FANS have accused former Prem League referee Mark Clattenburg of putting on a Scottish accent as he took to the Gladiators ring.
The popular BBC show returned to TV screens for the first time in more than two decades with a brand new squad.
The classic show was back on BBC One on January 13 with a stellar line-up of athletes and sports stars.
Bradley Walsh and his son Barney are the new hosts.
The series originally aired on ITV from 1992 to 2000, and was presented by Ulrika Johnsson.
But this new reboot left fans stunned after former referee Mark Clattenburg took on the stage for the first episode.
The former Premier League, 48, refereed the Champion’s League cup final and Euro 2016 final.
But on tonight’s episode Clattenburg shocked the nation after stepping in to take over from the famous Scottish voice of John Anderson.
During the one-hour episode, Clattenburg said the show’s famous line: “Contestants, ready? Gladiators, ready?”
After the show, fans rushed to social media to comment on the former football referee seen blowing the iconic whistle.
One user said: “Mark Clattenburg is definitely putting on a Scottish accent.”
Some questioned if the former professional referee – who comes from the North East – was in fact Scottish.
Another added: “I see former football ref Mark Clattenburg is attempting a Scottish accent to sound like John Anderson.”
Others were so shocked to see the former referee they slammed he was after “some cash”.
One wrote: “Mark Clattenburg must be desperate for some cash to go on Gladiators.”
Another said: “Mark Clattenburg refereeing on Gladiators I don’t know why I’m shocked he always loved the camera.”
A third said: “I hope there is no VAR too! I never imagined I’d be seeing Mark Clattenburg refereeing.”
However, some fans were less impressed, with one writing: “Mark Clattenburg is the ‘Gladiator’s ready’ referee on the new series of Gladiators. Another reason not to watch it.”
Before the long-waited episode, Clattenburg said that landing the Gladiators gig was “one of the most amazing things I will do in my life”.
He also praised the show’s original referee John Anderson as “legendary” and said taking over the whistle “is such an honour”.
It comes as a Gladiators contestant was rushed to medics after suffering an horror knee injury as he’s left fighting back tears.
Contestant Finley took on hischallenge called the Gauntlet.
It required the contenders to get to the end of the Gauntlet in just 30 seconds – while there were four zones each protected by a Gladiator.
But things took a nasty turn when Finley injured his knee during the intense game.