Total Wipeout

Total Wipeout is a British game show, hosted by Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram, which first aired on the BBC on 3 January 2009. Each week, 20 contestants compete in a series of challenges in an attempt to win £10,000. These challenges were based in large pools of water or mud and generally involved large assault courses that participants had to cross. The 20 contestants are narrowed down to 12, then to either 6 or 5, with the final 3 progressing to the Wipeout Zone.

Total Wipeout
Also known asWinter Wipeout (2011–2012)
GenreGame show
Created byMatt Kunitz
Scott Larsen
Directed byRichard Valentine
Presented byRichard Hammond (studio)
Amanda Byram (on location)
Narrated byRichard Hammond (as the contestants tackle the courses)
Composer(s)Marc Sylvan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5 (Normal series)
1 (Winter Wipeout)
No. of episodes57 (Normal series)
12 (Winter Wipeout) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Andrew Norgate
Andy Rowe (Winter Wipeout)
Production location(s)Benavidez, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Running time60 minutes
30 minutes (TW Fast Forward)
Production company(s)Initial
DistributorEndemol UK
Original networkBBC One
Picture formatPAL 576i
Original release3 January 2009 (2009-01-03) 
31 December 2012 (2012-12-31)
Related showsWipeout
Ninja Warrior UK
External links
Official UK Website
Production website

Total Wipeout was a licensed version of Wipeout, the Endemol show that originated in the United States in 2008, with the name slightly altered to avoid confusion with the BBC version of the earlier game show of the same name.

On 29 March 2012, the BBC confirmed that they would axe Total Wipeout after its sixth series.[1][2] The Daily Mirror reported that 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, due to transmit later this year, will be the last." The remaining 10 episodes from Series 5 began airing on 18 August 2012 and ended the show’s successful 4-year run on BBC One before 2013.


The show is hosted by Richard Hammond, who commentates as the contestants attempt to complete the challenges. He is also seen in a studio to provide certain links within the show. Although the main footage was filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina,[3] Hammond recorded his sections from a studio in England. Meanwhile, Amanda Byram interviewed the contestants during the show and remained on the sidelines as they made their way through the course.[4]


Stage 1

The Qualifier

First Obstacles (over mud/water):

  • The Blob (Series 5)
  • The Time Tunnel (Series 5)
  • Hammond Hurdles (Series 5)
  • The Unfair Stairs (Series 5)
  • Door Step Challenge (Series 5)
  • Flap Trap (Series 5)
  • Wall Street Smash (Series 5)
  • Tight Rope of Terror (Series 2)
  • Sackwalk (Series 3–4)
  • Dodge Ball (Series 2–4)
  • Rake in the Face (Series 3–4)
  • Las Traplonkas (Series 3–4)
  • Rolling Logs (Series 1–2)
  • Topple Towers (Series 1-2)
  • Super Walk of Shame (Series 3–4)
  • Log Off (Series 2)
  • Crazy Keys (Series 3–4)
  • Walk of Shame (Series 2)
  • Hurtle Turtles (Series 1)
  • The Catwalk Sweeper (Series 3–4)
  • Slippery Stairs (Series 1)

Second Obstacles (over mud):

  • Sucker Punch (Series 1–5)
    • with spray (Series 5)

Third Obstacles (over water):

  • Big Red Balls (Series 1–5)
    • with The Motivator (Series 3–4)
    • with the D-Motivator (Series 5)

Last Obstacles (over water):

  • Shapeshifter (Series 5)
    • With Swinging Wardrobe (Series 5)
    • With Zip Wire (Series 5)
    • With Diving Board (Series 5)
    • With Slide (Series 5)
    • With Trampoline (Series 5)
  • Cradles of Doom (Series 3–4)
  • Swinging Letters Of 'SH' (Series 4)
  • Rings of Fire (Series 3)
  • Lunar Landing (Series 2)
  • Leap of Faith (Series 1–2)
  • Wall Swing (Series 1–2)
  • Zip-a-dee-doo-dah (Series 3)
  • Swing Thing (Series 3–4)
  • Monkey Swing (Series 3)
  • Tightrope (Series 3)
  • Zip Wire of Doom (Series 2)
  • Ring-a-Ding (Series 4)
  • Bubble Bath (Series 1–2)
  • The Dangleberries (Series 4)
  • The Wrecking Ball (Series 2)

