I can’t think of any automotive television show as universally enjoyed among gearheads of all types than Wheeler Dealers. Unusually for me, I know exactly why this is: the show’s genial mechanic, Edd China. Unfortunately, Edd’s time with the very popular show is coming to an end, but, true to Edd form, it’s for good reasons.
Edd was the antithesis of the usual car-reality-show mechanic: where most shows tended to have caricatures of loud, arrogant, tattooed meatheads yelling at everyone about how this ‘69 GTO had better [bleeping] be ready by tomorrow or heads will roll, Edd’s a calm, wildly capable, good-natured guy who had respect for all kinds of cars and was someone you’d actually like to work with.
Plus, there’s almost never shots of him grinding down chunks of metal just to get more sparks on camera.
If you don’t believe me, get this: Edd made his mark by building motorized couches and desks. They’re amazing.
Perhaps Edd will find more time to make these sorts of gleefully bonkers motorized creations again, because he’s no longer going to be on the show that’s been his televised home for 13 years. Edd issued a statement on YouTube explaining why he’s leaving:
It seems that the big reason is that Velocity, who is taking over production of the show, found Edd’s workshop sequences “too difficult to make.” As Edd said in his statement:
Unfortunately, on Velocity’s first attempt at producing the show they found Wheeler Dealers “too difficult to make”, “at least in its current format.”
In particular, the detailed and in depth coverage of my fixes in the workshop; what I consider to be the backbone and USP of the programme, are something Velocity feel should be reduced. The workshop jobs are certainly the hardest part of the show to make and reducing their substance and role in the show will save the production considerable time, effort and therefore money.
However, this new direction is not something I am comfortable with as I feel the corners I was being asked to cut compromised the quality of my work and would erode my integrity as well as that of the show, so I have come to the conclusion that my only option is to let Velocity get on with it, without me.
This, I think, is a huge mistake on Velocity’s part. Edd’s absolutely right: the workshop sequences are the soul of the show, and reducing those will effectively kill what made Wheeler Dealers so special.
Edd will be replaced by Ant Anstead, known for the UK series For the Love of Cars. We all wish him well, but I’m pretty sure Wheeler Dealers won’t be the same without Edd.
That said, I’m excited to see what Edd has coming up in the future.