Gladiators legend Cobra admits he was drunk during shows after downing pints – and could barely see before competing

GLADIATORS legend Cobra has revealed he was so drunk during shows that he could barely see to compete.

The 90s favourite, real name Michael Wilson, made the admission as he recalled how he would down pints ahead of stepping out to film the popular show.


According to the 58-year-old, it didn't start out that way but was the result of his close friendship with co-star Shadow.

He told the Daily Star: "Yeah, I used to drink before shows. Mostly with Shadow, Shadow who's on holiday day with her majesty at the moment."

Jefferson King, better known as Shadow, is currently serving a six-year sentence for his role in a drug-fuelled blackmail plot.

Cobra went on: "He used to drink six pints of Guinness and go and do a show. And I'm being his pal, you know, I tried to keep up with it him, he had Pernod in it as well.

"But this was the thing because they made us think that we were replaceable, which was not true… I thought I might not be back again, I'm going to enjoy this as much as I can.

"So, between shows, we had hospitality beer and wine, and that was flowing about so I'd party. And there was several shows I'm drunk on."

Recalling a particular moment, Michael explained: "This one show where I'm on a game called Swing Shot, that big bungee around your waist and you jump off a big 15-foot platform. And I'm going 'weeeeee!' and you can hear it, like 'look at me I'm drunk'."

His pre-game drinking routine also meant the former athlete was fighting blurred vision as he attempted to climb The Wall.

He recalled: "And I'm looking at the wall once, probably twice. I'm wobbling and struggling to focus on the guy, who just got the 10-second head start, but I'm sure I caught the guy.

"So I suppose that's because I'm a bit more relaxed. I'm quite scared of heights.

"So if I have the drink it might have helped a little bit in early days."

But his new habit didn't go unnoticed by show bosses.

He admitted: "We used to have interviews with the producers every year and they said 'you're fat, you're not fit, you're drinking.'"

Recent years have seen the former boxer face a series of health complaints.

In 2019, The Sun revealed that Michael was seriously ill in a Kent hospital, suffering from pneumonia, pleurisy and a ruptured bicep.

He has also suffered a rupture in his shoulder and could raise his arm.

A few months before that Michael was admitted to hospital with severe acute pancreatitis – a cripplingly painful condition where your pancreas swells up – and needs two new hips.

He explained: "I'm only half a Gladiator now. It’s been touch and go. I don’t feel like I’m kicking the bucket at the minute, but it will only take another cold or cough and I’m in trouble.

"I’m isolated in my own ward. It goes to show – you never know what’s round the corner."



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