s going to make people want to hate him! Of the girls, Sabre is a fabulous athlete and brilliant to watch, as is Diamond.

Great British Life: Gladiator Jet, Diane Youdale, campaigned to save Redcar Steelworks: Gladiator Jet, Diane Youdale, campaigned to save Redcar Steelworks: (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

‘All the new Gladiators are out of this world – the level of sports science now means they are superhuman!’

Diane left the show in 1996 after suffering a neck injury, but believes injury risk is part of the game. ‘You can never make the arena a safe place otherwise we wouldn't be Gladiators.’

So, her fitness level these days? She laughs.

‘It’s all right. These days I love teaching and my favourite subject is psychotherapy and the health of the mind, but I also teach dance fitness and Zumba and Pilates. I love delivering fitness and wellbeing.’

Diane, now 54, also does personal training and she enjoys taking clients into the outdoors.

She lives close to the North York Moors and coast. Born and bought up in Billingham, Diane love days out in countryside and by the sea. She still loves a bit of wild swimming in the sea at Saltburn – and is planning to take a surfboard out this summer, ‘I can get up and ride the waves’ – or heading for a clifftop walk at Huntcliff. On the beach she loves nothing more than gathering driftwood and stones for artwork.

‘I also love heading up those hills at Osmotherley and climbing Roseberry Topping for great views. Same with the Wainstones walk, it’s inspiring.’

All these are meditative, mindful pastimes which align with the therapy career she followed after Gladiators - a big contrast to the heady days of furious competition in the Gladiator arena, which is how she likes it.

Life is calm in her work as psychotherapist, something she practices online and is keen to develop, along with more teaching.

Great British Life: Happy days - Diane and Zoe married last summer and love spending their days walking in Yorkshire. Happy days - Diane and Zoe married last summer and love spending their days walking in Yorkshire. (Image: Diane Youdale-Glibert)

She enjoys a quiet life with wife Zoe, ‘a brilliant cook’, who she married last summer – after a romance that surprisingly started in the aisle at Tesco.

‘Zoe knew the timings when I was teaching some fitness classes and thought ‘if I hover’ in the supermarket nearby I might get to bump into her’ (me).

‘She approached me, aisle six, as I was doing my ‘mum’s shop’. I looked up and her big blue eyes were looking at me. She said, ‘I think you're the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen – can I ask you out on a date.

‘We’ve never been apart since. She is funny, wise, kind and we cry with laughter together – we're just a really good match mentally. I didn't think I'd ever couple up with anybody again but you fall for the person, old, young, different culture, male, female – it’s the soul of the person I've always fallen for.’