Wheeler Dealers

Was Edd China right? Have Wheeler Dealers reduced workshop time?

The deepest wounds often take years to heal, and such is the case with one of the world’s most popular car shows Wheeler Dealers. After 13 years and some 135 cars, Edd China parted ways with the show almost a year ago with suggestions that Velocity planned to reduce the workshop aspect for Series 14. Edd clearly wasn’t happy, and fans were livid.

“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,” China said at the time. “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.”

Wheeler Dealers co-host Mike Brewer was quick to counter China’s claims: “There’s no way on earth that anyone has ever suggested that the mechanical content of the show is going to be reduced,” Brewer said. “Where that came from, I don’t know. It is not going to be reduced, Discovery channel are not going to change the format one iota.”

So this got us thinking – considering that the workshop forms the backbone of what makes Wheeler Dealers so popular, has anything really changed with the amount of time devoted to it? And who was telling the truth – Mike or Edd?

Well ready the stopwatches, because we’re about to find out!

Wheeler Dealers workshop time – Edd vs Ant

The idea for this analysis is actually rather simple – we chose four random Wheeler Dealers episodes from the Edd China dynasty to try and get a decent cross-section of the workshop times involved. We then watched the episodes through and timed only the segments which showed Edd working on something – and excluded the times where nothing mechanical was actually going on. For example, if Mike and Edd were just talking in the workshop it didn’t count, and neither did the bits where Mike went out to buy or refinish parts. Just Edd’s work, pure and simple. Here’s how it turned out:

Edd China episode workshop times:

As you might have noticed, the times above are far from consistent – but they do give you a rough indication of the amount of time typically devoted to Edd’s work. Around 19 to 20 minutes per episode – sometimes more, sometimes less. Some variance is to be expected, as some cars require more work than others.

And now for the comparison. We chose four random episodes from Wheeler Dealers Series 14 – the Ant Anstead dynasty – and applied the same logic to the time Ant spent working or explaining how to fix things.

Ant Anstead episode workshop times:

So what can we gather from this information? Although two of the episodes we checked from Wheeler Dealers Series 14 did contain around 18 to 19 minutes of workshop time, the remaining two episodes fell well short of the times we’ve come to expect. Episode 3 contained just over 11 minutes of workshop fixes – with the remaining 33 minutes of the show devoted to other things.

If you calculate the averages of the figures above, the average amount of workshop time for the Edd China episodes comes in at 20 minutes 31 seconds. And for Ant Anstead? An average of just 15 minutes 30 seconds. That’s an average of 5 minutes less time spent in the workshop per episode for Series 14 – or a reduction of around 25% which is a bit disappointing.

So although the Wheeler Dealers format we all know and love hasn’t really changed all that much – apart from a new face – there is a very real possibility that what we’re getting episodes with lighter workshop elements because it is cheaper and easier for Velocity to film.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on Wheeler Dealers as Series 14 continues later this year, to see whether the reduced workshop times continue, or if the episodes we checked are simply the odd ones out. But for now, it sort of looks like Edd China might have been right.

Related posts

Wheeler Dealers to return in 2019 with 8 new episodes

Sean McKellar

Edd China is all over the Wheeler Dealers YouTube channel

Sean McKellar

Wheeler Dealers returns in May with 8 new episodes

Sean McKellar

Life after Wheeler Dealers: What has Edd China been up to?

Sean McKellar

Wheeler Dealers: Mike Brewer’s side of the story

Sean McKellar

Wheeler Dealers: Mike Brewer’s war on haters

Sean McKellar


Jo Preston March 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

While your calculations may indeed prove Edd was right, that doesn’t explain that Ant gets far more done in less time, and in a far more interesting way than Edd ever did. Ant is a breath of fresh air for Wheeler Dealers and a much better presenter than Edd.

David Osborne March 9, 2018 at 10:48 am


Bob Ford March 12, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Actually more mechanical work happens off screen in the new series.

Bob Ford March 12, 2018 at 11:50 pm

Far less poncing about buying the vehicle would be good that bit bores the hell out of me I usually fast forward to the bit where Ant sees the car outside of the workshop.

