Ulrika Jonsson posts an affectionate message for former Gladiators boyfriend James Crossley

Ulrika Jonsson sent a flirty message to former boyfriend James Crossley on Wednesday evening as she watched him take part in reality show The Circle. 

The Swedish presenter, 53, enjoyed a brief, ‘physical’ romance with bodybuilder Crossley, who is six years her junior, while they both worked on the hugely popular Saturday night show Gladiators in 1996. 

Crossley – best known to fans as musclebound Hunter – is now taking part in Channel 4’s innovative new reality show, and Ulrika ensured she tuned to watch his latest exploits on Wednesday evening.

Old flame: Ulrika Jonsson revealed some lingering affection for former boyfriend James Crossley on Wednesday evening as she watched him take part in reality show The Circle

Old flame: Ulrika Jonsson revealed some lingering affection for former boyfriend James Crossley on Wednesday evening as she watched him take part in reality show The Circle

Old flame: Ulrika Jonsson revealed some lingering affection for former boyfriend James Crossley on Wednesday evening as she watched him take part in reality show The Circle

Taking to Instagram, the thrice-married mother-of-four shared a screen shot of her former boyfriend in action alongside an affectionate message. 

Captioning the image – a close up of Crossley’s face – she wrote: ‘It’s too late at night for me to watch but he can be cute.’ 

The presenter later shared a second image of the fitness nut, who was eliminated during Wednesday’s show – in which contestants take on fake identities and communicate via a social media app – after masquerading as fictional NHS nurse Gemma. 

Way back then: The Swedish presenter enjoyed a brief, 'physical' romance with bodybuilder Crossley, who is six years her junior, while they both worked on Gladiators in 1996

Way back then: The Swedish presenter enjoyed a brief, 'physical' romance with bodybuilder Crossley, who is six years her junior, while they both worked on Gladiators in 1996

Way back then: The Swedish presenter enjoyed a brief, ‘physical’ romance with bodybuilder Crossley, who is six years her junior, while they both worked on Gladiators in 1996

There he is: The presenter later shared images of the fitness nut, who was eliminated during Wednesday's show, with Instagram followers on Wednesday evening

There he is: The presenter later shared images of the fitness nut, who was eliminated during Wednesday's show, with Instagram followers on Wednesday evening

There he is: The presenter later shared images of the fitness nut, who was eliminated during Wednesday’s show, with Instagram followers on Wednesday evening 

Ulrika enjoyed a brief fling with Crossley following her divorce from first husband, cameraman John Turnbull, after five-years of marriage. 

The pair met while she co-hosted Gladiators alongside former Wimbledon footballer John Fashanu, with Crossley’s alter-ego Hunter being one of the athletes competing against members of the public in physical challenges.

The relationship was denied at the time but Ulrika eventually discussed their connection in her 2003 autobiography, Honest. 

True grit: Crossley (left) played Hunted on ITV show Gladiators, which was presented by Ulrika

True grit: Crossley (left) played Hunted on ITV show Gladiators, which was presented by Ulrika

True grit: Crossley (left) played Hunted on ITV show Gladiators, which was presented by Ulrika 

Candid: Ulrika discussed her relationship with Crossley in 2003 autobiography Honest

Candid: Ulrika discussed her relationship with Crossley in 2003 autobiography Honest

Candid: Ulrika discussed her relationship with Crossley in 2003 autobiography Honest

She said: ‘Well, I guess I was infatuated with James. It was a physical thing. And what a nice man he turned out to be!’  

Ulrika confirmed her split from third husband, Brian Monet, after an 11-year marriage in 2019.

The presenter shares son Malcolm with Brian. The couple began their relationship in 2006, married in 2008, and Brian adopted Ulrika’s daughter Bo in 2014. Bo’s biological father is German hotel boss Markus Kempen.

Ulrika also has two other children, son Cameron from her marriage to Turnbull, and daughter Martha from her second marriage to Lance Gerrard-Wright. 

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