‘My Gladiator name would be Shamrock’: Irish champion Marie-Louise opens up after winning series

‘My Gladiator name would be Shamrock’: Irish champion Marie-Louise opens up after winning series

THE Irish woman who was crowned Gladiators champion after a hard-fought grand finale has opened up about her experience on the show.

Dubliner Marie-Louise Nicholson made her way through weeks of gruelling challenges in the BBC series, which launched in January.

The 28-year-old personal trainer made it to the grand finale on Saturday, March 30 where she faced 23-year-old Sheffield firefighter Bronte Jones.

Marie-Louise went into the final Eliminator round with a two-second head start on Bronte, but the Irish woman emerged victorious.

“Bronte was on my tail the whole time, what a competitor to go up against, she was so close to the end there,” Marie-Louise told host Bradley Walsh as she claimed the title.

“I think we’re both winners in my eyes,” she added.

Gladiators champion Marie-Louise Nicholson claims her title

Elsewhere on the night 34-year-old army officer Finlay Anderson beat wrestler Wesley Male to become the male Gladiators champion

As the dust settles on her extraordinary achievement this week, Marie-Louise opened up about her experience on the show…

How does it feel to be crowned the winner of Gladiators?

Absolutely ecstatic.

What was your favourite moment from the series?

My favourite moment of the entire series was in the semi-finals when I was behind 10 9 seconds in The Eliminator thinking this is the end, lapping it up, smiling the whole way round.

Next minute I make the biggest comeback of the year and I go ahead, win it and bring myself into the Final.

That was my favourite moment, having the whole crowd behind me, supporting me, having my family coming over from Dublin, it was one of the best moments of my life.

How has the atmosphere been in the arena?

All the people of Sheffield and anyone whose travelled from far and beyond, the arena has been electric with different vibes each night.

You’d have the first round, then the Quarters and the Semis every time it was different and when you have kids in the arena it was insane.

Everyone was behind you, asking for your autograph, it was all a bit surreal to be honest.

Favourite game?

Favourite game has to be Powerball. I love a bit of agility and speed and being tackled by a Gladiator, having a bit of rough and tumble.

What game did you least look forward to?

Least favourite would be Duel.

I’m quite petite and not as strong as some of the Gladiators and they had great stability and knock you straight on the head and that was one I never won on.

Definitely my least favourite.

Did you have a particular nemesis or favourite Gladiator to come up against?

Me and Sabre had a bit of spice with each other.

We loved each other backstage but when we were on the stage Sabre played the game so well, oh my god she played it well.

She’s a sweetheart behind the scenes but when she’s in her act of Sabre the spicy queen she is vicious and I absolutely loved it.

That’s what Gladiators is all about, getting into the act and going for it.

Gladiators champions Marie-Louise Nicholson and Finlay Anderson pictured with Bradley and Barney Walsh

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means to me that things that you’re scared of in life, things you don’t want to go up against, if you throw yourself into it you’ll either learn something if you lose or you’ll gain something from it if you win.

I always think that, even if you lose you’ll gain something from it.

Where is the trophy going?

This old thing, might use it as my make-up mirror actually.

This trophy is going to sit in my kitchen, I used to be a Private Chef so I love to be in kitchen, it’s my favourite thing in the world so I’m going to remind myself every day that I’m the champ.

What advice would you give anyone thinking of applying to Gladiators?

Absolutely do it.

Even if you don’t make it to the try-outs, apply again and apply again, it has been the best experience I’ve ever had.

The people I’ve met along the way are the kind of people who are like you, they take risks, they are into fitness, you realise you are not the only one in the world like that whose this fitness freak.

Just go and do it, because you never know what’s going to come of it.

You are now a champion, would you ever fancy becoming a Gladiator yourself?

I think that’s always been a dream since I was a young girl, swinging from the curtains trying to be Jet, its always been a dream to be a Gladiator and watching those Gladiators from this new season with so much sass, playing that role but also behind the doors they are normal human beings just like me, I could be that one day.

What would your Gladiator name be?

If I was a Gladiator I would be called Shamrock.