Gladiators roars back with 1.5m viewers for Sky One

LONDON - Sky One's revival of 'Gladiators' pulled in 1.5m viewers on Sunday night, marking a triumphant return for giant foam hands and bodybuilders in spandex after an eight-year absence from UK screens.

The first episode of the new series was watched by a 10% share of the multichannel audience between 6pm-7pm.

It was backed by a heavyweight ad campaign featuring a TV ad inspired by the Hollywood movie 'Gladiator', starring Russell Crowe, that was shown on terrestrial TV as well as BSkyB channels.

It also benefited from plenty of media coverage as newspapers and magazines picked up on the return of the kitsch 1990s show.

The new 'Gladiator', which was a big hit in the nineties on ITV in its previous incarnation, is presented by former England striker Ian Wright and Kirsty Gallagher as well as the original referee John Anderson.

Sky One also scored a hit with its new Shane Richie-fronted gameshow 'Don't Forget the Lyrics'.

The first episode of a 12-part series, in which contestants attempt to win £250,000 by singing the missing lyrics from 10 songs, brought 946,000 viewers and a 5.3% share of the multichannel audience between 7pm-7.45pm.

It was a good day all round for Sky, with its live coverage of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Wigan, which secured the club its 10th Premier League title, earning 1.3m viewers and a 13.2% share between 2pm-5.30pm on Sky Sports 1 yesterday.

At the same time on Sky Sports 2, Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers, netted 370,000 viewers and a 3.9% share.

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