Pro­duc­tion com­pany and ex-host in tit for tat bat­tle about show’s for­mat

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Mur­ray Scul­lion

‘I feel the cor­ners I was be­ing asked to cut com­pro­mised the qual­ity of my work’ EDD CHINA

Af­ter sen­sa­tion­ally quit­ting

Wheeler Deal­ers, Edd China has re­vealed his rea­sons for leav­ing, while pro­gramme maker Ve­loc­ity has in­sisted that ‘there are no plans to al­ter the for­mat’ of the show.

As re­vealed in last week’s is­sue of Clas­sic Car Weekly, Edd will be re­placed by For The Love of Cars

pre­sen­ter and re­storer Ant An­stead. Af­ter CCW went to press, China re­leased a state­ment on­line clearly lay­ing out his side of the story. He says: ‘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 (unique sell­ing point) 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.’

Pro­gramme maker Ve­loc­ity has fought back against China’s al­le­ga­tions. A spokesper­son for Ve­loc­ity says: ‘ Wheeler Deal­ers will re­main the en­ter­tain­ing, high qual­ity pro­gram that mil­lions of view­ers worldwide have en­joyed for 13 sea­sons.

‘Our in­vest­ments in the fran­chise have never been higher; there are no plans to al­ter the for­mat or make cut­backs on the se­ries.

‘Mike Brewer and Ant An­stead will con­tinue to take our fans “un­der the hood” to show de­tailed me­chan­i­cal work while also show­cas­ing Ant’s in­cred­i­ble de­sign and fab­ri­ca­tion.’

Antstead is cur­rently in the process of mov­ing to Amer­ica, where the show is based.

Edd China’s YouTube state­ment on 21 March re­vealed that he wasn’t com­fort­able with the show’s ‘new di­rec­tion’.

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