Gladiator’s Liz Ellis: Moving Into Entertainment Was A “Huge Challenge”

Gladiator’s Liz Ellis: Moving Into Entertainment Was A “Huge Challenge”

As a professional netball player and seasoned sports presenter, national treasure Liz Ellis is used to staying calm under pressure. 

Despite her experience staying calm in the court, however, moving into the world of entertainment to host Network 10’s Gladiators was a “huge challenge” she told B&T

“It was a real privilege but also a pressure.” 

“I loved the opportunity to work with Beau Ryan and I really challenged myself. I’ve got lots of background in sports, broadcasting and hosting live sports events and sports shows, but to branch out and work on something that’s more entertainment was a huge challenge. There were lots of things involved in the decision. But in the end, it was a no-brainer”. 

The main hurdle was making sure we “translated how much fun it was onto the screen” she said, adding that she and Ryan had so much fun “filming and posting”.

Even though it is entertaining, however, Ellis said it is important to remember that, at its heart, it is a contest. 

“We respected the fact that these contestants that came along to face the gladiators – it means an awful lot to them. They were in front of their family and friends, showing what they were capable of”. 

There was also a lot of responsibility in making sure we “stay true to the ethos of the original show, which was the larger-than-life characters, having a heap of fun and taking on these contenders”. 

The pressure was eased by the easy chemistry she had with her co-host Ryan. 

“Within minutes [of meeting] we were just falling about laughing. He’s really funny. And I’m a pretty low bar in terms of what makes me laugh”. 

“He loves an audience and I was hoping to give him that”. 

One of the key learnings, she added, was to make sure she switched off when the cameras weren’t rolling. 

“Yeah, when the cameras switch off and they reset all the lighting and everything is tempting to stand around and talk to people and just be mucking around, but then you really take a bite out of your energy levels and you need that later on in the night when you need to finish off the show”.

Gladiators premieres tonight on Network 10 




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