Why was Total Wipeout cancelled? Gameshow's BBC return raises questions

Total Wipeout was by far one of Britain’s most well-loved game shows. With a ridiculous premise, and Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram on board, it’s not hard to see why. 

The gameshow invites contestants on each week to compete an obstacle course for the chance of winning £10,000. It kicked off in 2009 and hilarity ensued.

In 2012, Total Wipeout abruptly came to an end to the disappointment of its many fans. But good news struck throughout this year’s lockdown, as the BBC announced it was reviving the series with Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness at the helm. The new series, called Total Wipeout: Freddie and Paddy Takeover, kicked off on Saturday, August 8th.

The return of Total Wipeout to our screens has raised the question of why the gameshow was cancelled in the first place. Here’s what we found out.

Total Wipeout: Freddie and Paddy Takeover – Picture Shows: A contestant in action. – (C) Initial – Photographer: screengrab

Total Wipeout returns to BBC

On Saturday, August 8th, Total Wipeout returned to the BBC with old episodes but new commentary.

To give the series a revival, the Beeb roped in gameshow favourites Freddie and Paddy to get their take on the show. There will be six episodes in this special series.


When Total Wipeout fans heard the show was returning, they could not contain their joy. But many fans have been sceptical of the addition of new narration. Many Total Wipeout fans have taken to Twitter to suggest that BBC should have “just repeated the original.” But we’re sure a little change in narration won’t discourage viewers from tuning in every Saturday night!

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Why was Total Wipeout cancelled?

The BBC announced in 2012 that after six series of the show, they were pulling it. The reason was never specified. In fact, Total Wipeout remained popular throughout its time of broadcast and so many could not figure out the BBC’s reasoning for cancelling the show.

In fact, the BBC had to confirm that the show’s potential for injury – and therefore legal action – was not the reason it was cancelled. Instead, it was left unclear, and they mentioned that they had not ruled out bringing the show back to the UK.

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 will be the last.




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