It’s always a shame when a TV show ends without much of an explanation, but it’s even worse when said series is a well-loved one, with a large and loyal audience gained in the course of almost two decades.
If the latter’s case sounds familiar to you, then you’re not wrong for thinking about “Wheeler Dealers”, which despite not being officially canceled yet, has been the subject of many rumors pointing out its near and apparently inevitable end.
However, do these rumors hold any truth? Could “Wheeler Dealers” be replaced with a newer series with a fresher concept, or could its possible cancellation be related to problems within the cast? Keep with us to know all the reasons for which “Wheeler Dealers” could be ending very soon!
Is “Wheeler Dealers” Near Its End?
If you’re a loyal viewer of “Wheeler Dealers”, you’ve most likely heard some worrisome rumors about the show and its possible end.
While the veracity of these speculations has remained unproven as of early 2022, no one can fault people for believing, it given all the recent changes the show has been through.
As it happens, ever since “Wheeler Dealers” premiered in 2003, the show has kept the same format, changing little to almost nothing about it until 2017, when its now-former host and main mechanic Edd China left amidst a feud with Mike Brewer.
Although a sense of stability was achieved after Ant Anstead replaced China, in 2020 “Wheeler Dealers” fans were hit once again by the news of Anstead’s exit from the show, being replaced by the Formula One mechanic Marc “Elvis” Priestley. Welcoming a new host also marked the return of “Wheeler Dealers” to the UK, after being filmed in the US for several years.
Could all of these factors negatively affect the show’s future? While there’s little to no evidence proving that a cancellation is awaiting the show, it’s not far-fetched to theorize that maybe these changes could be pointing to a bigger problem the audience is not aware of.
Who’s The New Guy?
Just in case you haven’t been up to date with “Wheeler Dealers” that much in recent years, you might be wondering who the new host and mechanic Marc “Elvis” Priestley is, but if you’re an avid motorhead, you surely know him well.
His career in the racing world started in 1999, when he joined the British F1 team McLaren Racing, for which he worked for a decade, scaling the ranks from the test team until becoming one of the company’s top staff members.
However, as easy as that sounds, achieving such a dream-like goal was the result of several years of hard work and resilience, passing from establishing a small team in his North London garage in the mid-1990s, to working for big names such as Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
After 10 years in Formula One, his accumulated experience added to his inherent charisma as a motivational speaker, motivated Elvis to a career in the entertainment world.
Elvis’ first big job on TV was in Discovery’s “Driving Wild”, also working for “The F1 Report” and advising the coverage of the FIA Formula E for the ITV4 channel. As if that wasn’t enough. Elvis also published the highly successful “‘The Mechanic” book, which relates his stories in Formula One, and reveals some of its secrets.
Why Did They Film In The Us?
For a show with a cast and production mostly British, it was unexpected to say the least when it was announced that “Wheeler Dealers” was changing its filming location from the UK to the US in 2013. This decision was meant to make the car fixing and remodeling process easier and less expensive, given that the show’s workshop Huntington Beach Bodyworks had been established since 2011 in California, but the cars were still sent to the UK for the next two years.
Nonetheless, many people wonder why Edd China and Mike Brewer rented their California body shop in the first place, when just keeping all their operations in London seemed a more logical and easier option.
Brewer affirmed that they just wanted to make more episodes without being affected by factors beyond their power: ‘If you’re going to want more shows, we just can’t physically make them during an English winter, we’ll have to go somewhere sunny to make them’, as Top Gear Box reported back then.
Why Did It Move Back To The UK?
Every good adventure has to an end at some point, and early 2021 was the right time for “Wheeler Dealers” to return home after eight years in the US.
While this decision might sound rushed and illogical considering all the good reasons the show had to be established in America, the truth is that the move actually makes sense. As Mike Brewer told Esquire in late 2021, his mother’s health hadn’t been the best in the last couple of years, not only worrying him endlessly but also making him yearn to return home: ‘the opportunity came around from our UK bosses to say, ‘look, it’s your friends, we’re coming back to the UK and making a few shows’, I jumped at the chance’.
Besides assuring that his eagerness to go back to the UK didn’t mean he disliked the US, Brewer admitted he thought that the move was fitting with the recent changes “Wheeler Dealers” faced at the time: ‘(it) has had three different incarnations, and now this is another one of them, to have another go and to see if we can still create’.
Regardless of the suddenness of it all, Mike’s enthusiasm with this new chapter of “Wheeler Dealers” was contagious. s
Is There A New Show?
Given how wildly successful “Wheeler Dealers” is, it’s not surprising that it’s spawned several spin-off shows, of which the most recent is entitled “Dream Car”, premiering in 2020.
Although the announcement of the new series wasn’t nearly as surprising compared to the fans’ reaction at knowing Ant Anstead wasn’t in it, “Dream Car” was fortunately well received by the audience.
I can’t wait to see where the next year brings us! Wishing you nothing but health, happiness, joy and success in the new year. Thats a wrap 21 … Action 22. 🎬🎥 🚗
This new show’s concept kept the whole flipping and fixing aspect of “Wheeler Dealers”, but instead of finding a random car, remodel it and make a profit out of it, “Dream Car”s focus was on making people’s dream of owning their ideal auto a reality. First, Mike and Elvis chose someone whose car was in poor conditions to improve it both physically and mechanically, then find inventive ways to sell it for a profit.
