By: Andy Newbound
If you love cars, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll love TV shows about cars. One of the most popular, is the British car restoration show Wheeler Dealers.
Reportedly now showing in over 200 territories around the world and watched by many hundreds of millions of enthralled viewers, it’s said to be the most popular motoring show on the planet today. Eat your heart out Top Gear.
Little wonder then that so many people (including this writer) were shocked…nay, stunned to hear that popular co-host Edd China is leaving the show. Edd’s charismatic partnership with cheeky, chirpy Mike Brewer has made the show what it is today.
As an understated and unflappable straight-man to the often loud and wide-boy antics of Mike, Edd provided viewers with an expert yet accessible insight into the detailed mechanics behind the car restoration process.
Many would say that mechanic Edd’s hard-working demeanour, honesty and clear integrity has partly helped restore the viewing public’s faith in an industry that perhaps historically hasn’t had the best of reputations. Edd represented the vast majority of professional mechanics who go out of their way to do great and trustworthy work for their customers.
So to hear that after 135 car restorations and thirteen successful years Edd will no longer be part of the Wheeler Dealer show will devastate fans worldwide. Yet Edd’s reasons for leaving are difficult to argue with.
For what sounds like technical reasons, the show’s new American producers Velocity, have chosen to scale back the one part of the show which made it unique and so watchable, Edd’s detailed workshop segments.
As Edd points out, this is exactly why those hundreds of millions of fans worldwide tune in to watch. Edd believes reducing these segments will remove the DNA of the show and his decision to walk away shows how strongly he must feel.
Frankly, it’s hard to see how the show can be as strong or as popular in the future without Edd. Mike Brewer has decided to continue but will clearly find it a blow to film Wheeler Dealers without his close pal.
‘I’m obviously upset and gutted that Edd’s decided to leave the programme,’ Mike admitted. ‘We’ve got a very strong relationship and a close bond after 13 years and 135 cars. Obviously he’s been a part of my life and has been forever so it’s a bit of a shock that he’s decided to leave the show.’
Discovery’s Producers Velocity reacted quickly to Edd’s resignation and have already lined up his replacement, Ant Anstead from Channel 4’s hit show For the love of cars.
Fans of that show will know of Ant’s background building kit cars and it’s clearly this technical knowledge Discovery hope will make him the perfect replacement for Edd China. However, whether his more in-your-face presenting style will appeal to fans of the more laid-back Edd is unclear. Despite having such big shoes to fill, Ant certainly seems excited to be joining such an iconic show.
‘Wheeler Dealers is the great-grandfather of car restoration shows and I grew up watching and learning from both Edd and Mike,’ he said. ‘I’m really honoured that they would consider me for this role and I said yes straight away.’
Naturally, we wish Ant luck in the role as will the majority of Wheeler Dealer fans. However, Edd is such an integral part of the show and one of the pivotal reasons why Wheeler Dealers grew from a cult show on a small channel into such a global success story.
We’ve all seen how Top Gear changed when its pivotal cast members left. It remains to be seen whether the same fate awaits Wheeler Dealers. Bye, bye Edd.
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