Media Lifeline: Sky1 schedule

This year may have seen a rebrand, but some of the faces appearing on the channel are all too familiar.

January 2008: Sky One kicks off the year with a major new series on Britain's input to cultural life in Afghanistan, fronted by Ross Kemp. Called Ross Kemp In Afghanistan, it's an innovative departure for the former EastEnder, previously known for his Ross Kemp On Gangs series.

April 2008: Sky had announced weeks before that it planned to revive the 90s international TV franchise Gladiators - but it's not until the promotional push kicks in that the market begins to appreciate the innovative nature of this major move. There will be 12 Gladiators, all of whom will be "bigger and badder" than any of the Gladiators who have appeared before - including Battleaxe, 26, from Edinburgh.

July 2008: Gladiators had kicked off in a major way, pulling in 1.5 million viewers to its Sunday evening slot; but viewing almost immediately began to fall off, despite the airing of an innovative celebrity special, including Danielle Lloyd and Bianca Gascoigne.

August 2008: So, as Sky One prepares to rebrand as Sky1, there's an innovative (and major) shift of focus away from Gladiators and on to Ross Kemp On Gangs, which is about to air its fourth series, with major spin-off specials including Ross Kemp: A Kenya Special and Ross Kemp: Gulf Kids Of Kenya. Cilla Black is also scheduled to return in an innovative new format called Loveland, where she helps hopeful singles meet potential partners.

December 2008: But you can't keep a good idea down. Now the channel unveils a major (and innovative) shake-up of the Gladiators franchise with six new warriors - Amazon, Cyclone, Doom, Goliath, Siren and Warrior - joining, with two - Ice and Destroyer - leaving. And there's news that Wolf, once a star of the show but now generally regarded as not being a star of the show any longer, having retired, is to return as the Gladiators' manager.

Fast forward ...

January 2009: Yet, in a major (and innovatively controversial) move, as Sky prepares to air this latest Gladiators series, it is revealed that this may be Wolf's last outing in the show, following unrest in his team. There is speculation that both Ice and Destroyer may return alongside two new stars, Pestilence and Famine - and that Warrior will be replaced by Leotard, aka Anton du Beke. So Kemp is sent to Bombay (Mumbai) just in case.

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