Total Wipeout (also known in other countries as Wipeout UK) is a British game show, hosted by Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram, which first aired on 3 January 2009. Each week, 20 contestants competed in a series of challenges in an attempt to win £10,000. These challenges were based in large pools of water or mud and generally involved large assault courses that participants had to cross. The 20 contestants are narrowed down to 12, then to either 6 or 5, then a final 3 in the Wipeout Zone.
Total Wipeout was a licensed version of Wipeout, the Endemol show that originated in the United States in 2008, with the name slightly altered to avoid confusion with the BBC version of the earlier game show of the same name.
On 29 March 2012, the BBC confirmed that they would axe Total Wipeout after its sixth series. The Daily Mirror reported that a BBC spokesperson said: "After four very successful series of Total Wipeout, and one series of Winter Wipeout, the BBC has taken the decision that the next series, due to transmit later this year, will be the last." The remaining 10 episodes from Series 5 began airing on 18 August 2012 and ended the show’s successful 4-year run on BBC One before 2013.
Episodes can be found on challenge, as episodes are frequently repeated.
|Also known as||'Winter Wipeout (2011–2012)|
|Created by||Matt Kunitz
|Directed by||Richard Valentine|
|Presented by||Richard Hammond (studio/narration)
Amanda Byram (on location)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5 (Normal series)
1 (Winter Wipeout)
|No. of episodes||57 (Normal series)
12 (Winter Wipeout) (list of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||Andrew Norgate
Andy Rowe (Winter Wipeout)
|Location(s)||Benavidez, Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Running time||60 minutes
30 minutes (TW Fast Forward)
|Original network||BBC One|
|Picture format||PAL (576i, 16:9)|
|Original release||3 January 2009 – 31 December 2012|
|Related shows||101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow
Wipeout (U.S. version) Cannonball
Total Wipeout was hosted by Richard Hammond, who commentates as the contestants attempt to complete the challenges. He is also seen in a studio to provide certain links within the show. Although the main footage was filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hammond recorded his sections from a studio in England. Meanwhile Amanda Byram interviewed the contestants during the show and remained on the sidelines as they made their way through the course.
First Obstacles (over mud/water):
Second Obstacles (over mud):
Third Obstacles (over water):
Last Obstacles (over water):
The Sweeper (Series 1-2)
Crash Mountain is a obstacle that is much like the sweeper, there is a podium the contestants must make it on, and must cross a spinning object made of rubber to do so.
Double Cross Footstep challenge
3rd Obstacle (on the Spinner):
First Obstacles (over water):
Second Obstacles (over mud):
Third Obstacles (over water):
Last Obstacles (over water):
Ski Lift Or Celebrity Ski Lift
With Red Cross
Obstacles (in order):
During Total Wipeout contestants are put through a series of obstacle courses and challenges. After each challenge a certain number of them are eliminated from the competition. After the fourth and final round the fastest of the remaining three competitors around the course wins the game and the cash prize. The eliminated contestants can be seen sitting at the side during later challenges.
The Qualifier involves twenty contestants attempting to complete a short obstacle course in the least time possible; the eight contestants with the slowest times are eliminated, with the fastest twelve advancing to either The Sweeper or Crash Mountain or Double Cross. The Qualifier contains the dominant Sucker Punch and Big Balls. The first and last obstacles change every week, however the first obstacle is always set over a pool of water or mud, and the final obstacle is always a 'swing' to the goal. 29 contenders in the show's history have conquered the Big Balls, declared by Hammond as the hardest Wipeout obstacle ever. Only 7 contestants; Kierron (Series 1, Episode 7), Becky and Ed (Series 3, Episode 6), Junior (Series 3, "Champion of Champions"), James (Series 4, "Champion of Champions"), Chris Simmons (Series 4, "Celebrity Special #1") and William (Series 5, Episode 7) have not fallen off any obstacle during the Qualifier.
As of August 2012, the fastest time on the Qualifier is 0:56 by Dean Macey, and the slowest time was set by Jill 'the Bouncer' with 16:44.
The Sweeper involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) podiums, over water, while a robotic arm spins around in a circular motion. The contestants have to jump over it, with the arm getting faster and higher in random sections of every rotation. The game continues until a single player remains, but unlike the American version the winner does not receive a prize. The six contestants who are first to fall are eliminated; the rest move on to Dizzy Dummies. In Series 2 the rules were modified so that only the final five advanced instead of six (depending on the next challenge). Series 2 saw modified versions of The Sweeper, including "The Crusher" and the addition of Potato Sacks. Claire (Series 2, Episode 4 and Champion of Champions) is the only contestant who has come first in the Sweeper round twice.