Stage 2

The Sweeper (Series 1–2)

The Sweeper (Series 1–2)

  • with Crusher (Series 2)
  • with The Sack Race from Hell (Series 2)

Crash Mountain (Series 3–4)

Crash Mountain is an obstacle similar to The Sweeper in which there is a podium the contestants must make it onto must cross a spinning object made of rubber to do so while avoiding sweeper poles that spin the opposite way, knocking contestants off.

Double Cross (Series 5)

An obstacle a lot like crash mountain, Double cross is where contestants have to take a green path to cross into the middle, then take the only red path back out again, while all the while four sweeper arms are sweeping the other way.

Stage 3

Dizzy Dummies (Series 1–4)

1st Obstacle:

  • Dizzy Dummy (Series 1–4)

2nd Obstacle:

  • Shapewall (Series 3–4)
  • Saloon door (series 3–4)
  • Carousel (Series 1–4)

Carousel obstacles:

  • Rugby Goal (Series 3–4)
  • The Back Door (Series 2–4)
  • Crazy Cutouts (Series 2–4)

3rd Obstacles:

  • Tippy Tables (Series 1–2)
  • Tippy Table Maze (Series 3–4)
  • Teeter Totters (Series 1–4)
  • Squeesewalls (Series 2–3)
  • Dock Maze (Series 1 & 3)
  • Crazy Beams (Series 1–4)
  • Doughnuts (Series 1–4)
  • Barrel Bridge (Series 1–4)
  • The Blob (Series 3–4)
  • Blueberries (Series 3–4)
  • Sweeping Arm of Mushroom Madness (Series 4)
  • Pipe bridge (series 4)
  • Log bridge (series 4)


  • Dodge Ball Men (Series 4)
  • Water Sprayer (Series 4)

The Dreadmill (Series 2–3)


  • The Wrecking Ball (Series 2–3)
  • The Door Jam (Series 2)

Terror-Go-Round (Series 5)


  • The Spinner (Series 5)
  • Fickle Fingers (Series 5)
  • Terror Twins (Series 5)


  • Lifeguard (Series 5)
  • Car Wash (Series 5)
  • Left Luggage (Series 5)

Final Stage

The Wipeout Zone

First Obstacle:

  • Killer Surf (Series 1–5)
    • With scary green light (series 4–5)

Second Obstacle:

  • Barrel Run (Series 1–2)
  • Rapid Climb (Series 3–5)

Third Obstacle:

  • Wipeout Wall (Series 1)
  • Monkey Bars (Series 2)
  • Balance Beam (Series 3)
  • See-Saw of Truth (Series 4–5)

Fourth Obstacle:

  • The Spinner (Series 1–2)
  • Crazy Sweeper (Series 3–5)

Last Obstacles:

  • Rolling Beam and Launch Pads (Series 1)
  • The Brusher and Launch Pads (Series 2)
  • Rope Swing and Turntable (Series 3–4)
  • Bumper Turntables (Series 5)

Finish Platform:

  • Finish Podium (Series 1–5)
    • flat button (series 1)
    • regular button (series 2–5)

Winter Wipeout obstacles

Stage 1

The Winter Qualifier

First Obstacles (over water):

  • Nasty Snowballs
  • The Winter Blob
  • Snowman Splat
  • Icy Hillock of Doom
  • Candy Hoops
  • Snowball Fight

Second Obstacles (over mud):

  • Granny's House

Third Obstacles (over water):

  • Big Red Balls
    • with the travelvaitor

Last Obstacles (over water):

  • Log Jam
    • with Hurdle
    • with Ring
    • with Toast

Stage 2

The Ski Lift

Ski Lift Or Celebrity Ski Lift

With Red Cross

Stage 3

Winter Blunderland

Obstacles (in order):

  • Dizzy Dummy
  • Frozen Flipper
  • Little T
  • Crankshaft
  • Ro-terror-tator
  • The Iceberg


