RECENTLY-AXED BBC series Robot Wars look like it could return after producers Mentorn confirmed it was in talks with other broadcasters.
We contacted Mentorn after seeing many of the metallic stars of the show at Robots Live! - a touring championship show which has been wowing audiences in Burgess Hill this weekend.
Several comments made to the crowd during the show suggested that there were talks going on, sparking out curiosity and whilst nothing is by any means confirmed, a Mentorn spokesman later told us:
"We're immensely proud of the three series we have produced for BBC Two. Robot Wars has an incredibly loyal and passionate fan base, and we continue to explore a number of ideas to find a new home for this fantastic show."
Members of the Robot Fighting community in attendance were not in a position to confirm or deny beyond their hopes expressed to the assembled crowd, however during the show, the presenters hinted that there was a chance that Robot Wars would be back by the time Robots LIVE! returned to the venue next year.
Dave Young from Team MAD, designers of former champion Apollo and one of the organisers of Robots Live! told the INQUIRER: "Robot combat is at a massive peak right now, with lots going on in the UK and worldwide, the chances of something coming back to our TVs is very high".
Robot Wars was axed by the BBC to 'make room' for new programming, despite the channel only showing original content for around six hours a day currently - though to be fair, the BBC Two channel budget was slashed in order to save BBC Four.
The most recent series had fared better than expected, given that it was shown directly against Blue Planet II on BBC One. But ratings were down, and it seems likely that funding was pulled as the show is likely to be fairly expensive to produce compared to its viewership (uh - isn't that what the BBC is for?).
INQ has supported Robot Wars since its revival as viewers and fans, but we've also been vocal supporters of its place in supporting STEM subject uptake amongst its many fans, young and old.
A ‘Bring Back Robot Wars' campaign was started by the robot community within hours and we speculated that it was not only likely but preferable that a new channel should take it over and give the format the respect it deserves (And preferably more last-robot-standing melees).
A licensing deal for toys had already been signed, and a Haynes manual came out last Christmas suggesting that production company Mentorn had faith in the long-term future of the show.
Robots LIVE! features many of the robots and roboteers from the TV series, and yesterdays show included iconic names like Apollo, Carbide and Terrorhurtz. Additionally, new robots from previously successful champions gave us a flavour of some of the new guard that could be ready for the next series.
As strong fans and advocates of the series, hearing straight from the company behind it, that the future still looks bright for Robot Wars is really positive and we'll continue to lend all the support we can for its return.
In the meantime, we can say with some confidence that Robots LIVE! will definitely scratch that itch until an announcement is made. If you want to catch them, they're in Grantham at the end of June and Stevenage at the end of September.
Just beware of Goliath. That's all we're saying.
With three shows of up to 1,000 people each day, there's no question that the fan base for fighting robots remains, so fingers crossed - it sounds like they could be back on the telly soon too. µ
Editorial note: This article replaces the original primary source which we were asked to remove for the sake of the future of the show. Though we feel that the original article reported the matter correctly, Incisive Media wants to ensure that we remain part of the solution, not part of the problem.
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