Next step was to use that money to buy another car fit to that person’s idea of a dream automobile, all while paying attention to the owners’ personal stories and motivations: ‘(to) see the emotion that comes back from them and how overwhelmed they were, just made every single moment of it worthwhile’, Elvis said in an interview with Take To The Road, making it clear what the real motivation behind the show is.
What Happened To Ant Anstead?
Now that you already know what “Wheeler Dealers” current status is, and what happened to it in recent years, you surely might be wondering what happened to the former host Ant Anstead.
Ant’s reasons to leave the show are actually understandable; given the decision of “Wheeler Dealers” production staff to move the show back to London, Ant chose to remain close to his loved ones in the US, where he established his entire family years ago. However, he affirmed that his association with “Wheeler Dealers” hadn’t ended yet, promising that despite saying goodbye to his regular spot in the show, he would still be ‘popping in’ from time to time in it.
All of this was affirmed in a YouTube video, in which Ant was accompanied by Elvis and Mike, making it clear that there wasn’t any bad blood between them.
Although Ant admitted being sad about not being able to keep working in the show, and continue his so-called ‘bromance’ with Mike on screen, he affirmed to being grateful, and proud of his achievements in the show: ‘I proudly hand the spanners over to the legend that is (Elvis)’, his Instagram post read.
Following the end of his adventures in “Wheeler Dealers”, in 2021, Ant has hosted Sky’s show “World’s Greatest Cars”, and Discovery’s “Celebrity IOU: Joyride”.
Why Did Edd China Leave?
Unlike the light-heartedness surrounding Ant Anstead’s exit from “Wheeler Dealers”, the situation was completely different when Edd China left in 2017.
As any good fan of “Wheeler Dealers” remember, Edd wasn’t only the original mechanic of the show, but was also known in the automotive world for his creativity and ingenuity at designing and building by the time the show debuted. Nonetheless, it was “Wheeler Dealers” that definitely catapulted him and Mike Brewer into international fame.
Considering all the success and popularity Edd had achieved through the show, the news about his exit was very shocking. In a video shared on his personal YouTube channel, Edd affirmed that he wasn’t comfortable ‘with the new direction’ the show had taken after establishing its headquarters in the US, partly because the workshop time featured on screen was reduced greatly, to save costs.
While affirming that leaving “Wheeler Dealers” while at its peak of popularity wasn’t an easy decision, Edd had already set his mind about ‘breaking free’ from it.
How Did People Take It?
Unsurprisingly, a huge part of “Wheeler Dealers” found Edd China’s decision to leave understandable enough to give him their support. However, the same can’t be said about Mike Brewer, who accused Edd of doing ‘some very bad things’ which allegedly hindered his job relationship with Discovery: ‘they gave him the option to leave, and he took it.’
As if that wasn’t enough, in a fan-posted video Mike was seen saying that Edd had become self-centered due to his growing fame, apparently losing sight of what Mike considered the show was about: ‘Edd forgot his focus really on what he was there to do. He was a mechanic, and then he became a TV star’. Mike finished his rant saying that it was false that a lot of changes were to be made to “Wheeler Dealers”.
As expected, Mike’s declaration only added fuel to the fire, and soon enough, the audience of “Wheeler Dealers” was split between supporting Mike or Edd. However, the situation reached its lowest point when Brewer and his family started receiving death threats over the whole situation, even leading Edd to post another video showing his disapproval about the negative messages his former co-star was receiving, despite not being on good terms with him: ‘We’re both adults and we’ll get over ourselves. We’ll get past this, and we’ll be fine’.
All in all, it was a messy and sad situation for both sides.
What Are “Wheeler Dealers” Spin-Offs?
Keeping a TV show alive and successful for almost two decades isn’t an easy task to accomplish, even regardless of how well-planned or highly-budgeted a production is, but it’s even harder to produce spin-off series without failing in the process.
The latter case fortunately doesn’t apply to “Wheeler Dealers”, though. Besides their recent spin-off “Dream Car”, several other follow-up series starring Mike Brewer and his co-hosts have premiered too, with high rating numbers.
The first is “Trading Up”, which premiered in 2013, definitely gaining the franchise the approval of a worldwide audience, seeing how it offered a deep insight into the automotive business all around the world. The second season of “Trading Up” finished airing in late 2014 to put a definite end to the series, but everyone who remembers the show surely misses it to this day.
Other spin-offs worth mentioning are the TV special episodes “Revisited”, “US Top 5 Specials”, and “Stripped Down”, premiered in 2020.
I built this spoked wheel this week with @chris_willis_wheels .. lovely shop.. great guy and proud of my work. 🛠🇬🇧🏍 #wheelerdealers #wddc
No matter how good a show is, it’s almost mandatory that it will receive negative opinions and criticism at some point.
For Mark Brewer, the not-so-kind opinions about him consist of his supposed inability to hold on to his mechanics, as he affirmed when Ant Anstead’s exit from the show was announced.
Other opinions are rooted in the fact that “Wheeler Dealers” was produced and filmed entirely in the US, which didn’t make the show’s British audience happy at all. As Mike told Esquire in 2021, he received letters from angry viewers guilt-tripping him about not wanting to watch the show anymore because of it featuring American cars, despite it not being true: ‘out of the, I think 110 cars we did in America, only 25 of them were actually American. All the rest of them were Japanese and European’.
Whether the negative critiques are motivated by patriotism or just pettiness, the good news is that it hasn’t stopped “Wheeler Dealers” staff from doing what they do best. Hopefully, that continues on for many years.