Edd China – ‘a human volcano of ideas’

Are you a lover of all things mechanical, wacky and weird? Well if you are, then you have probably heard of Edd China. He’s mostly well known through co-presenting and co-producing the Discovery Channel reality TV series “Wheeler Dealers”, as well as several other car-oriented TV shows, and holds a few Guinness World Records. Let’s tell you more about this colorful character.

Edd was born Edward John China on 9th May 1971, in London, England. His passion for the mechanical started when he was young. Edd attended King Edward’s School, Whitley, Surrey and thereafter obtained a degree in engineering product design from London South Bank University. It was here that he lived in a double-decker bus, ran 35 car projects, and created the “Casual Lofa” – an extraordinary driving sofa covered in cheetah print with coffee table, built on the base of a classic Mini. Although this vehicle was street-legal, it still got him pulled over by the cops, but it sure turned heads and put Edd on the map.

How Edd China’s career got into gear

Edd worked a short spell as a special effects technician on the TV show, “Father Ted”, following which he started his own company, Cummfy Banana Ltd. in 1999. This gave him the unlimited freedom to create whatever his inventive mind desired, and his innovations attracted him some television interviews.

In 1998 Edd and his Casual Lofa featured in “The Most Outrageous Jeremy Clarkson Video in the World… Ever!”, in which the motorized sofa was raced around the Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire. Edd and the Casual Lofa also featured on “The Big Breakfast” three times over the years. From 1998 onwards, Edd featured as a guest on “Scrapheap Challenge” (known as “Junkyard Wars” in the USA), he was seen in the TV show, “This is Your Life”, and drew attention as he drove the presenter, Michael Aspel, to the television studios and around favourite hangout spots.

Edd then went on to becoming a resident designer/mechanic on “Panic Mechanics”, also known as “Top Gear: Panic Mechanics”, which screened seven episodes; sadly, most of the footage was lost. Then came Edd’s guest appearance on “Top Gear”, followed by BBC’s “Ready Steady Cook” to raise money for “Children in Need”, and Edd also co-hosted the short-lived series, “Auto Trader” alongside Mike Brewer.

Edd China’s career goes full throttle

In 2003, Discovery Channel snapped up Edd and Mike for the British TV series “Wheeler Dealers“, launched in October of that year. Edd was the co-host and producer, and also the mechanic, his job being to transform cars to look brand new.

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During that time, Edd was a co-presenter for the 2005 TV miniseries, “Classic Car Club”, which explored the culture and history of classic cars. In 2007, Edd was seen on “The Culture Show”, driving celebs and performers around the Edinburgh Festival.

The rise and fall of Grease Junkies

The company called Grease Junkies was founded in October 2009, as an internet retailer of Wheeler Dealers’ merchandise. In 2012, a motor garage in Bracknell, Berkshire was bought, encompassing a Ministry of Transport (MOT) testing facility – vehicles older than three years in the UK require annual roadworthiness/safety and exhaust emissions test, but the MOT tester resigned, which left the company in difficulty, especially as it emerged that there were unpaid debts employees and creditors not previously been disclosed. The company was obliged to settle the claims, and as such significant costs un-budgeted for were incurred, with the result that it had to be liquidated on 5th August,2016.

It may not be essential but it’s quite distracting… the paperback of my memoir is out today if you fancy it. smarturl.it/GreaseJunkie

Posted by Edd China on Thursday, April 2, 2020

What happened with “Wheeler Dealers”?

A spin-off series entitled “Wheeler Dealers Trading Up” was launched in April 2013, in which Mike travelled around the world buying and selling cars.

The original “Wheeler Dealers” show had a good run of 59 episodes in 13 series, but not everything was hunky-dory! In 2017, Edd quit the show and went his own wa, with ’til then Mike’s closest friend and even the godfather of his kid, claiming that he and Mike had different plans which they couldn’t mutually agree upon, so Edd felt he needed to pursue his own interests. However, Mike had a different version of the story – he acknowledged that Edd was fantastic at what he did, providing accuracy and detail to his work, and making restorations look easy peasy, but Mike said Edd became more difficult and more and more angry. He put himself in a position that became untenable, and Mike felt Edd just wanted to work less.

Velocity Films took over in the 12th season, and Edd had some problems with their intentions for the show; Edd was replaced by Ant Anstead. When Edd left, Mike’s family even received death threats, so Mike temporarily pulled the plug on the show in 2017, but it was revived for four further series screened between 2017 to 2021.