Ray Culver March 9, 2018 at 7:40 am

To be honest. It’s done and dusted now. Water under the bridge. Edd is very good but then so is Ant. Mike chose Ant to move forwards with and that they have done. Would I like more workshop time. Yes! Howwever, the program has to suit everyone so a compromise is needed.
Let’s just hope that Edd does his own thing (Maybe like Mark Evans did) and the viewers will be the winners as there will be two excellent programs to watch with very capable people presenting then

Vivienne McNeil March 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Not only the workshop time has suffered, but the quality as well. I used to feel I was sharing the project – diagnosing the problem, working out how to get to awkward bolts – now there is no information I find useful, or could not get more directly elsewhere. Forgot to look up from my iphone after the third ad.

wertyu2007 March 10, 2018 at 7:37 am

Not me the new Top gear and new Wheeler dealer on the never to watch list .

ill still watch the old ones but never the new , at least top gear lads were descent enough to not carry on not fastso though

LUIS B. March 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

Ant knows how to look and smile to a camera; he knows all this kind of tricks. We won an actor but lost an engineer.

Alex Mitchell March 20, 2018 at 2:21 am

I completely agree, Ant knocks the suspension to bits and then wallah the cars painted and has a lot of new stuff on, Ant is a seriously good welder though. Ed used to show how to tune carbs, how to crimp lines, lots and lots of stuff for an amateur gear head to watch, he often got help from experts too, one time setting the carbs up on a Lamborghinni, how many times has anyone seen that eh? AlexM, Canada

Dan Walter March 23, 2018 at 3:36 am

I like the Edd series, better, I don’t watch it as much as I did before.

LUIS B March 24, 2018 at 12:13 am

But you should! It is very useful: with Ant you learn to buy the spare parts you do not know how to fix ;-))

karl watson April 6, 2018 at 10:14 am

love two get on yor show great fan of yor show

Paul April 15, 2018 at 7:19 pm

It’s a matter of personalities as much as anything. The different characteristics or personal traits of Edd and Ant on camera at least are obviously going to be different. Edd was on the show 13 years. The “Tall Man” was, and still is to an extent, synonymous with the show. Change after so long is obviously going to seriously divide opinion. For my part, I believe the show has lost a little something with Edd’s departure. Having said that, I’ll give Ant a chance to stamp his own mark on the show. Suffice to say he is definitely used to being in front of the camera. I still cringe a bit watching Edd’s first few episodes on the show. His eventual makeover, (that initial early hair do he had.. oh dear)and confidence and ability in front of camera took time. Fair comment here that Ant is clearly used to being in front of the cameras. That said, if his engineering skills are on a par with EDd’s then I’ll be happy..well ish

Endrik April 18, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Edd China has a university degree in engineering as well as having built numerous wacky vehicles that are in the Guinness book of world records, Ant Anstead is nothing but a self taught talentless famehunter.

Dan123 August 27, 2018 at 2:38 am

Ed was self taught when it came to vehicle mechanics, his University degree is in mechanical engineering. Totally different subject. Ant is an ex Policeman who has taught himself some form of vehicle mechanics, but I’m guessing he has quite a lot of technical help on the show.
Brewer, well what can anyone say about him. Just shows how loyal he was to Edd, without whom he would be nothing.

Fred S. August 27, 2018 at 8:05 am

Uh, Edd left.

JamesB October 15, 2018 at 2:36 am

Edd left because Mike took the network’s side when they wanted to change the format of the show. Mike should have had Edd’s side in this, but he didn’t. Edd probably thought that threatening to leave would show Mike how much Edd believed that the show shouldn’t be messed with.

Nothing against Ant, but I’ve stopped watching the show. I watched it for Edd, not Mike. And now to see Mike taking the network’s side over Edd, as a loyal viewer for 8+ years, I’m done. Mike should have sided with his friend over his bosses. Long-time viewers could easily see the changes Velocity was making. While I don’t mind a little tweaking, losing Edd was too much of a change. I’m following Edd wherever he ends up.

Endrik April 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Why would anyone want more workshop time for Ant Anstead as he’s an unnatural presenter, he’s more akin to a Saturday morning children’s television presenter.

