Has Wheeler Dealers Been Cancelled? Explained

Has Wheeler Dealers Been Cancelled

For almost 20 years, Wheeler Dealers has been a fan favorite car show on Discovery Channel. The premise is simple – hosts Mike Brewer and Edd China find used cars in need of repair, fix them up, and sell for a profit. It’s an entertaining look into the world of car flipping.

But in March 2017, co-host Edd China unexpectedly announced he was leaving Wheeler Dealers after 13 years working alongside Mike Brewer. This led many fans to worry – has Wheeler Dealers been cancelled for good?

The short answer is no, Wheeler Dealers has not been officially cancelled. However, major changes are coming to the show’s format and hosts following Edd China’s departure.

In this detailed blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Wheeler Dealers’ future including:

  • Why Edd China decided to leave the show after over a decade as host
  • How Discovery Channel and Mike Brewer plan to move forward with a new mechanic
  • Fan reactions to China leaving and the new Wheeler Dealers format
  • What Edd China is working on next after exiting the show
  • Expert predictions on how much longer Wheeler Dealers will stay on the air

Let’s start at the beginning and go through everything that led to Wheeler Dealers entering a new era without one of its original hosts.

How Wheeler Dealers Became One of the Most Popular Car Shows?

Before discussing Wheeler Dealers’ future, it helps to understand how the show became so successful in the first place. Wheeler Dealers premiered all the way back in 2003 on the Discovery Channel UK. Here’s a quick rundown of the show’s origins and rise to popularity:

  • Wheeler Dealers was created by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Daniel Allum in 2003. He partnered with automotive expert Mike Brewer and mechanic Edd China to host the show.
  • The original format featured Mike Brewer searching for used cars in need of repair work. He’d then hand the vehicle off to Edd China who would fix up the major issues before returning it to Brewer.
  • After the repairs were finished, Brewer would sell the refurbished car at auction and explain what profit they made from the “flip.”
  • The show was a surprise hit and aired for over 10 seasons on Discovery UK before expanding internationally. Wheeler Dealers became the most watched program on Discovery’s global network.
  • Part of the appeal was Edd China’sskill at diagnosing carproblems and performing repair work with limited resources. Fans found it fascinating to see worn-down carsbrought back to life.
  • Mike Brewer added entertainment value with his spirited sales pitches and wheeling and dealing to find cheap cars with potential. The pair developed great on-screen chemistry.
  • By 2017 when Edd China departed, Wheeler Dealers had reached cult status with a loyal fanbase. The show had over 350 million viewers worldwide and spawned several spin-offs.

Now that Wheeler Dealers was firing on all cylinders as a global TV program, Edd China’s sudden exit took everyone by surprise. Why would he leave one of the most popular car shows after 13 successful seasons?

Why Did Edd China Leave Wheeler Dealers in 2017?

On March 21, 2017, Edd China stunned Wheeler Dealers fans by announcing he was leaving the show. In a statement posted to Facebook, China explained some key reasons behind his difficult decision to move on:

  • Show Format Changes: China said the show was planning to feature more car restorations which didn’t align with his interests and skills. He preferred their original focus on affordable, everyday car repairs.
  • Made Decision in 2014: Interestingly, China revealed he had first tried leaving three years earlier in 2014. But at the time, Discovery hired an additional host to join the show so China agreed to stay.
  • Departure Was Friendly: Despite creative differences with the show’s new direction, China emphasized his departure was friendly with no negativity between him and Mike Brewer.
  • Wanted Control of His Brand: China said the disagreements made him realize he needed more creative control over his own brand and projects moving forward. This fueled his choice to walk away.

Clearly Edd China had become increasingly uncomfortable with where Wheeler Dealers was heading. While he said the parting was mutual, it still marked the end of China’s long run as one of the show’s hosts.

Initial fan reactions to Edd’s announcement were mixed. Some were devastated and angry to see him leave. Others understood his desire to take his career in a new direction. But one question lingered – what did this mean for the future of Wheeler Dealers?

How Wheeler Dealers Plans to Continue Without Edd China?

Within a month after Edd China announced his departure, Discovery Channel clarified that Wheeler Dealers would go on without him. Some key points about the show’s future direction:

  • The network announced a new mechanic would be joining Mike Brewer as co-host. At the time, they did not say who the new host would be.
  • As China predicted, the show format began featuring more exotic and vintage cars rather than affordable daily drivers.
  • The focus also shifted to more car restorations over simple repairs – another factor in China’s exit.
  • Discovery said China would appear in a few episodes that had already been filmed before making his decision to leave.
  • New episodes with the mysterious replacement mechanic would begin filming and airing later in 2017.

