Gladiators legend Lightning still bodybuilding aged 50 with Mr Universe husband

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Gladiator’s Queen of Tough Hang, Lightning, is still as ripped as ever 20 years after starring on the iconic TV show.

Since the show ended in 2000, Lightning, whose real name is Kim Betts, has become a successful award-winning bodybuilder.

Her accolades include winning IBFA's Mr and Miss Universe alongside her bodybuilder husband Frank Betts in 2020, along with the Miss Universe Over 40s award the same year.

READ MORE: Gladiators' Hunter, Lightning and Saracen unrecognisable on ITV This Morning

The 50-year-old regularly shows off her chiselled figure to her 14,000 Instagram followers, along with gym snaps and glamorous pictures.

When it was confirmed earlier this year that Gladiators would be making a comeback, fans naturally hoped that Lightning would be making a dramatic return.

However, when she was asked, she told fans: "I don't know anything about it tbh."

Betts rose to fame after first appearing on the hit Saturday night show in 1992 and she remains the only female gladiator to have starred in all its series.

Before finding fame, she had trained as a gymnast. Between the age of 10 and 16, she competed across the country and won 32 medals.

She then took up weight training and won multiple awards during this time.

When Gladiators aired, Betts, whose usual attire was a leotard and sometimes sports bra and pants, was known as one of the toughest and most determined of the Gladiators.

She was undefeated in the UK Arena and was only ever beaten once, during the first Ashes series in Australia.

Betts even gave birth to a baby boy, Lexus, just three weeks before competing in the Gladiators arena for the 1999 series.

On her appearance on ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday, the mum of two told viewers she continued training up until she gave birth and she also revealed the moment she heard the show would be making a comeback.

Betts along with her former co-stars Hunter (James Crossley) and Saracen (Michael Lewis) admitted they did not know whether they would be involved in the new show with Betts adding: “I really don’t know more than anybody else.”

Speaking on the show, she added: “To be honest, everyone was asking me are you coming back, are you coming back, are you doing this and that and the other, what do you know and I said well to be honest I literally just found out on the radio and that's all I know.

“I really don’t know more than anybody else so it really is like an X-file at the moment no one really knows whatever they’re planning is quite secretive.”

Asked whether she expected the BBC to approach the original Gladiators for the revival, Lightning added: “I think the public do (want us back). That's why we’re getting asked all the time and that's what they want to see.

"However, because it's BBC, do they want the ITV gladiators, the old glads, or are they going to want to make their own babies? They’re going to want their own.”


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  • BBC
  • This Morning
  • ITV
  • Gladiators

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