Suffolk gymnast lands Gladiators role

A FORMER gymnast is celebrating after landing a permanent role in the new series of Gladiators.

Dave Gooderham

A FORMER gymnast is celebrating after landing a permanent role in the new series of Gladiators.

The strength, stamina and agility of former Suffolk schoolgirl Donna Williams will be tested to the limits when she takes her place on the hit competition as the fearsome Cyclone.

But Miss Williams, who competed in the latter stages of the last series, is suited to the task after undertaking stunt work for the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace as well as working on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

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Miss Williams, 28, from Bury St Edmunds, originally applied as a Gladiators contestant but programme bosses soon realised she had more to offer and drafted her in as one of the main characters.

It was a dream come true for the former County Upper School pupil, who would watch the cult 1990s show every Saturday night and be inspired by the likes of Jet and Lightning.

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Speaking to the EADT last year, Miss Williams said: “When I looked through the newspaper back in February and saw Gladiators was coming back, I was over the moon.

“I phoned my parents - we used to watch it together as a family - as I always said that if it ever came back I wanted to go on as a contestant.

“I emailed the programme to see when auditions were and I sent off my profile and they got in touch and invited me to try out as a Gladiator instead of a contestant.”

Miss Williams, who took part in the semi-finals of the last series after replacing the injured Gladiator Engima, will take her place in the permanent line-up when the programme returns tomorrow on Sky1.

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