Gladiators star Viper stuns viewers by speaking for the first time

"Stop the waffling!"

Gladiators star Viper
Gladiators star Viper. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Gladiators aired its first semi-final on BBC One on Saturday evening, but it wasn't the action-packed endurance battles that had everyone's tongues wagging in the social media world.

Viper (real name Quang Luong) is known as a bit of a snarler on the Gladiators circuit, a man of few words, but when co-presenter Barney Walsh asked him to respond to Jake Spence and Finlay Anderson's Power Ball efforts - they went up against Viper, Giant and Nitro - the shackles were well and truly off.

Grabbing the microphone from Walsh's hand, he replied: "Stop the waffling!" in a London accent. "Stop the waffling Viper says!" laughed the host before looking down the camera. "Thank you for your words Viper - I'm scared of Viper!"

"Join the club Barney. I hate snakes!" added commentator Guy Mowbray.

Father and son presenting duo, Bradley and Barney Walsh
Father and son presenting duo, Bradley and Barney Walsh. (BBC)

How did fans react on social media?

Writing on social platform X, the Gladiators viewership was stunned to hear finally Viper open his mouth after weeks of scowling silence. It left fans questioning: "Viper speaks!!!???"

"It's been nine weeks and Viper finally spoke!" One Gladiators viewer wrote among the comments on social media platform X.

Another person added: "Omg viper actually speaks was not expecting that thick London accent on Gladiators."

"I think that's the most words in a row Viper's said all series."

What else happened in the Gladiators semi-final?

Bronte Jones defeated Betti Worth to make it through to the grand final, with Walsh asking the exhausted contestant how it felt. "Just over the moon," she smiled. "I can't really put into words how I'm feeling right now. So, so, so happy! Hard work pays off."

Walsh also interviewed finalist Finlay, who saw off Jake despite a disadvantage of six seconds. "That felt good I'm not gonna lie," he shared. "I loved every second of it, racing this guy, the real Sheffield Steel, I knew I had to work hard. I knew I had to fight through to the finish and that's what I did, and I just came out on top. But thank you Jake, what a competition."

Gladiators returns to BBC One next Saturday.

Watch: Gladiators' Fury reveals she would love to be role model for others who are deaf