Series 3 introduced a brand new challenge, in the form of Crash Mountain. Crash Mountain involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on 10 ft tall podiums over water while three robotic arms swing round in a circular motion. One arm is designed for the contestants to jump onto to reach the centre of the mountain; the other arms are designed to knock the contestants into the water while spinning in opposite directions. If any contestants falls into the water they must go to any unoccupied podium, climb and attempt it again. Contestants do not have to attempt to reach the mountain on every rotation of the arm. The five who make it to the centre first advance to Dizzy Dummies.
Series 4 episode 9 (the Champions of Champions) was the only episode when it was an all-male crash mountain.
In Series 5, Double Cross was introduced and is the same as the American version: contestants enter on the three green platforms and exit from the single red one as four sweeper arms come the other way. The fastest six go through to Terror-Go-Round.
For Winter Wipeout, the Ski Lift is used instead of Double Cross. The Ski Lift works the same as the American version, which involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on podiums on a "human merry-go-round", over water, while two robotic sweeper arms, called the Scary Ski-poles, spin around trying to knock them over. The contestants have to use the grab-bars provided to lift themselves over the sweepers, which spin faster and higher in random sections of every rotation. The game continues until a single player remains, but unlike the American version the winner does not receive a prize. The seven contestants who are first to fall are eliminated; the rest move on to the next round - Winter Blunderland.
In Series 2–3, both Dizzy Dummies and The Dreadmill were used. Either Dizzy Dummies or The Dreadmill was played in each episode for stage 3. The Dreadmill was only used once, in episode 7 of Series 3, but both obstacles were used more equally in the second series.
Dizzy Dummies involves two rounds with one contestant being eliminated in each round. The five contestants are strapped onto a "human merry-go-round" and spun at speed for 40 seconds. When they are released, the contestants must make their way to the finish line by crossing the obstacles in their way. The challenge has two different routes: round 1 uses the first route, round 2 uses the second. The final contestant in each round to reach the finish line is eliminated. The rest spin again and take part in the next round. Examples of obstacles in Dizzy Dummies include the Tippy Tables, Teeter Totters, Dock Maze, Crazy Beams, Doughnuts and the Barrel Crossing. In Series 3 Dizzy Dummies was upgraded, including the addition of The Spinner (from the American challenge "Dizzy Dummy 2.0") and further new obstacles.
The Dreadmill also involves three rounds in which the six semi-finalists are paired up. There are two challenges on the dreadmill, which change from show to show. In the first challenge the participants must stand on two parallel treadmills, and when the klaxon sounds they must duck to avoid a giant swinging wrecking ball, which is being lowered and getting faster with every swing. The first person who falls from The Dreadmill is eliminated. In the second challenge, when the klaxon sounds the contestants must lift three rubber doors to reach the end of The Dreadmill. The last person to reach the end of The Dreadmill, or the first to fall off, is eliminated. In both challenges the dreadmill is going against them, making the challenge even harder. The winners of each of the three heats advance to 'The Wipeout Zone'.
Terror-Go-Round is the same as the American version except for the name; the American version is called 'The Spinner Round'. Contestants need to keep running while the sweeper arms move and the Terror Twins throw things at them. The game is played over three heats, with the winner of each heat going through to 'The Wipeout Zone'.
For Winter Wipeout, Winter Blunderland is used. The course is the same as the American version; except for the name which is different. The five contestants are strapped onto a "human merry-go-round" and spun at speed for 40 seconds (same as Dizzy Dummies). When they are released, the contestants must make their way to the finish line by crossing the obstacles in their way. The obstacles remain the same each week but a different course "theme" may be used (Ice Hockey or The Alps for example). The game is played twice and each time the final contestant to reach the finish line is eliminated. The remaining three contestants advance to 'The Wipeout Zone'.
The Wipeout Zone is the final stage of the competition. The three remaining contestants must complete the "toughest obstacle course in the world" in the quickest time possible. The contestant who completes the zone fastest wins the grand prize of £10,000. The Wipeout Zone is made up of five/six obstacles. In later series and Winter Wipeout, the contestant does not have to re-attempt the obstacle if they fall off; they simply swim to the next to save time. After 6 series of Total Wipeout, only 5 episodes have seen a female winner: Rachel of Series 2, Episode 2, Danielle Lloyd of the second Celebrity Special, Mica of Winter Wipeout Series 1, Episode 5, Kia of Series 5, Episode 3 and Nicola of Series 5, Episode 8.
In addition, Series 5, Episode 3 was the first episode to feature an all-female Wipeout Zone, whilst in its existence, not a single contestant fell off the Seesaw of Truth
The fastest time of 1:10 on the old Wipeout Zone was set by James (Series 2, Episode 8), and he matched that time in Champions of Champions. The fastest regular contestant time in the new Wipeout Zone was set by both Scott and William with 0:58 albeit during different shows. In the Celebrity Special #8, Dalton Grant beat the record with 0:54, making him the record holder. The slowest winning time on the Wipeout Zone is 4:53 (set by Steve, Series 1 Episode 2).
