Original Gladiator Ace ‘I was cynical but now I’m a Gladiator for God’

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Warren starred on Gladiators from 1996 until 2000 and was a huge hit with viewers, becoming one of the more popular stars.

He has been very open about his time on the show and the struggles he faced, but has since opened up about losing his identity as Ace, and becoming a “Gladiator of God”.

Starting at the beginning of his journey, Warren explained: “I was a bodybuilder in my early twenties training to be Mr Universe when I applied to be a contender on the TV show Gladiators.

“They took me on as a Gladiator and the referee John Anderson told me I had the job with his trademark slogan ‘Gladiator, you are ready!’

“I was chosen due to overall agility and the right look for the show, they called me Ace and billed me as ‘The leader of the Pack’ as I excelled at all the Gladiator games.”

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He added: “Although I initially felt like I’d died and gone to heaven as being on the Gladiators show was incredible, it wasn’t long before the business of showbusiness began to harden my heart and I became cynical, hard-hearted and disillusioned.

“The fame did not satisfy, I looked successful on the outside but felt empty on the inside. I was spiritually bankrupt and corrupt after selling stories to newspapers with my then-girlfriend Katie Price. I was living a lie.”

When Gladiators came to an end in 2002, Warren admitted that his identity which had become Ace came “crashing down like a house of cards”.

Despite no longer working on the show seemed like a “curse” at the time, Wareen admitted it turned out to be a “blessing” in his life.

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He moved from London to York where he met his wife Dionne who was an air hostess with Virgin Atlantic and they began their family and settled down.

Touching on his new peaceful life, Warren said: “I gave up trying to be Mr Universe after meeting the real Mr Universe…Jesus Christ the creator of the universe.

“After saying a prayer in church [and] it was the first time the Gospel had been explained to me in my whole life.

“After saying that prayer eight years ago it’s incredible how much my life has transformed. It’s not perfect but I have found peace, freedom and a joy I had never previously experienced.

“I no longer live a life of fear, trying to prove myself chasing money, sex and power as I know my true identity.”

Warren explained that he uses his newfound faith to visit schools, colleges, churches and universities nationwide with a charity called Aceactive.

He trains people to get healthy within their mind, body and soul and adds in a bit of history about the real Gladiators and their challenges.

“I’m now training to be a priest in the Church of England, due to be ordained this time next year and so is my wife.

“We are living in the most exciting times in human history and a crucial time in the history of the Church of England too.

“God created this world for Joy and we get to partake in seeing God’s kingdom come! I’m still a Gladiator, a Gladiator for God.”

Gladiators will air later in 2023 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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