TV time heats up as firefighter muscles in on the Gladiators!

THERE was no extinguishing the flames of ambition for young Bronte Jones – after she swapped the firefighters' pole for a pugil stick to make her TV debut on BBC's Gladiators.
Bronte works out in the SYFR gym at Rotherham Fire Station - photo by Kerrie BeddowsBronte works out in the SYFR gym at Rotherham Fire Station - photo by Kerrie Beddows
Bronte works out in the SYFR gym at Rotherham Fire Station - photo by Kerrie Beddows

Bronte, who is based at Rotherham Fire Station on Fitzwilliam Road, took on a number of challenges in the primetime Saturday night show which sees contenders battle against the "superhuman" athletes.

The 24-year-old – who before the show aired said she who hoped her ability to work "under pressure" due to her firefighter training would help her – fared well in the first challenge, which was filmed at Sheffield Arena and hosted by father and son broadcasters Bradley and Barney Walsh.

Duel saw her survive for the maximum 30 seconds on a raised podium while fighting off gladiator Diamond with a pugil stick to secure five points.

Bronte (right) with fellow contender Alex (photo - BBC)Bronte (right) with fellow contender Alex (photo - BBC)
Bronte (right) with fellow contender Alex (photo - BBC)

She went on to score more points in The Ring against gladiator Fury while both Bronte and her fellow female contender Alex, a civil servant for the Ministry of Defence, picked up maximum points to make it to the finish line of The Gauntlet.

And the final challenge of The Eliminator saw Bronte, who got a seven-second head start due to having more points, beat Alex to land her a spot in the quarter-finals.

Bronte, who has a lifelong love of fitness and sport, said: “I used to do discus and shot-put as a kid and would lift weights along with that to keep strong.

“But then I realised I enjoyed the weightlifting more than the throwing.”

And despite the original ITV show ending in 2000 when she was a baby, she has been a long-term fan.

“I used to watch all the repeats with my mum and dad.

“I'm a twin and I used to love Jet and my sister liked Lightning!”

And what did she make of the current crop of new Gladiators?

“Fury was so good, I was dreading going up against her.

“She's a rugby player so she definitely knew how to tackle!

“And Sabre was intimidating – you never knew what her next move would be.

“But they were all really nice and supportive and good people.”

She is also grateful for the support of people in South Yorkshire, her fire and rescue colleagues, and on social media.

“I've had so many people getting in touch or messaging me.

“It's been amazing – it's quite a shock how much support there has been.”

Bronte first joined the Rotherham team in in 2018 before moving to Central Station in Sheffield for a brief stint and is pleased to be back in the borough.

“I started here – this is like home to me,” she said.

“I was expecting my colleagues to take the Mick a bit (about the show)!

“But they've all been saying how good it was.”

A spokesperson said: “We’re proud Bronte is representing South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue in this incredibly popular national show and wish her the very best of luck in the quarter finals.

“We hope her performances help to inspire more women and young girls to consider a career in the fire and rescue service.”

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