Scrapheap Challenge

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Scrapheap Challenge
Scrapheap 07 logo.JPG
Genre Game show
Created by Eve Kay[1]
Cathy Rogers
Presented by Sally Gray (Pilot)
Robert Llewellyn (Series 1-10)
Dick Strawbridge (Series 11)
Starring Cathy Rogers (Series 2-4)
Lisa Rogers (Series 5-10)
Composer(s) Simon Lacey
Graham Reilly
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 11
No. of episodes 156
Production
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) RDF Television
Distributor Zodiak Media
Release
Original network Channel 4
Original release 12 April 1998 (1998-04-12) – 25 October 2009 (2009-10-25)
External links
Website
An example of the type of vehicles created for Scrapheap Challenge, the Green Goddesses VW Beetle.

Scrapheap Challenge is a game show where teams of contestants had 10 hours (around sunset) in which to build a working machine that could do a specific task, using materials available in a scrapheap. The format was exported to the United States, where it was known as Junkyard Wars. The US show was also produced by RDF Media, and was originally shown on The Learning Channel. Repeats have aired on another Discovery network, the Science Channel. A campaign has recently been launched on Facebook and Twitter to try to convince the producers to bring back the series.

Format[edit]

A typical episode featured a competition between two 4-person teams, each consisting of three regular members (with one designated the captain), plus an expert in the field related to the particular challenge. The judge for each episode is typically a specialist in (non-scrap) versions of the machine being constructed.

The challenges are many and varied, usually involving teams constructing a machine to achieve a particular objective. The final showdown usually consisted of either head-to-head races or individually run timed events. Examples of challenges included making a jet car, a bridging machine, a car-crusher, and a machine to fling a British Leyland Mini as far as possible.

Assistant producer Eve Kay had the idea for the show after watching a scene in the movie Apollo 13, where NASA engineers had only a short period of time to construct a carbon dioxide filter out of parts available on the space capsule.[1] The show also draws its inspiration from the 1980s TV series The Great Egg Race.

History and results[edit]

The UK show was originally presented by Robert Llewellyn, joined in series 2-4 by producer Cathy Rogers, and in series 5-10 by Lisa Rogers (no relation). For series 11, both hosts were replaced with former Scrapheap contestant and judge Dick Strawbridge.

Series 1 was titled Scrapheap, and pitted the same two teams against each other each week. From series 2, the show was renamed Scrapheap Challenge and featured a knockout tournament between teams drawn from the general public. From series 3, a champion of champions contest was initiated.

Series 3 and 4 included a single US team in the field. Series 3 had The Nerds,[2] and series 4 had The Mulewrights brought in at the last minute when one team couldn't travel due to a livestock epidemic. Both US teams made it to the final round.

  • Series 1 (1998) – The series was tied 3-3
  • Series 2 (1999) – Winners: Megalomaniacs
  • Series 3 (2000) – Winners: Brothers in Arms; Champion of Champions: Megalomaniacs
  • Series 4 (2001) – Winners: Cat-alysts; Champion of Champions: Cat-alysts
  • Series 5 (2002) – Winners: Barley Pickers; Champion of Champions: Cat-alysts
  • Series 6 (2003) – Winners: The Destroyers; Champion of Champions: Cat-alysts
  • Series 7 (2004) – Winners: Anoraks; Champion of Champions: Anoraks
  • Series 8 (2005) – Winners: Powerlifters; Champion of Champions: Powerlifters
  • Series 9 (2007) – Winners: Woof Justice; Champion of Champions: Woof Justice
  • Series 10 (2008) – Winners: Rusty Regiment; Champion of Champions: Woof Justice
  • Series 11 (2009/10) – Winners: The Wheel Nuts; Champion of Champions: N/A

Series 9 was shown in two halves. The first eight episodes aired between 15 April and 3 June, and the remaining episodes between 4 November and 23 December 2007.[3]

Series 11 saw Dick Strawbridge (formerly a competitor from series 1-3) return as an expert and judge, replacing Robert Llewellyn. The show was now produced by RDF Bristol and Exec. producer Jane Lomas and series producer John Macnish had to deliver the new series on a fraction of the budget of previous series. As well as a change in presenters the format of the series changed dramatically with teams of 'scrappers' from across the UK competing against Dick Strawbridge's home team known as 'Dick's Diamonds'. At the end of each episode a battle to determine the week's champion scrappers took place in a public venue in front of crowds of cheering fans. Series 11 of the UK show had its world premiere in Australia on ABC2, with episode 1 airing on 1 July 2009.[4]

Spin-offs[edit]

Full Metal Challenge[edit]

A spin-off from 2003 that had teams from around the world. Teams had a fixed budget and a month to build a vehicle to compete in a varied set of trials, such as auto "bowling", a race through a flooded course, a "car coaster", car "sumo" and other tests.

The winners were the Aquaholics from the UK. Hosted by Cathy Rogers and Henry Rollins, it lasted one season.

