Gladiators star Falcon dies aged 59, family announces

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Bernadette Hunt has died after years with cancer, according to a statement.

Bernadette Hunt, who played Falcon in popular 90s TV show Gladiators, has died aged 59, according to a statement from her family.

Ms Hunt had cancer for a number of years, her sister's partner Rick Jango said in a post on Facebook, before she died earlier in March.

"It is with great sadness that I have to tell you of my partner's younger sister Bernadette Hunt," he wrote.

"I had the privilege to be in her company a few times & I have to say she was one of the [most loveliest] people I have ever met."

The same post states her funeral is planned as a private affair with family.

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According to the Gladiators website, Ms Hunt was a dancer at 18, when she was accepted to the London Contemporary Ballet School.

A back injury forced her to pull out and she became an aerobics teacher, before turning to bodybuilding.

She would go on to win several contests, including Miss Natural Health 1992, Miss Novice Britain, Miss London and Home Countries 1992 and Miss South Britain.

'The nicest gladiator'

Falcon was regarded by fans as the nicest gladiator, according the website, as she "always has time to have a chat and sign autographs."

Falcon regularly supported charitable causes, the website adds, including Help the Aged and children with leukaemia.

She spent her final years as a fitness instructor at Basingstoke Sports Centre.

Ms Hunt had two children - Adam and Angel - who she raised with her partner Mark.