LUIS B. April 19, 2018 at 12:02 pm

You are absolutly right, Endrik; Ant is an entertainer. His curiousity for engines or complex systems is equal to zero.

Fred S. May 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm

WD has been my favorite Velocity Channel show since I started watching 5 years ago. I enjoyed it when Edd was Mike’s side-kick and I enjoy it as much with Ant. I think there is a perfect balance between Mikes “art of the deal” performances and Ant’s mechanical wizardry. Not least of all, I find entertainment value of their often humorous interaction. I am impressed with Ant’s broad knowledge of mechanical fixes for whatever wreck Mike is able to bring wheezing into the shop. Though I can’t figure out why Ant isn’t wearing protective gloves when he’s messing with solvents and the like.

Dlman June 13, 2018 at 9:15 pm

ed series is way much better…now I have stopped watching wheeler due to this new guy and very little talk on mechanical…

Patrick June 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm

New series not anywhere near as good as the original series, are we really interested in the American version? having watched two episodes, unlikely to watch further ones! Edd was the star of the original show, Mike was interesting to listen to when buying the vehicles and driving them to the garage. A good show cut back for financial reasons!

Brian Racher. June 15, 2018 at 6:03 am

Get rid of Brewer – oh sorry you can’t. It’s the Brewer Show. Edd was right to go, and I feel sorry for Ant having to work with such an irritating psuedo cockney “dealer”. And why shift it all to the USA? Haven’t we got enough with Kindig, Fast n’ Loud, Chasing Cars, Misfit Garage et all??? WD has just lost another viewer.

LUIS B. June 30, 2018 at 11:48 pm

Right! Trying an imitation of someone, is allways ridiculous.

Ian Gaskell July 4, 2018 at 12:32 am

The new series seems to have departed from the original spirit of the show-that is reviving classic British cars!! I understand that Velocity is now bankrolling the show and, judging by the ever increasing cast list the show has become too unwieldy and has lost it’s relevance to British audiences. Whilst the American cars programmes are interesting the concept of the original programme is getting lost amongst the trucks and gimmicky autos.
The British series was seen as something an enthusiastic amateur could undertake on classic British cars. Given that the show is now geared to the American market, it has lost it’s naive charm. Surely there must be some British classics still out there?
Are the days of Ed taking the car to the spray shop himself or refurbishing the alloy wheels with a scrubbing brush gone forever, only to be replaced by comments like “the car is back from the sprayers” or “the wheels are back from the refurbishers”
Bring the show back to blighty and get back to basics!!!

Russell December 8, 2018 at 4:23 am

You are right in every point. As an American I also want the show back in Europe. The older motor cars that Ed worked on was the reason I fell in love the show. To find and repair the cars of yesteryear was just fun to watch. Also now the use dollars and no pounds. I truly miss Ed.

Dwayne Takeda July 13, 2018 at 1:13 am

I’d be interested to see Edd’s time if it was measured using only more recent seasons. Early seasons had more time spent on the history of the car model and the hunt / purchase. If you notice Edd’s times increased over the years.

Legendary Carlos August 2, 2018 at 2:37 am

Well. .. there is something to be said about comparing the later episodes of Eddwith those of Ant: this is what it was when Edd left, so that is what we, the viewers know and love.

And a 25% reduction is significant.

On a personal note: without Edd I never would have done simple repairs on my car, because I never would have known how simple those jobs would have been.

Tom.bryne July 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Watch it if you want, don’t if it’s not for you. Bunch of sulking women, I thought it was a show for men and cars.

LUIS B, July 31, 2018 at 2:25 am

I agree, The program now is for that kind of full tattooed and stinking fans of noisy cars! ‘Men’, as you say.