  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Cubes
  • The Alps

Final Stage

The Winter Wipeout Zone

First Obstacle:

  • Flingymajig (Series 1-present)

Second Obstacle:

  • North Pole

Third Obstacle:

  • Icy Stairs

Fourth Obstacle:

  • Ice Picks

Fifth Obstacle:

  • Fright-cicles

Last Obstacles:

  • Impossible Snowflakes

Finish Platform:

  • Button Press


During Total Wipeout contestants are put through a series of obstacle courses and challenges. After each challenge a certain number of them are eliminated from the competition. After the fourth and final round the fastest of the remaining three competitors around the course wins the game and the cash prize. The eliminated contestants can be seen sitting at the side during later challenges.

Stage 1

The Qualifier

The Qualifier involves twenty contestants attempting to complete a short obstacle course in the least time possible; the eight contestants with the slowest times are eliminated, with the fastest twelve advancing to either The Sweeper or Crash Mountain or Double Cross. The Qualifier contains the dominant Sucker Punch and Big Balls. The first and last obstacles change every week, however the first obstacle is always set over a pool of water or mud, and the final obstacle is always a 'swing' to the goal. 52 contenders in the show's history have conquered the Big Balls, declared by Hammond as the hardest Wipeout obstacle ever. Those are: Jo and Carole (Series 1, Episode 5), Kierron (Series 1, Episode 7), Alice (Series 2, Episode 2), Alex (Series 2, Episode 6), Eliza, Julian and Victoria (Series 2, Episode 8), Chris and Katie(Series 2, "Champion of Champions"), Paul and Nix (Series 3, Episode 2), Colm, Nic, Ed and Becky (Series 3, Episode 6), Junior and Andy (Series 3, "Champion of Champions"), Jason King and Sarah Cawood (Series 3, "Celebrity Special #2"), Liam (Series 4, Episode 1), Andy (Series 4, Episode 3 and Champion of Champions), Katie (Series 4, Episode 5), Fran (Series 4, Episode 6), Tamara (Series 4, Episode 7) Scott, Frankie, Mikey and James (Series 4, "Champion of Champions"), Chris Simmons (Series 4, "Celebrity Special #1"), Dean Macey (Series 4 "Celebrity Special #2"), Marina (Winter Wipeout, Episode 1), Dan (Winter Wipeout, Episode 3 and Champion of Champions), Lawrence (Winter Wipeout, Episode 6), John W (Winter Wipeout, Episode 6 and Champion of Champions), Tom (Winter Wipeout, Episode 7) Edward (Winter Wipeout, Episode 8), Jon, Helen, Mikey, John C, and John W (Winter Wipeout, "Champion of Champions"), Nicola McLean (Series 5, "Celebrity Special #1"), Clare Nasir (Series 5, "Celebrity Special #2), Becky and Amanda (Series 5 Episode 1), Ron (Series 5, Episode 4) William and Helene (Series 5 Episode 7), Amy, Ellen and Liam (Series 5 Episode 8), and Ashley, (Series 5 "Champion of Champions). Only 7 contestants; Kierron (Series 1, Episode 7), Becky and Ed (Series 3, Episode 6), Junior (Series 3, "Champion of Champions"), James (Series 4, "Champion of Champions"), Chris Simmons (Series 4, "Champion of Champions") and William (Series 5, Episode 7) have not fallen off any obstacle during the Qualifier.

As of August 2012, the fastest time on the Qualifier is 0:56 by Dean Macey, and the slowest time was set by ‘Bouncy’ Jill with 16:44.

Stage 2

The Sweeper (Series 1–2)

The Sweeper involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) podiums, over water, while a robotic arm spins around in a circular motion. Before the Sweeper starts, Richard Hammond tells who is on what podium by naming the podiums from 1–12 in order. The contestants have to jump over it, with the arm getting faster and higher in random sections of every rotation. The game continues until a single player remains, but unlike the American version the winner does not receive a prize. The six contestants who are first to fall are eliminated; the rest move on to Dizzy Dummies. In Series 2 the rules were modified so that only the final five advanced instead of six (depending on the next challenge). Series 2 saw modified versions of The Sweeper, including "The Crusher" and the addition of Potato Sacks. Claire (Series 2, Episode 4 and Champion of Champions) is the only contestant who has come first in the Sweeper round twice.

