Who is Mike Brewer?
Born in August 1964, Mike Brewer is an English car trader and presenter, mainly known for his work on Discovery Channel’s “Wheeler Dealers”. Despite a late start to his career on the small screen, the affable TV personality has successfully carved out his own path, and has thousands of dedicated fans who support his every project.
Mike comes from humble beginnings, growing-up in a two-parent household in Lambeth, London. His father, Roger Wilks, loved vehicle customizing, and was the owner of a Ford Popular which he fondly nicknamed “Mr. Popstar”.
Thanks to his father’s love for motoring, Mike discovered his own passion for cars, and purchased his first vehicle, a beige Mini 850cc, as soon as possible. Meanwhile, his mother Doreen was a housewife.
The first time viewers saw Mike in action as a presenter was in 1997 in Channel 4’s “Deals on Wheels”. In the same year, the hardworking Londoner also began presenting on “Pulling Power” on ITV1. The late nineties marked the beginning of a new era for the car trader, as he appeared in a few episodes of “Driven” as well.
By 2003, Mike had left the first two shows behind, and was ready to move on to bigger and better things, namely “Wheeler Dealers”. The Discovery Channel offering helped him become a household name and the millionaire he is today, despite Edd China – the show’s co-host and mechanic until 2017 – being somewhat more popular.
Other shows Mike has presented include “Auto Trader”, “Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car”, and “World’s Greatest Cars”. The talented businessman has also made appearances in “Revved Up” and “Remote Madness”, and hosts coverage of the British Rally Championship annually on Sky Sports.
In 2010, Mike changed the direction of his career with the short-lived Discovery Channel series “Frontline Battle Machines”. The show’s premise saw Mike travel to Afghanistan and accompany front line troops, while showing viewers at home how to use their motorized equipment. In one particularly tense moment, enemies aimed at Mike’s helicopter and injured the pilot, forcing a landing.
Thanks to his success on Channel 4 and ITV shows, Mike was hired by the Discovery Channel to present “Wheeler Dealers” in October 2003. The series was a hit partly thanks to Mike’s chemistry with Edd, who stepped down in 2017 after changes to the show’s production were made. With that said, Edd’s successors – Ant Anstread and Marc Priestley – have done a pretty good job at filling the quirky mechanic’s shoes up until now.
“Wheeler Dealers” was an instant hit and spawned two spin-offs, the first one being 2013’s “Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up”. Mike was given the challenging task of traveling the world with $3,000 while buying and selling different cars to reach his final goal of purchasing a $30,000 luxury sports car.
The first season of “Trading Up” saw Mike start his adventure in Kolkata, India, where he purchased a 2004 Suzuki off the street and sold it via a newspaper classified for an impressive $400 profit. Also in India, he bought a 2004 Tata Indigo Marina and a 2000 Hindustan Ambassador Classic, with the latter car getting stuck out at sea while being shipped out to the UK.
In the UK, filming took place in London, Newark and Hertfordshire before Mike travelled to Sweden and made his first $500 loss, on a 1967 Chevrolet. However, the seasoned car trader had better luck with the next three cars he sold in the country, and soon moved on to Japan. After discovering that the 1976 Toyota Coupe he’d bought had a faulty alternator, Mike put it into action and lost almost $3,000 – his biggest setback yet.
After flipping cars in Mexico City and San Francisco, Mike headed over to Dubai for the final two episodes. Shockingly, he ended up without any money when the last car he’d bought got stuck out at sea, and had to persuade a dealer to sell him a 2005 Toyota Prado on trust. In the end, he succeeded in buying a Porsche convertible for the handsome price of almost $29,000, and “Trading Up” was renewed for its second and final season.
Filming for the second season took place in Australia, the UK, Brazil, Poland, and Italy. However, the first season was far more popular. As for “Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car”, the Discovery Channel show premiered in January 2020 and sees Mike and Marc help car owners trade in their unwanted vehicles for the auto of their dreams.
Mike remains active in the car industry, as well as having a successful TV career. In 2012, the trader opened Mike Brewer Motors, a dealership with bases in Luton and Sheffield. Another highlight in his professional life includes his launch of the only yearly awards for used car dealers in the UK.
— mikebrewermotors (@mikebrewermotor) June 25, 2020
Although Mike Brewer Motors is a highly recommended dealership, with a 99% satisfaction rating, it appears that Mike himself is just the image, while the co-owner John Tustin does most of the on-hands work. With over two decades of experience in the motor trade, John is responsible for the management and growth of every part of the brand, including Mike Brewer Accident Repair, and Mike Brewer Preparation Centers.
Some of Mike’s accolades include setting a 24-hour Endurance Land Speed Record in a Volvo S60 T5 way back in October 2000, and winning “Best In Vision Personality” at the 2004 Royal Television Society Midland Centre awards.
Despite his busy filming schedule, Mike always makes time for his wife Michelle and their daughter. The family unit live in Warwickshire, and often post sweet snaps of each other on Instagram, but more importantly, the car trader and his spouse have recently undertaken perhaps their most ambitious project yet: Mike’s manor.
In April 2022, the couple purchased the 1865 Gothic manor, which has its own Instagram account, and have since documented the restoration process on social media. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done on it, including rebuilding the chimney stack, roofing, replacing the outdated 1920s master bathroom, and clearing out the garage.
Luckily, there are plenty of small businesses out there willing to help the TV personality, in exchange for social media promotion, and Mike and Michelle’s stunning property is already looking much better than it was just a few months ago.