The nine main episodes of Series 4 winning times were 100 seconds or under, with 0:58 being the fastest and 1:40 being the slowest.
The winning times have varied for those who competed in Winter Wipeout. The fastest winning time is 1:34 (set by Dan, Episode 8) and the slowest winning time is 4:29 (set by Mica, Episode 5). As for losing times, a new record for the slowest time was set in Episode 5, by Ross who came in with 9:13. The reason for many slow times was down to the "Impossible Snowflakes", as out of the 27 people who made it to the Wipeout Zone, only 6 people crossed them.
The Course layout
|1||Killer Surf||Barrel Run||Climbing Wall||Spinner||Rolling Beam||Launch Pads|
|3||Rapid Climb||Balance Beam||Crazy Sweeper||Tarzan Swing||Turntable|
|4||Seesaw of Truth|
|Winter||Fling-y-ma-jig||Icy Stairs||Ice-Picks||Fright-cicles||Impossible Snowflakes|
Alongside the regular episodes, a variety of special episodes were held after the main competition.
Present in all series so far is The Total Wipeout Awards show (called The Snow Globes in Winter Wipeout), which served as a recap of all of the best moments from the series, from "Best Big Balls Moment" to "Best Wipeout Zone Wipeout".
Starting from Series 2 was a Final, in which the finalists from the previous episodes would tackle the course again to determine who would be crowned "Champion of Champions". Although meant to feature all three Wipeout Zone contestants from each heat, no Final has featured all of them.
Series 3 & 5
Series 3 also introduced The Legends special, which gave competitors from across all the previous series a second chance to reach the Wipeout Zone. A similar special episode, called Last Chance Saloon, featured in Series 5.
In Series 4 there has been a North vs. South Special with individuals from the North and the South of the country to see "who is better". Also in Series 4 there was an International Special in which a handful of British contestants went head-to-head with contestants from around the world as Total Wipeout went global for the first time, each side captained by a former Total Wipeout "legend".
During Total Wipeout's run, celebrity specials have been aired since series 2. The format is slightly different from the original show. There are ten celebrities in each show and all of them compete in both the Qualifier and the following round. After these rounds points are given, with the best performing celebrity scoring ten, and the worst performer receiving one. After the two rounds the points are added up and the five highest scorers progress to Stage 3. In the case of a tie, the celebrity with the faster Qualifier time goes through.
The first episode, which aired on 26 December 2009, featured fitness expert Kevin Adams, Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers James and Ola Jordan, actor Luke Bailey, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here! 2008 winner and former EastEnders star Joe Swash, TV presenter Kaye Adams, stand-up comedian and actor Tim Vine, vocal coach and session singer Carrie Grant, soap star Adele Silva, and javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread. The winner was Luke Bailey. In the special Richard Hammond filmed his segments on set in Buenos Aires.
The second episode, which aired on 2 January 2010, featured ex-EastEnders star Chris Parker, comedian Joe Pasquale, presenter Dominic Littlewood, actress and former Kenny Everett sidekick Cleo Rocos, ex-Olympic hurdler Sally Gunnell, CBBC presenter Kirsten O'Brien, Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean, model Danielle Lloyd and children's TV duo Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes. The winner was Danielle Lloyd.
In September 2010, another two Celebrity Total Wipeout specials were aired.
The first, which aired on 18 September 2010, featured Michaela Strachan, Siân Lloyd, Joe Absolom, Antony Costa, Kate Lawler, Ninia Benjamin, Jeff Brazier, Iwan Thomas and Tony Tobin. Nancy Lam was supposed to take part, but had to pull out and spectate. Joe Absolom won, with Jeff Brazier and Kate Lawler coming second and third respectively.
The second aired on 25 September 2010, the contestants were former international athletes John Regis and Katharine Merry, TV presenters Cheryl Baker and Sarah Cawood, actresses Margi Clarke and Nina Toussaint-White, actor Jeremy Edwards, comic actor Rowland Rivron and DJs & TV presenting pair JK and Joel, the former being the first ever celebrity to cross the big balls, as well as the equal fastest celebrity (with James Jordan) to complete the qualifier. JK won with John Regis coming second and Katharine Merry third.
Another two specials were broadcast at the close of the series. The first episode aired on 9 April 2011 and featured Aggie MacKenzie, Calum Best, Chantelle Houghton, Chico Slimani, Chris Simmons, Gemma Bissix, John Fashanu, Kelli Young, Phoebe Thomas and Rob Deering. It was won by John Fashanu with Chico in second and Calum Best in third.
