Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

On the Small Screen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

On the Small Screen

Article excerpt

Byline: DARA O BRIAIN ON ROBOT WARS

T'S time for smashes, crashes and utter mayhem as Robot Wars returns.

IThe cult show which gave amateur engineers the chance to pit their home-made radio-controlled robots against each other is back.

The House Robots from the original show have been upgraded to modern-day standards and are bigger, stronger and more brutal than ever before.

Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon are hosting the revamped series and say the stakes have never been higher.

Dara says: "One major thing about the new Robot Wars is that if you put any of the old house robots in the pit with the ones that feature now, they would last about eight seconds because things have moved on.

"The house robots grip harder than they used to, they smash further, they move quicker, they are terrifyingly bigger and heavier than the first time round. But then, aren't we all?" While the robots may be more advanced, it seems the makers of this new series have largely resisted the temptation to tinker with what made the original Robot Wars such a hit.

Dara says: "I think people love the show simply because everything just smashes into everything else and it is sparks and explosions and metal being torn up. It's carnage, who doesn't enjoy that? "Also the human story of Robot Wars is really popular too, a team of three people working together in a shed; fans who have put months of time, effort and passion into it, but then their appearance on the show lasts 40 seconds because they drove their robot into a pit."

Anglea adds: "Especially when they've re-mortgaged their house to build the robot of their dreams and then boom, it's all over, just like that."

The duo clearly love the format, but Dara is reluctant to brand himself a true follower of its original incarnation. He explains: "I liked it, don't get me wrong, and I watched some of the old episodes recently and enjoyed them again, but I would stop short of calling myself a 'fan' mainly because the bar is set pretty high on what being a fan of Robot Wars means. …

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