So while Wheeler Dealers would look significantly different, Discovery made it clear cancelling the show was never on the table. Producers wanted to continue the popular franchise by changing up the formula and hosts.

But the question remained – who would step into Edd China’s shoes as Mike Brewer’s new co-host?

Ant Anstead Takes Over As New Wheeler Dealers Mechanic

In May 2017, Discovery announced the new co-host joining Mike Brewer would be Ant Anstead. He was a relatively unknown British TV presenter and car builder. Here’s some background on Ant Anstead and what he brought to the retooled version of Wheeler Dealers:

  • Anstead had hosted some car repair shows in the UK but was far less famous than Edd China. This was his big break into global television.
  • He had a lifelong passion for cars and operated a company building custom vehicles. Anstead brought extensive hands-on automotive experience.
  • Being British like Mike Brewer, the network likely hoped Anstead would mesh well with the longtime host.
  • In press statements, Anstead praised Wheeler Dealers as his favorite car show and said he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
  • The network marketed Anstead as a “modern mechanic” who embraced technology and innovative techniques like 3D printing. This tied into their reboot efforts.
  • China openly wished Anstead well saying he hoped ratings stayed strong with the new co-host. Their transition appeared friendly.

With a new mechanic secured, Wheeler Dealers filmed its first episodes with Ant Anstead during the summer of 2017. After 13 seasons with Edd China, a new era was set to begin when these episodes debuted later that year.

How would loyal fans of the show react to such a major change after over a decade of China as the mechanic?

Initial Fan Reaction to New Wheeler Dealers and Ant Anstead

When Wheeler Dealers returned in late 2017 with Ant Anstead now hosting, fan reaction was mixed:

  • Many loyal viewers were still upset over Edd China’s exit. It would take time to accept someone new in such a familiar role.
  • Some fans refused to watch the new episodes out of protest over China’s departure. Others vowed to stop watching.
  • However, there was also curiosity about how Anstead’s approach might differ from China’s. What unique skills could he bring as the mechanic?
  • As expected, the new episodes featured more expensive supercars and restoration projects rather than affordable cars. This disappointed some longtime viewers.
  • Most agreed Anstead had sufficient automotive knowledge and an appealing on-screen presence. But his chemistry with Mike Brewer would take time to develop.
  • Ratings remained quite strong despite the format changes. About 2.3 million viewers tuned into Anstead’s premiere episode, on par with past seasons.
  • Many fans seemed willing to give Anstead a fair shot rather than reject him outright. But China was clearly missed by most.

Overall, the initial reviews on Wheeler Dealers 2.0 with Ant Anstead were decidedly mixed. Change is hard for any show’s loyal fans. It would take time for viewers to warm up to a new host dynamic after 13 seasons.

But had Discovery’s reboot been successful long-term? Looking back five years later, how do fans now feel about the show after Edd’s exit?

How Fans Now Feel About Wheeler Dealers Five Years Later?

As of 2022, Ant Anstead has co-hosted Wheeler Dealers alongside Mike Brewer for five seasons and counting. Looking at fan forums, reviews, and ratings in hindsight, opinions seem to have shifted:

  • Most fans gradually warmed up to Anstead after being unsure initially. His expertise eventually won over many who were skeptical early on.
  • There remains a contingent who still miss Edd China and believe the show lost some character with his departur. But this group has shrunk over time.
  • Anstead and Brewer have developed much better on-screen chemistry after a few rocky seasons. Their banter and educational segments receive praise.
  • Viewers seem to have accepted the reboot’s format changes including the shift to restorations and pricier vehicles. Ratings remain strong.
  • Some do still criticize the lack of affordable everyday cars compared to Wheeler Dealers’ early seasons with China.
  • Many fans now enjoy both the classic Edd China episodes along with the rebranded show. Anstead has largely won over much of the skeptical audience.

So while Edd is still missed, Ant Anstead seems to have successfully reinvented himself as the new Wheeler Dealers mechanic. The show has carved out a new niche that retains much of the original charm.

But there remains one big question looming – how much longer will Wheeler Dealers actually stay on the air?

Is Wheeler Dealers at Risk of Being Cancelled Anytime Soon?