Crash Mountain (Series 3–4)

Series 3 introduced a brand new challenge, in the form of Crash Mountain. Crash Mountain involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on 10 ft tall podiums over water while three robotic arms swing round in a circular motion. Before Crash Mountain starts, Richard Hammond will tell who is on what podium by naming the podiums from 1–12 in order. 1 arm is designed for the contestants to jump onto to reach the centre of the mountain; the other 2 arms are designed to knock the contestants into the water while spinning in opposite directions. If any contestants falls into the water they must go to any unoccupied podium, climb and attempt it again. Contestants do not have to attempt to reach the mountain on every rotation of the arm. The five who make it to the centre first advance to Dizzy Dummies. Brian (Series 3 Episode 7 and Series 3 Champion of Champions) and James (Series 4 Episode 3 and Series 4 Champion of Champions) were the only 2 people to win Crash Mountain twice.

Series 4 episode 9 (the Champions of Champions) was the only episode when it was an all-male crash mountain.

Double Cross (Series 5)

In Series 5, Double Cross was introduced and is the same as the American version: contestants enter on the three green platforms and exit from the single red one as four sweeper arms come the other way. The fastest six go through to Terror-Go-Round.

Ski Lift (Winter Wipeout)

For Winter Wipeout, the Ski Lift is used instead of Double Cross. The Ski Lift works the same as the American version, which involves the twelve remaining contestants standing on podiums on a "human merry-go-round", over water, while two robotic sweeper arms, called the Scary quid Ski-poles, spin around trying to knock them over. The contestants have to use the grab-bars provided to lift themselves over the sweepers, which spin faster and higher in random sections of every rotation. The game continues until a single player remains, but unlike the American version the winner does not receive a prize. The seven contestants who are first to fall are eliminated; the rest move on to the next round – Winter Blunderland.

Stage 3

In Series 2–3, both Dizzy Dummies and The Dreadmill were used. Either Dizzy Dummies or The Dreadmill was played in each episode for stage 3. The Dreadmill was only used once, in episode 7 of Series 3, but both obstacles were used more equally in the second series.

Dizzy Dummies (Series 1–4)

Dizzy Dummies involves two rounds with one contestant being eliminated in each round. The five contestants are strapped onto a "human merry-go-round" and spun at speed for 40 seconds. When they are released, the contestants must make their way to the finish line by crossing the obstacles in their way. The challenge has two different routes: round 1 uses the first route, round 2 uses the second. The final contestant in each round to reach the finish line is eliminated. The rest spin again and take part in the next round. Examples of obstacles in Dizzy Dummies include the Tippy Tables, Teeter Totters, Dock Maze, Crazy Beams, Doughnuts and the Barrel Crossing. In Series 3 Dizzy Dummies was upgraded, including the addition of The Spinner (from the American challenge "Dizzy Dummy 2.0") and further new obstacles.

The Dreadmill (Series 2–3)

The Dreadmill also involves three rounds in which the six semi-finalists are paired up. There are two challenges on the dreadmill, which change from show to show. In the first challenge the participants must stand on two parallel treadmills, and when the klaxon sounds they must duck to avoid a giant swinging wrecking ball, which is being lowered and getting faster with every swing. The first person who falls from The Dreadmill is eliminated. In the second challenge, when the klaxon sounds the contestants must lift three rubber doors to reach the end of The Dreadmill. The last person to reach the end of The Dreadmill, or the first to fall off, is eliminated. In both challenges the dreadmill is going against them, making the challenge even harder. The winners of each of the three heats advance to 'The Wipeout Zone'.

Terror-Go-Round (Series 5)

Terror-Go-Round is the same as the American version except for the name; the American version is called 'The Spinner Round'. Contestants need to keep running while the sweeper arms move and the Terror Twins throw things at them. The game is played over three heats, with the winner of each heat going through to 'The Wipeout Zone'.