In January 2020, a second spin-off series, “Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car” premiered featuring Mike Brewer and Marc “Elvis” Priestley as the mechanic, continuing along the same theme as the original show.

Is Edd China married?

Edd, now 51 years old, stands imposingly tall at 6ft 7ins (201 cm), and with his shock of grey hair (previously light brown) and brown eyes, is known to be an offbeat, eccentric character. So it’s interesting to know who he’s matched up with.

Let us introduce you here to Edd’s wife, Imogen China, born Imogen Clare Hanevold in Norway in May 1971. She attended Nesbru Videregående Skole, and studied further at BI Norwegian Business School. In March 2000 Imogen kicked off her working career as a VIP relations manager at British Airways London Eye, then joined Madame Tussauds in 2002.

Edd and Imogen have successfully kept all the juicy information about their relationship and marriage a secret, but it’s obvious that they’ve known each other, and possibly were in a relationship, since before May 2006, when Imogen became a director of Cummfy Banana Ltd. Later, in September 2014, she became a Director of Grease Junkie, and the couple were also co-directors of a company called China’s Republic of People Limited, incorporated in February 2011, but it is uncertain what the company did – it was dissolved in February 2018. In December 2016 Imogen became a Director of Illuminate.TV Limited, responsible for television programming and broadcasting – a position which she still holds.

The couple live in London – they don’t have children.

Edd China breaks Guinness world records

In 1998, the Casual Lofa earned Edd the Guinness award for the World’s Fastest Furniture, which he achieved inadvertently when he was speeding at 87 mph (140 km/h) around the Donnington Park race track. He kept this record until 2007 when it was broken by Perry Watkins driving a dining-table and chairs, really!

Between 2005 and 2011, Edd achieved the Guinness World Records for the largest motorized shopping trolley coined as “Trolleyshoppus Rex”, the fastest “Hot Desk”, fastest bed, “Street Sleeper”, fastest bathroom, “Bog Standard” and in 2011 the fastest garden shed, “Gone to Speed” – the latter was broken by Kevin Nicks in 2017.

What’s Edd China up to after “Wheeler Dealers”?

Since leaving “Wheeler Dealers”, Edd has enjoyed the freedom of be able to play with, experiment and drive his own projects, amongst which is the first electric ice-cream van. Edd built the battery-powered engine and Whitby Morrison, the ice-cream van manufacturer, the van itself. The prototype was launched on 22nd October, 201 – Edd declares that it all started off as a bit of fun when he attempted to break the Guinness World Record.

Edd hasn’t put the brakes on and constantly delves into new projects. His YouTube channel, which has been accelerating in popularity since it’s inception in November 2010, has close to a million subscribers, and is a platform on which he posts accounts of his escapades and creations, as well as answers fans’ queries in the “AskEdd” series.

On 24th April 2018, he posted a pilot episode of “Edd China’s Garage Revival“, filmed in Norway, when he revamped a Golf MK1 GTI. The intention was to create a new on-going series in which he would help people restore old cars that were lying around in their garages. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have attracted the response he was looking for, but who knows what’s yet to come?!

Undeterred and unstoppable, Edd premiered “Edd China’s Workshop Diaries” in April 2022, exhibiting various projects in his personal workshop in Buckinghamshire on a weekly basis. Edd will be promoting Vixen’s Jetwash and Aquablast machines during the show.

A recent significant achievement was the book he wrote entitled “Grease Junkie: A Book of Moving Parts”. Published by Virgin Books on 1st August, 2019, it’s available on Amazon and other channels, and attracted positive reviews, even rating a Sunday Times bestseller. The book is a memoir of his exploits with the slogan: ‘Think fast. Think big. Think the unthinkable!’ Edd acknowledges Imogen’s help, and in the write-ups a 1303 Texas yellow VW Beetle is identified as his first car  – ‘the start of an ongoing love affair with VW, even though it got him arrested for attempted armed robbery’. Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out more…

More recently, on 28th April 2020, Edd appeared in an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage“.

How much is Edd China worth?

Edd not only has unlimited ideas, but also the innovativeness and energy to bring them into being. As a result of all his creations and activities, plus exposure on social media with an additional 850,000 followers on Facebook and almost 160,000 on Twitter, plus the merchandise sold over his website, it’s calculated by relevant sources that his net worth is about $3 million.

Stay tuned, as Edd is sure to continue surprising us, and lead us further ‘into his parallel universe of possibility’.

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