With 22 seasons and counting since its 2003 premiere, Wheeler Dealers shows no signs of stopping. Here are some key factors that point to more seasons on the horizon:

  • Consistently Strong Ratings: Viewership has remained excellent including after the reboot with Anstead. Wheeler Dealers often tops 2 million+ viewers per episode indicating a strong global fanbase.
  • Discovery Hasn’t Hinted at Cancellation: Networks are usually quiet on cancellations until they suddenly announce a final season. Discovery has given no indication they plan to pull the plug.
  • Anstead and Brewer Signed Multi-Year Deals: Both hosts signed lucrative multi-year contracts in 2020 keeping them involved through at least 2024. The network is invested long-term.
  • Spin-Off Shows: Wheeler Dealers has launched successful spin-offs including Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car in 2017. More offshoots could happen.
  • Format Keeps Things Fresh: The show has proven it can evolve over time whether switching up hosts or types of cars featured. This flexibility will help its longevity.

Barring any sudden drop in viewership, it seems likely Wheeler Dealers will continue airing new episodes for at least 3-5 more years. Discovery found a winning formula that has worked for over two decades now.

As long as Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead remain on board, the show has plenty of gas left in the tank. Edd China will always be remembered as instrumental in its early success.

What Has Edd China Been Up to Since Leaving Wheeler Dealers?

When Edd China parted ways with Wheeler Dealers in 2017, many fans wondered if he would stay in the auto industry or make a major career change. Five years later, China has remained heavily involved:

  • He launched a successful YouTube channel called Edd China’s Workshop Diaries that has over 1.3 million subscribers. His repair tutorial videos often get millions of views.
  • China partnered with National Geographic in 2018 to host his own documentary series called Edd China’s Garage Revival focusing on automobile history.
  • He operates and sponsors his own racing team called The EdiSOR Race Team competing in the UK.
  • China consults as a brand ambassador and designer for major automotive brands like Barratt Developments.
  • He restores classic cars and frequently exhibits at car shows across Europe.
  • China also sells merchandises like hoodies and posters through his website to loyal fans.

Based on social media posts, China seems comfortable focusing on his own automotive projects rather than the pressures of starring in a global TV show. Wheeler Dealers clearly helped launch his fame further. But Edd China has carved out an impressive solo career since leaving the show that kicked off his career.

Final Thoughts on Wheeler Dealers’ Future and Edd China’s Legacy

When Edd China abruptly walked away from Wheeler Dealers in 2017, both the show and his own career faced major uncertainty. However, five years later, the situation seems to have worked out well for both parties:

  • Wheeler Dealers successfully reinvented itself with Ant Anstead. The show’s new direction has been a hit with global audiences. Despite losing a longtime co-host, Wheeler Dealers seems positioned to thrive for years to come.
  • Meanwhile, Edd China has enjoyed branching out on his own terms. He’s embraced online video, books, exhibits, and other projects that align with his personal passions.

While China is still remembered fondly for his 13 seasons on Wheeler Dealers, he seems happy pursuing his own automotive agenda. And the show looks stable moving forward with its new era.

Longtime car enthusiasts can still enjoy both Wheeler Dealers’ new episodes along with Edd China’s latest solo endeavors. The split has ultimately given fans the best of both worlds – two beloved automotive pros continuing to create great content.

So for those wondering after 20 years on the air, no – Wheeler Dealers has definitely not finished. In fact, the show appears to be just getting warmed up for its next era showcasing bespoke restorations. And with Edd China still actively working in the auto industry, fans worldwide have plenty of car content to enjoy from both familiar faces.


After over 15 years on air together, many fans feared Edd China’s exit from Wheeler Dealers spelt the end for the popular car flipping show. But five years later it’s clear both the series and China are still going strong on their own paths.

The reboot with Ant Anstead brought format changes that required adjustment. However, ratings are strong as Anstead has settled into the mechanic role. China also seems to have no regrets, thriving with his own automotive projects tailored to his interests.

So for those wondering – no Wheeler Dealers hasn’t finished. In fact, the long-running show seems poised for even more seasons showcasing exotic car restorations. And China’s creativity also remains unrestricted.

While China is missed by many longtime viewers, his legacy on Wheeler Dealers is cemented. Both shows seem positioned for continued success in their own lanes. So classic car fans worldwide ultimately have plenty to look forward to from two talented, driven hosts.

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