What exactly do we know about Michelle? Dubbed as “the driving force behind ‘Wheeler Dealing’”, Michelle is her husband’s number-one fan and greatest support. In fact, the bubbly blonde rarely posts herself on social media, and instead prefers to promote Mike’s every endeavor. As an avid baker and self-confessed foodie, there’s rarely a dull moment with her around, and over the years she’s struck up great friendships with every cast member on “Wheeler Dealers”.
Michelle loves spending time with her friends, and dotes on her adorable pet dog too, when not busy at work. With that said, it’s not all love and light in real life, and the Warwickshire native has never shied away from showing fans the ugly reality of being famous.
Shocking fans in June 2020 with a screenshot of vile messages to Mike that read: “You’d be nothing without Edd China, get some respect you ugly c*nt.”, Michelle brought awareness to the vitriol that both have suffered since Edd’s controversial exit from the show. “This is the kind of daily abuse that someone in the public eye has to endure every day,” Michelle captioned the photo. “I believe this is totally unacceptable, and social media companies now need to make everyone accountable.”
Mike has been plagued by rumors of an off-screen rivalry between himself and Edd for years, which Michelle has never publicly commented on. However, the couple showed there’s no hard feelings from them, and publicly supported Edd’s new YouTube series, “Workshop Diaries”, when it came out in March 2021. This brings us to the next topic: Edd’s role in “Wheeler Dealers”, and how his departure affected the show.
Born in London in the early 1970s, Edd’s interest in cars and mechanics was nurtured from an early age. Before becoming the celebrity he is today, the quirky mechanic studied at King Edward’s School in Surrey and graduated from London South Bank University with a degree in engineering product design.
Happy Easter, and happy anniversary! It was Good Friday last year we put up our first episode of #WorkshopDiaries So to…
Edd’s first major invention of note was a driving sofa, which he built to raise money for an expedition to Belize. The success of his creation, known as the Casual Lofa, landed him his first TV role as a special effects technician in 1994. Thanks to a winning combination of hard work and charisma, Edd was given the chance to make a guest appearance on “Top Gear” Live just four years later, where he drove the Casual Lofa at Silverstone’s Live Arena.
Other appearances the Casual Lofa and Edd made in the ‘90s include a feature on “The Most Outrageous Jeremy Clarkson Video In The World… Ever!”, and in an episode of “The Big Breakfast”. Edd was invited onto the latter show two more times, and was also seen in “Scrapheap Challenge” in an episode featuring sofa cars and driving beds.
Although there are plenty of skilled mechanics in the world of television, Edd set himself apart from the rest with his thriftiness and creativity – for example, viewers were stunned when they saw him featured in the “Top Gear” segment “Build a Bond Car On A Budget”, showing off a Rover 800 which was purchased for £200 and modified for half the price.
Edd soon appeared on the Discovery Channel’s radar and was paired up with Mike in 2003 for “Wheeler Dealers”, the duo’s most famous television work to date. Pulling in high ratings season after season, there was no doubt that Discovery had found a winning formula, as Edd and Mike’s personalities meshed perfectly, and made for great viewing.
Nevertheless, all good things come to an end – Edd stunned longtime fans and casual viewers when he announced in March 2017 via his YouTube channel, that he’d be leaving “Wheeler Dealers” after disagreements with the show’s producers. Apparently, the production team wanted to cut down on Edd’s informative workshop segments on the show, through which he educated viewers about how to repair vehicles easily and economically.
Mike was understandably bereft after losing his onscreen sidekick of over a decade, but things soon turned ugly for the car trader and his family. Less than a week after his initial announcement, Edd uploaded another video in which he claimed that Mike had called him complaining about abuse and death threats he and his family had received, from bitter individuals who blamed him for the mechanic leaving the show.
It’s true that to this day, Mike is berated and vilified by netizens who feel that he should’ve supported his colleague instead of letting him walk away. Some argue that Edd – who was considered by many the star of “Wheeler Dealers” – leaving meant more screentime and a higher paycheck for Mike, while others claim that the mechanic would’ve left anyway to pursue other projects.
It appears that Edd prefers to work at his own pace instead of being pressured to deliver by TV producers. Over the years, he’s made very few appearances on other shows, despite being a hugely sought-after public figure. One instance was way back in 2005, when he appeared on “Ready Steady Cook” as a celebrity guest, to raise funds for Children in Need, and in 2007 when he interviewed performers at the Edinburgh Festival in an episode of “The Culture Show”.
When not creating content, Edd remains an inventor at heart. He partnered with Tom Onslow-Cole in 2012, when challenged by sponsors to produce a drag racer from a converted milk float, and snagged a coveted place in the Guinness World Records books for the world’s fastest milk float. Other Guinness World Records held by the Londoner include for the fastest shed, bed, toilet, and the largest motorized shopping trolley.
Although we’ll never know the whole truth, Edd has proven himself to be successful away from “Wheeler Dealers”, including boasting millions of followers across his social media platforms. The first independent series he premiered on YouTube, “Edd China’s Garage Revival”, was a hit amongst a niche audience who wanted to learn the ins and outs of mechanics on a budget. His “Edd China” channel is also popular, and “Workshop Diaries” marks yet another accomplishment for the motor specialist.
Safe to say that both Mike and Edd are more than surviving without co=operating or competing, so look forward to more exposure of both in further auto-related shows.