Scrappy Races (Rally)[edit]

Another spin-off series was instituted from 2004 to 2006 and was broadcast following the main series. It was also presented by Robert Llewellyn and Lisa Rogers.

It involved several teams being allocated a budget and several weeks to construct a road-legal vehicle which, if classified as a car, must pass the Single Vehicle Approval test. However, a few of the teams managed to avoid taking the SVA test, either by using an unmodified car chassis, such as the Chaos Crew in Series 2, who placed the body shell from an ice cream truck onto the unchanged chassis of a Range Rover, or by using their livelihood in order to classify their vehicle as an agricultural show-piece (The Barley Pickers in series 1). The teams then drove to various tests in-convoy across the UK where they were given eight hours at a local scrapheap to modify their vehicles for the test – although, for all but the final test, the vehicles had to be returned to road-legal condition afterwards. In Series 3, four teams were given vehicles and participated in 5 challenges in the Galloway Forest Park. They had to adapt the vehicles to perform two different tasks in each episode. This series was unusual for Scrapheap in that the build time was added together with the time taken to complete each stage.

  • Series 1 (2004) – Winners: Chaos Crew
  • Series 2 (2005) – Winners: Chaos Crew
  • Series 3 (2006) – Winners: Maximus

Transmissions[edit]

Series[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
Pilot 12 April 1998 1
1 13 September 1998 18 October 1998 6
2 5 September 1999 17 October 1999 7
3 17 September 2000 12 November 2000 9
4 9 September 2001 18 November 2001 11
5 15 September 2002 1 December 2002 11
6 14 September 2003 23 November 2003 11
7 5 September 2004 14 November 2004 11
8 18 September 2005 27 November 2005 11
9 15 April 2007 18 November 2007 11
10 27 April 2008 6 July 2008 11
11 30 August 2009 25 October 2009 9

Series 1 (1998)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
1 Pilot 12 April 1998 Hovercraft
2 1 13 September 1998 Seige
3 2 20 September 1998 Power Pullers
4 3 27 September 1998 Sub-Aqua
5 4 4 October 1998 Off-road
6 5 11 October 1998 Power Boats
7 6 18 October 1998 Rockets

Series 2 (1999)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
8 1 5 September 1999 Flying Machines
9 2 12 September 1999 Cannons
10 3 19 September 1999 Amphibious Vehicles
11 4 26 September 1999 Land Yachts
12 5 3 October 1999 Mileage Marathon
13 6 10 October 1999 Marine Salvage
14 7 17 October 1999 Walking machine

Series 3 (2000)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
15 1 17 September 2000 Demolition
16 2 24 September 2000 Aerial Bomber
17 3 1 October 2000 Underwater Chariot
18 4 8 October 2000 Windmill
19 5 15 October 2000 Missile Launcher
20 6 22 October 2000 Bridging Machines
21 7 29 October 2000 Steam-Powered Car
22 8 5 November 2000 Giant Mower
23 9 12 November 2000 Fireboat

Series 4 (2001)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
24 1 9 September 2001 Egg Shooter
25 2 16 September 2001 Monster Truck
26 3 23 September 2001 Torpedo
27 4 30 September 2001 Street Cleaner
28 5 7 October 2001 White Water Rider
29 6 14 October 2001 Snowmobile
30 7 21 October 2001 Mobile Crane
31 8 28 October 2001 Minesweeper
32 9 4 November 2001 Hill Climber
33 10 11 November 2001 Tunneler
34 11 18 November 2001 Hydrofoil

Series 5 (2002)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
35 1 15 September 2002 Mud Monsters
36 2 22 September 2002 Hovercraft
37 3 29 September 2002 Golf Ball Gatling Gun
38 4 6 October 2002 Blind Navigation
39 5 13 October 2002 Railroad Racers
40 6 20 October 2002 Clockwork Cars
41 7 27 October 2002 Smooth Riders
42 8 3 November 2002 Monowheels
43 9 10 November 2002 Tugs of War
44 10 17 November 2002 Diggers
45 11 1 December 2002 Destroyers

Series 6 (2003)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
46 1 14 September 2003 Wheelie Car
47 2 21 September 2003 Bomb Disposal
48 3 28 September 2003 Backpack Car
49 4 5 October 2003 Amphi Bike
50 5 12 October 2003 Ice Racer
51 6 19 October 2003 Giant Darts
52 7 26 October 2003 Jet Car
53 8 2 November 2003 Speedboat
54 9 9 November 2003 Fire Engine
55 10 16 November 2003 Car Curler
56 11 23 November 2003 Tanks

Series 7 (2004)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
57 1 5 September 2004 Dunebuggy
58 2 12 September 2004 Dam Buster
59 3 19 September 2004 Bowling Banger
60 4 26 September 2004 Off-road Rescue
61 5 3 October 2004 Jet Boat
62 6 10 October 2004 Propeller Car
63 7 17 October 2004 Power Rower
64 8 24 October 2004 Spy Car
65 9 31 October 2004 Landing Craft
66 10 7 November 2004 Flame Flingers
67 11 14 November 2004 Roman Motor-Chariots

