The new love that Gladiators legend Jet met in her local supermarket is a female prison education worker she now plans to marry, Mailonline can reveal.
Zoe Gilbert, 48, walked up to Diane Youdale to ask whether she was the star whose image once adorned the bedroom walls of thousands of young fans.
It began a friendship which blossomed into love and earlier this week Diane, 53, introduced Zoe to the world on the Chillin’ With Ice podcast.
The couple live in a smart semi on a modern estate in Stockton on Tees as they plan their wedding.
A friend in the neighbourhood said: ‘Zoe has lived in the house for a while and Diane moved in a few months ago.
Zoe Gilbert, 48, walked up to Diane Youdale to ask whether she was the star whose image once adorned the bedroom walls of thousands of young fans
Zoe, who sports tattoos and a distinctive silver short back and sides, works for a prison education organisation which aims to reduce offending by training inmates for employment
‘They’re a very nice couple, they seem really happy and I’m not sure that many people even realised Diane was actually Jet from Gladiators.’
Zoe, who sports tattoos and a distinctive silver short back and sides, works for a prison education organisation which aims to reduce offending by training inmates for employment.
Their year-long whirlwind romance was revealed by Diane as she spoke to Lori Fetrick, better known as American Gladiator, ‘Ice.’
She told the podcast how Zoe had recognised her as she was shopping because she had been a Gladiators fan in her teens.
Diane said: ‘Just over a year ago a gorgeous lady approached me in my local supermarket and asked me if I was….[Jet]
‘And over a year later we are going to get married.’
Lorie asked her: ‘Does your country know this?’
To which Diane replied: ‘Probably not and I don’t care, we are what we are and it doesn’t matter, I don’t give a damn.’
She added: ‘I am safe and I am loved, there is no threat to me any more and that is what means the world to me.’
The TV icon recalled being approached by a ‘gorgeous lady’ last year during an appearance on the Chillin’ with Ice podcast (pictured as Jet in 1992)
The couple’s year-long whirlwind romance was revealed by Diane as she spoke to Lori Fetrick, better known as American Gladiator, ‘Ice’
Earlier in the hour-long interview with Fetrick, she had revealed a previous break-up, which she claimed involved ‘domestic abuse’ had ‘put her off relationships for life.’
Asked if she was in a happy place now, she said: ‘I am, I am, it’s taken me a long time to get there, I won’t lie.
‘I could cry but I won’t. I sadly left the south of England and moved to the North west of England for something that wasn’t what it seemed, and ended up really hurt, badly.’
The star said there were ‘lots of police’ involved in what was ‘domestic abuse.’
She added: ‘It was horrendous, really horrendous, and it put me off relationships and everything for life.’
Jet famously dated her Gladiators co-star Hunter, real name James Crossley, when he was 19 and she was 21.
Their romance was short-lived and he began dating Gladiators host Ulrika Jonsson after Diane left the show, but the pair have remained friends ever since.
After she and Hunter split, Diane married TV executive George Mayhew.
She told The Mirror in 1996: ‘We’d only been together four months when George proposed.
‘But I knew he was a complete one-off. Not that I’ve slept with the whole world, I haven’t had a lot of boyfriends, but he is different.’
Jet quit Gladiators in 1996 after a fall during filming left her with a serious neck injury, and she went on to train to be a psychotherapist.
The former member of the National Youth Theatre and British Gymnastics Squad has now run her own business for 16 years offering therapy for ‘relationships, stress, dealing with media profile, fear, addictions and eating disorders.’
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