10’s Gladiators has had a disappointing run in the ratings but the feedback for Liz Ellis, in her first entertainment role, has been positive.
Ellis won I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2023, which she credits as opening new doors.
“I think being in the jungle probably exposed me to a wider audience and show that there was a little bit more going on than just Netball,” she tells TV Tonight.
“I had a conversation with 10. They said, ‘We think we’ve got a franchise coming out that might be good for you.’ Once they secured it, they said ‘It’s Gladiators‘ and I was super excited.”
But signing up to the jungle cast did not come easy.
“At the end of 2021 my contract with Channel Nine finished. We bought a caravan and drove around Australia for almost a year with the kids. We got back and I turned 50, my hair was silver and I thought ‘Well that’s that’s it for my television career! I’ll have to go and get a real job.’ So I signed up to Seek.com,” she reveals.
“I thought I would just have to get a regular 9 to 5 job. Years ago, I was a lawyer and I thought that was what I was going to go back and do. Then the jungle opportunity came up and my daughter talked me into it. It really has opened up a whole new world.”
“I hosted a lot of netball sports coverage and plenty of things in the sports world: Sports Sunday on Nine, panel shows and I’ve actually co-hosted The Project as well. But to actually host an entertainment show, it’s another different beast,” she continues.
“I didn’t want to do the same thing over and over again. I’d done that for 15 years. And I thought ‘It’s time to sort of to challenge myself, see what else I can do and get the brain working in a different way.’
“I can’t tell you how much fun I had doing Gladiators.”
Gladiators screens 7:30pm on 10.