Winter Blunderland (Winter Wipeout)

For Winter Wipeout, Winter Blunderland is used. The course is the same as the American version; except for the name which is different. The five contestants are strapped onto a "human merry-go-round" and spun at speed for 40 seconds (same as Dizzy Dummies). When they are released, the contestants must make their way to the finish line by crossing the obstacles in their way. The obstacles remain the same each week but a different course "theme" may be used (Ice Hockey or The Alps for example). The game is played twice and each time the final contestant to reach the finish line is eliminated. The remaining three contestants advance to 'The Wipeout Zone'.

Final Stage

The Wipeout Zone

The Wipeout Zone is the final stage of the competition. The three remaining contestants must complete the "toughest obstacle course in the world" in the quickest time possible. The contestant who completes the zone fastest wins the grand prize of £10,000. The Wipeout Zone is made up of five/six obstacles. In later series and Winter Wipeout, the contestant does not have to re-attempt the obstacle if they fall off; they simply swim to the next to save time. After 6 series of Total Wipeout, only 5 episodes have seen a female winner: Rachel of Series 2, Episode 2, Danielle Lloyd of the second Celebrity Special, Mica of Winter Wipeout Series 1, Episode 5, Kia of Series 5, Episode 3 and Nicola of Series 5, Episode 8.

In addition, Series 5, Episode 3 was the first episode to feature an all-female Wipeout Zone, whilst in its existence, not a single contestant fell off the Seesaw of Truth

Course times

The fastest time of 1:10 on the old Wipeout Zone was set by James (Series 2, Episode 8), and he matched that time in Champions of Champions. The fastest regular contestant time in the new Wipeout Zone was set by both Scott and William with 0:58 albeit during different shows. In the Celebrity Special #8, Dalton Grant beat the record with 0:54, making him the record holder. The slowest winning time on the Wipeout Zone is 4:53 (set by Steve, Series 1 Episode 2).

The nine main episodes of Series 4 winning times were 100 seconds or under, with 0:58 being the fastest and 1:40 being the slowest.

Winter Wipeout

The winning times have varied for those who competed in Winter Wipeout. The fastest winning time is 1:34 (set by Dan, Episode 8) and the slowest winning time is 4:29 (set by Mica, Episode 5). As for losing times, a new record for the slowest time was set in Episode 5, by Ross who came in with 9:13. The reason for many slow times was down to the "Impossible Snowflakes", as out of the 27 people who made it to the Wipeout Zone, only 6 people crossed them.

The Course layout

1Killer SurfBarrel RunClimbing WallSpinnerRolling BeamLaunch Pads
2Monkey BarsBrusher
3Rapid ClimbBalance BeamCrazy SweeperTarzan SwingTurntable
4Seesaw of Truth
5Bumper Turntables
WinterFling-y-ma-jigIcy StairsIce-PicksFright-ciclesImpossible Snowflakes


Alongside the regular episodes, a variety of special episodes were held after the main competition.

Present in all series so far is The Total Wipeout Awards show (called The Snow Globes in Winter Wipeout), which served as a recap of all of the best moments from the series, from "Best Big Balls Moment" to "Best Wipeout Zone Wipeout".

Series 2–5
Starting from Series 2 was a Final, in which the finalists from the previous episodes would tackle the course again to determine who would be crowned "Champion of Champions". Although meant to feature all three Wipeout Zone contestants from each heat, no Final has featured all of them.

Series 3 & 5
Series 3 also introduced The Legends special, which gave competitors from across all the previous series a second chance to reach the Wipeout Zone. A similar special episode, called Last Chance Saloon, featured in Series 5.

Series 4
In Series 4 there has been a North vs. South Special with individuals from the North and the South of the country to see "who is better". Also in Series 4 there was an International Special in which a handful of British contestants went head-to-head with contestants from around the world as Total Wipeout went global for the first time, each side captained by a former Total Wipeout "legend".