The second episode aired on 25 April 2011 and was contested by Ali Bastian, Andy Akinwolere, Caroline Faraday, Dean Macey, Ian Watkins, James Redmond, Lisa Scott-Lee, Malandra Burrows, Martin Offiah and Tupele Dorgu. Dean Macey won the show with Ian Watkins finishing as runner-up and Andy Akinwolere in third place, after retiring from the competition because of an injury.
The fifth series kicked off with another two celebrity editions on 27 August 2011 and 3 September 2011. The first episode featured Dalton Grant, Ricky Groves, Gail Emms, Charlie Stayt, Roxanne Pallett, Simon Day, Brian Belo, Camilla Dallerup, Nicola McLean and Julie Peasgood. It was won by Dalton Grant, with Ricky Groves in second and Gail Emms in third place.
The second episode, aired on 3 September 2011, featured Marcus Patric, Peter Duncan, Susie Amy, Chris Rankin, Donna Fraser, Clare Nasir, Neil Ruddock, Melissa Suffield, Lady Sovereign and Dom Joly. It was won by Marcus Patric, with Peter Duncan in second place and Susie Amy in third.
During Winter Wipeout's run, two celebrity specials were aired. The first winter special, aired on 24 March 2012, featured Eddie Edwards, Tony Mortimer, Steven Arnold, Laura Hamilton, Derek Redmond, Zoe Tyler, Connie Fisher, Charlie Baker, Nicola T and Ellie Crisell as the contestants. Eddie Edwards won the show with Tony Mortimer coming runner-up and Steven Arnold in third place.
The second special was aired on 31 March 2012 and featured James Sutton, Ashia Hansen, Andrew Stone, Kim Tiddy, Diarmuid Gavin, Rebecca Ryan, Sophie Anderton, Jarred Christmas, Peter Shilton and Terry Christian. James Sutton won the show with Ashia Hansen coming runner-up and Andrew Stone in third place.
The US version is filmed in California, whereas all international versions including the UK's version are filmed on the same set in Argentina, which can be seen from Google Maps and the UK show format is similar to the US version, Wipeout (available to UK viewers on Challenge as Total Wipeout USA). Most games are almost identical to the originals, and most games and a few obstacles retain their American names. Differences are relatively minor, but are as follows:
Series 1 contained eight episodes, airing from 3 January to 21 March 2009. The Total Wipeout Awards aired on 4 April.
Series 2 contained twelve episodes, comprising once again of eight episodes, plus three specials and a second Total Wipeout Awards. The series debuted on 4 July 2009 and concluded on 9 January 2010. The final three episodes of the series were broadcast months after the first episodes, shown as part of the BBC's Christmas line-up.
The first episode of series 3 aired on BBC One on 30 January 2010, with the rest of the series airing from 3 April 2010, containing eight episodes. Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram continue as the presenting team. The rounds have been re-designed for the series, introducing a brand new Wipeout Zone.
Series 4 began on 8 January 2011 and used the same course as series three besides one or two new obstacles. Episodes 1-7 of the series aired from 8 January to 19 February. Episode 8 aired two weeks after Episode 7. Episode 9 (The Final) aired on 26 March 2011. Series 4 introduced obstacles such as the 'Swinging Letters of SH' (the U.S. Fling Set), as well as Argentina exclusives like the 'Dangleberries', a series of hanging shapes.
Series 5 began airing on 27 August 2011 with two celebrity specials, with the rest of the series beginning on 18 August 2012. Crash Mountain was changed to Double Cross and the Dizzy Dummy 2.0 was changed to Terror-Go-Round. The Wipeout Zone saw only a minor change from the previous series, the tarzan swing was changed to the Bumper turntables. It is to be the last series aired by the BBC and finished in late 2012.
The remaining 10 episodes from Series 5 began airing on 18 August 2012 and continued each week until 13 October, with the final episode held back to be broadcast at a later date after Pointless Celebrities. The last episode, an awards compilation special, aired on 31 December 2012.
A winter series, called Winter Wipeout, started on 17 December 2011 still hosted by Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram. The brand new series introduces a brand-new snow-covered course, with winter-themed obstacles and seasonal challenges. The new series does include two celebrity specials, plus a Winter Wipeout final at the series' climax. The executive producers for Winter Wipeout were Andy Rowe for Initial and Mirella Breda for the BBC. The series producer was Emma Taylor.
The show's producers, Endemol UK, launched a social game based on the Total Wipeout format. Available on Facebook and through a standalone Downloadable Application, the game adopts the use of 'Motion Sensor Technology' available through a webcam, whereby the user negotiates the obstacle course through a variety of movements common with the show.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||3 January 2009||4 April 2009||10|
|2||4 July 2009||9 January 2010||12|
|3||30 January 2010||25 September 2010||12|
|4||8 January 2011||25 April 2011||12|
|5||27 August 2011||31 December 2012||12|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||17 December 2011||31 March 2012||12|