John K. August 3, 2018 at 11:53 am

I still watch, but it’s not nearly as “instructive” or “comprehensive” as it used to be. The show has more “production value” but it really doesn’t teach us anything anymore. We rarely see body work, painting, interiors, or any of the more fiddly work we used to see with Edd, and those are all part of the whole. We’re getting short-changed.

craig james August 27, 2018 at 12:23 pm

It has certainly raised my hackles- I have watched from the start and as I can no longer do anything on a car due to health problems I still love the show in it’s Edd form. I have no desire to become a viewer of the new format as this has left a very sour taste to all who revere in The Tall Man’s knowledge and practical work. I posted on Mike’s site and said this and left him with what all Edd’s fans think; Poor form Mike, poor form.

Livio Greco September 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm

S13 E4 – Chevrolet LUV 1980 is the Edd China reduced time proof.

George A Clarke September 16, 2018 at 1:09 am

I loved to watch Ed do the repairs; I learned a great deal from his in-depth explanations. Velocity has a lot of shows that are more about personalities and very expensive restorations than the cars themselves; which I find very boring; when have they ever shown what these expensive rebuilds cost. Velocity and their blasted auctions, don’t they realize that a majority of the audience are working class motorheads who are interested in fixing or restoring their own pride and joy vehicle. I personally want more how to do and less chasing with miraculous restorations. The only show I do follow on Velocity is Wheeler Dealers the rest of the programs are nonsense and more about advertising.

Rob ward September 16, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Not only has workshop time been reduced but now they have Mike brewer doing crappy little jobs we all know hes not skilled at. Used to be a novelty when he did something in the workshop. Now we are supposed to believe he can fix cars?
Money talks clearly so the Americans can have the show in its ‘new’ format which is just like the rest. Wont be long till deadlines and false drama rears its head

Brian October 1, 2018 at 7:49 am

Watching old episodes today with Eds on Velocity. Sure was a good show. Don’t care for the episodes with Ant. Never could bear sitting through Mike segment. Didn’t take me long to learn to DVR and fast forward thru his annoying crap.

Phil October 8, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Never watched one episode since edd left

AL October 16, 2018 at 11:54 pm

With Edd I could not wait for the latest episode to come out. Now with Ant I still watch it but I have half the series on my HDD and still haven’t got around to watching them 6 months later.
I really enjoyed the technical stuff that Edd presented.

Chuck October 24, 2018 at 6:57 am

Seems like the Velocity/Discovery want more built up drama and less technical work. American Chopper was a good show when they we’re building bikes, not baking cookies or taking their dog to a vet. Just look at the new Vegas Rat Rods or Memphis Street Outlaws. Less building and more drama/personal BS. Soap operas should be kept to daytime television.
And Mike Brewer reminds me of a three legged Chihuahua on steroids with an ichy ass.

CF November 1, 2018 at 8:04 am

One factor which has been missed here: How much time in the Anstead eps is given to *Mr. Brewer* doing mechanical stuff? One notices in the American episodes Mr. Brewer actually going hands-on with the vehicles; and even in the British episodes, Mr. Brewer was shown aiding in the refurb of parts (Mr. Brewer does seem to be a proponent of Small Businesses — “a man and his mate on an industrial estate”; and he has commented more than once on having to be his own mechanic in his early days as a used-car dealer). I’d be interested to see if some the “lost shop time” has been transferred from Mr. Anstead to Mr. Brewer (perhaps Mr. Brewer grew tired of being thought of solely as a “used-car salesman”? 🙂 ).

Vic Lee November 5, 2018 at 6:29 am

Ant hands are never dirty

Fred S. November 5, 2018 at 11:05 am

Actually, Edd wore gloves when messing with dirty parts and such,, which was smart. Ant constantly has his hands in the grease and chemical cleaners without the benefit of gloves. I mentioned this in an earlier post (May 28). I’m not doing “pr” for either man as I enjoy watching them both. Just calling it the way I see it.

Mandarin S November 8, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I like both Edd and Ant. While I did like Edd, I sometimes found what he was doing sometimes very long winded. That said I do feel we miss alot of stuff Ant does in the fix up off camera. I personally am more interested in the final product and the money they make.

Also anyone who watches Barrett Jackson car sales, would have occasionally seen Ant and Mike reviewing cars before they go under the hammer.

You reckon Mike would have got that gig still working with Edd?

LOL joking.. I miss Edd, but still like Ant and the show….


Leave a Comment