Celebrity Total Wipeout

During Total Wipeout's run, celebrity specials have been aired since series 2. The format is slightly different from the original show. There are ten celebrities in each show and all of them compete in both the Qualifier and the following round. After these rounds points are given, with the best performing celebrity scoring ten, and the worst performer receiving one. After the two rounds the points are added up and the five highest scorers progress to Stage 3. In the case of a tie, the celebrity with the faster Qualifier time goes through.


The first episode, which aired on 26 December 2009,[5] featured fitness expert Kevin Adams, Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers James and Ola Jordan, actor Luke Bailey, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here! 2008 winner and former EastEnders star Joe Swash, TV presenter Kaye Adams, stand-up comedian and actor Tim Vine, vocal coach and session singer Carrie Grant, soap star Adele Silva, and javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread. The winner was Luke Bailey. In the special Richard Hammond filmed his segments on set in Buenos Aires.

The second episode, which aired on 2 January 2010,[5] featured ex-EastEnders star Chris Parker, comedian Joe Pasquale, presenter Dominic Littlewood, actress and former Kenny Everett sidekick Cleo Rocos, ex-Olympic hurdler Sally Gunnell, CBBC presenter Kirsten O'Brien, Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean, model Danielle Lloyd and children's TV duo Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes.[6] The winner was Danielle Lloyd.

Series 3
In September 2010, another two Celebrity Total Wipeout specials were aired.

The first, which aired on 18 September 2010,[7][8] featured Michaela Strachan, Siân Lloyd, Joe Absolom, Antony Costa, Kate Lawler, Ninia Benjamin, Jeff Brazier, Iwan Thomas and Tony Tobin. Nancy Lam was supposed to take part, but had to pull out and spectate. Joe Absolom won, with Jeff Brazier and Kate Lawler coming second and third respectively.

The second aired on 25 September 2010,[8][9] the contestants were former international athletes John Regis and Katharine Merry, TV presenters Cheryl Baker and Sarah Cawood, actresses Margi Clarke and Nina Toussaint-White, actor Jeremy Edwards, comic actor Rowland Rivron and DJs & TV presenting pair JK and Joel, the former being the first ever celebrity to cross the big balls, as well as the equal fastest celebrity (with James Jordan) to complete the qualifier. JK won with John Regis coming second and Katharine Merry third.

Series 4
Another two specials were broadcast at the close of the series. The first episode aired on 9 April 2011 and featured Aggie MacKenzie, Calum Best, Chantelle Houghton, Chico Slimani, Chris Simmons, Gemma Bissix, John Fashanu, Kelli Young, Phoebe Thomas and Rob Deering. It was won by John Fashanu with Chico in second and Calum Best in third.

The second episode aired on 25 April 2011 and was contested by Ali Bastian, Andy Akinwolere, Caroline Faraday, Dean Macey, Ian Watkins, James Redmond, Lisa Scott-Lee, Malandra Burrows, Martin Offiah and Tupele Dorgu. Dean Macey won the show with Ian Watkins finishing as runner-up and Andy Akinwolere in third place, after retiring from the competition because of an injury.

Series 5
The fifth series kicked off with another two celebrity editions on 27 August 2011 and 3 September 2011. The first episode featured Dalton Grant, Ricky Groves, Gail Emms, Charlie Stayt, Roxanne Pallett, Simon Day, Brian Belo, Camilla Dallerup, Nicola McLean and Julie Peasgood. It was won by Dalton Grant, with Ricky Groves in second and Gail Emms in third place.

The second episode, aired on 3 September 2011, featured Marcus Patric, Peter Duncan, Susie Amy, Chris Rankin, Donna Fraser, Clare Nasir, Neil Ruddock, Melissa Suffield, Lady Sovereign and Dom Joly. It was won by Marcus Patric, with Peter Duncan in second place and Susie Amy in third.

Celebrity Winter Wipeout

During Winter Wipeout's run, two celebrity specials were aired. The first winter special, aired on 24 March 2012, featured Eddie Edwards, Tony Mortimer, Steven Arnold, Laura Hamilton, Derek Redmond, Zoe Tyler, Connie Fisher, Charlie Baker, Nicola T and Ellie Crisell as the contestants. Eddie Edwards won the show with Tony Mortimer coming runner-up and Steven Arnold in third place.

