Touch the Truck
|Touch the Truck|
|Created by||Glenn Barden
|Presented by||Dale Winton|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Production company(s)||Vascha Productions|
|Original network||Channel 5|
|Original release||11 March – 15 March 2001|
Touch the Truck was a British Channel 5 endurance gameshow which aired in 2001. It was hosted by Dale Winton and involved a group of 20 contestants holding onto a stationary truck. The last person left touching the truck won it.
The show was filmed at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock, Essex.
Jerry Middleton, 39, from Winchester, Hampshire, was the winner who managed to stay awake touching the vehicle for 81 hours 43 minutes and 31 seconds. He stated that he was going to sell the vehicle to fund a political party. Middleton stood at the 2001 General Election in the Kingston and Surbiton constituency, but gained only 54 votes of a turnout of 49,093.
According to the rules of the competition, disqualification occurred when:
- a contestant overran breaks which were 10 minutes every two hours, and 15 minutes every six hours,
- a contestant removed both hands from the truck, or
- a contestant fell asleep.
Contestants could also be drug tested to ensure fairness.
The 1969 Sydney Pollack movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They? starring Jane Fonda features a marathon dance where the eventually desperate participants must stay awake to win a prize. The film is based on a 1935 novel by the same name written by Horace McCoy with the dance marathon taking place during the Great Depression.
The documentary Hands on a Hardbody tells the story of a nearly identical 1995 endurance contest in Longview, Texas. The contest was once an annual fixture in Longview, and the British newspaper The Sunday Times reported on the record-breaking 125-hour event held in September 2000.
A 2001 movie, The Safety of Objects, recounts what seems to be exactly a "Touch the Truck" show -- which even relates to the plot. The film chronicles a mother's mental voyage from the losing of his firstborn son to coma till the detachment from him ending in his mercy killing[clarification needed]. And the show connects to this as the sleep withdrawn, delirious mother realizes that she'd still have her son if they hadn't had a car -- and abruptly leaves hold of the truck.
A 2001 fourth season episode of the TV show That '70s Show, "Hyde Gets the Girl", featured a radio contest that Kelso, Bob and a ringer named Daniel (guest star French Stewart) entered, where they have to keep one hand on a van until the last person left touching it won.
A 2005 episode[which?] of the TV show My Name is Earl, Randy, Catalina and Earl take part in a contest for a local radio station where they have to keep touching a car until the last person left touching wins it.
A version of the contest was also featured in the Season 5 episode[which?] of the TV Show Las Vegas in 2007. The owner and security of Montecito casino stumble upon a pair twin girls who try to game the system by switching during the break so as to maximize their chances.
Such competitions have occurred as a way of raising money for charity. In 2007, University of Bristol did a similar competition as part of charitable RAG week (Raise and Give) where the winner gained an old BMW, and in 2009 Leeds University held a similar event for RAG where the winner won an old Ford Fiesta. 
Also in 2007, an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia shows the gang nearly losing the bar after Charlie accidentally puts Paddy's Pub up for 1st prize in a marathon dance competition, Frank makes the gang participate in the contest. 
Season 4, Episode 8 entitled "Let's get hairy" 2009 episode of the TV show Psych, Henry enters a contest for a new pick-up truck. Shawn helps him assess the competition while they attempt to keep their hands on the truck. The last one touching the truck gets to keep it.
- "ENTERTAINMENT | Channel 5's Truck won". BBC News. 2001-03-15. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "VOTE 2001 | RESULTS & CONSTITUENCIES | Kingston & Surbiton". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Bespoke Television Productions". Vashca. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- Tony Barrell (2000-11-12). "Stand By Your Van". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
- "England | Bristol | Touch and go for Bristol students". BBC News. 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2012-09-16.