Series 8 (2005)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
68 1 18 September 2005 Underwater Cars
69 2 25 September 2005 Kung Fu Cars
70 3 2 October 2005 Sharp Shooters
71 4 9 October 2005 AC-DC Dairy Dash
72 5 16 October 2005 Drag Boats
73 6 23 October 2005 Car Fishing
74 7 30 October 2005 Polar Pinball
75 8 6 November 2005 Caber Tossers
76 9 13 November 2005 Steeplechase
77 10 20 November 2005 Monster Drag
78 11 27 November 2005 Rock Crawler

Series 9 (2007)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
79 1 15 April 2007 Human Cannonball
80 2 22 April 2007 Monster Trikes
81 3 29 April 2007 Muscle Trains
82 4 6 May 2007 Snowmobiles
83 5 13 May 2007 Giant Skateboards
84 6 20 May 2007 Mechanical Mortars
85 7 27 May 2007 Airboats
86 8 3 June 2007 Skid Pan Sumo
87 9 4 November 2007 Earth Movers
88 10 11 November 2007 Drag Sleds
89 11 18 November 2007 Swamp Racers

Series 10 (2008)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
90 1 27 April 2008 Scrap Speed Record
91 2 4 May 2008 Scooter Shooters
92 3 11 May 2008 Superbikes
93 4 18 May 2008 Decoration Dash
94 5 25 May 2008 Dune Bashers
95 6 1 June 2008 Powerboats
96 7 8 June 2008 Rocket Railway
97 8 15 June 2008 Fire Fighters
98 9 22 June 2008 Snow Shifters
99 10 29 June 2008 Deep Sea Treasure
100 11 6 July 2008 Land Tugs

Series 11 (2009)[edit]

Overall In series Broadcast date Vehicle type
101 1 30 August 2009 Chariots
102 2 6 September 2009 Stuck in the Mud
103 3 13 September 2009 Water Power
104 4 20 September 2009 Blow Football
105 5 27 September 2009 Medieval Thrower
106 6 4 October 2009 Monster Golf
107 7 11 October 2009 Super Surfboards
108 8 18 October 2009 Mobile Mortars
109 9 25 October 2009 Caber Tossing

Specials[edit]

Date aired Entitle
19 November 2000 Series 2 & 3 Champions Special
17 December 2000 Christmas Special
25 November 2001 Series 3 & 4 Champions Special
23 December 2001 Scrapheap Mega Challenge
8 December 2002 Series 4 & 5 Champions Special
15 December 2002 The Best of Series 5
22 December 2002 Scrapheap Mega Challenge
30 November 2003 Series 5 & 6 Champions Special
7 December 2003 The Best of Scrapheap Challenge
21 December 2003 Christmas Special
21 November 2004 Series 6 & 7 Champions Special
19 December 2004 Best Bits
16 January 2005 Top Ten Machines
6 February 2005 Favourite Fast Moments
4 December 2005 Series 7 & 8 Champions Special
11 December 2005 Punkin' Chunk
18 December 2005 Scrapheap Mega Challenge
8 January 2006 Scrapheap Challenge Roadshow
15 January 2006 The Best of Scrapheap Challenge
25 November 2007 Series 8 & 9 Champions Special
9 December 2007 Christmas Special (Part 1)
16 December 2007 Christmas Special (Part 2)
23 December 2007 Christmas Special (Part 3)
30 December 2007 Scrapheap Retrospective
13 July 2008 Series 9 & 10 Champions Special
27 July 2008 10th Anniversary Special
3 August 2008 Scrapheap Challenge Roadshow (Part 1)
10 August 2008 Scrapheap Challenge Roadshow (Part 2)
10 August 2008 Scrapheap Retrospective

US version[edit]

The US version of the show was titled Junkyard Wars and was presented by George Gray (season 1) and Tyler Harcott (season 2-5), joined by Cathy Rogers (season 1-3) and Karyn Bryant (season 4-5).

  • Season 1 (2001) – Winners: Long Brothers
  • Season 2 (2001) – Winners: Miami Gearheads
  • Season 3 (2002) – Winners: The Pit Crew
  • Season 4 (2002) – Winners: Kentucky Fried Family
  • Season 5 (2003) – Winners: Jet Doctors

Former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer was one of many notable people appearing on the show. Schafer was on during the fifth season as a member of the High Flyers which lost to the Jet Doctors in the Fifth Series finale. The first season was filmed in the UK, and included a competition between the grand winner of UK series 3, Megalomaniacs, and the US season 1 champs the Long Brothers (who won).

The first season of the show was nominated for an Emmy award.

The show was reformatted as Junkyard Mega-Wars to consist of two regular captains, who each select three people to help in the challenge. The show was presented by Rossi Morreale and Bobbi Sue Luther.

  • Season 1 (2002) – Captains: Bowser and Crash
  • Season 2 (2004) – Captains: Hackett and (retired) Dick Strawbridge

References[edit]

External links[edit]