The second special was aired on 31 March 2012 and featured James Sutton, Ashia Hansen, Andrew Stone, Kim Tiddy, Diarmuid Gavin, Rebecca Ryan, Sophie Anderton, Jarred Christmas, Peter Shilton and Terry Christian. James Sutton won the show with Ashia Hansen coming runner-up and Andrew Stone in third place.

Differences from US version

The US version is filmed in California, whereas all international versions including the UK's version are filmed on the same set in Argentina,[10] which can be seen from Google Maps[11] and the UK show format is similar to the US version, Wipeout (available to UK viewers on Challenge as Total Wipeout USA). Most games are almost identical to the originals, and most games and a few obstacles retain their American names. Differences are relatively minor, but are as follows:

The Qualifier

The course is almost identical to the US version, albeit with a slightly smaller selection of obstacles to end the course. The main difference is that whereas the US show begins with 24 contestants, Total Wipeout begins with 20, though in both versions 12 progress to the second round.

The Sweeper

The UK version used the "classic" version of The Sweeper in series 1 and some episodes in series 2, as well as "The Crusher" and the Sacks variation, in the other episodes of the second series. The UK version reduces the players from 12 to 5 or 6 (depending on whether the next round is Dizzy Dummies or The Dreadmill), and then continues until one player remains. However, the US version sounds a siren when the "elimination" part of the game is over, and offers a $1,000 bonus prize to the winner. The UK version does neither, with commentary often mocking the fact that players may well be unaware that they need not continue, and that they are putting such effort into something that offers no reward. The round is continued in the UK version to see who is the 'last man standing'. In celebrity editions a player's ranking (first to last to fall) in this round counts towards their points score.

Dizzy Dummies

The courses and obstacles are identical to the US version, but the format of the round differs. In the US version, the round is played 4 times, with the winner of each round automatically winning a place in the Wipeout Zone, and thus taking no further part in Dizzy Dummies. In the UK, it is played 2 times, with the last person to complete the course eliminated. Thus, the finalists for the UK version are not decided until the last Dizzy Dummies round is complete. This process also means that the UK show has 3 contestants in the Wipeout Zone, rather than the US version's 4. As of Series 2, Dizzy Dummies was often replaced by "The Dreadmill", in which two contestants battle to keep up with an industrial sized treadmill, while trying to avoid wrecking balls trying to knock them off.

The Dreadmill

In the US version, there is only one Dreadmill, but in the UK version, there are two; because of that, the format differs. In the Wrecking Ball variation, the contestants had to stay on as long as they could, but unlike the US version, the contestant that wipes out on the Dreadmill gets eliminated from the competition. In the Doors variation, the UK version doesn't use tennis balls. The pit that contestants wipe out on is always a pool of water, unlike the Single Dreadmill where the pit changes (e.g. pit of flour and foam pieces).

The Wipeout Zone

The course is almost identical, albeit with the UK only ever using the "waterfall" version of the WaterWall obstacle, never the "Waterjet" version. The US version's 4-part "Launch Pads" section is changed to the "rolling beam", followed by two Launch Pads. Finally, US contestants hear a horn when their time exceeds that of a previous contestant, whereas UK contestants are not told of their opponents' times until after they complete the course. One significant change in the rules to the US version is that if a contestant wipes out on an obstacle in the Zone, they have to go back to the start of that obstacle and re-attempt it until they clear it but in Season 7 the contestants are now allowed to skip the obstacle once they fall of like on Total Wipeout (since series 2) they swim on to the start of the next obstacle like in the Qualifier.
As a publicly funded broadcaster, large prizes are extremely rare on BBC gameshows. As such, the prize money is relatively low at £10,000 (plus a trophy), though this is tax-free, as are all UK gameshow prizes. US winners receive $50,000 (approx £30,000).


In presentation, the major difference is the use of one commentator (Hammond), rather than two. Also, contestants are referred to by first name only, with much greater use of nicknames. The show retains the gentle mockery of the contestants, although the style of humour is generally drier than the US version. Although the courses are near-identical, the US courses are in California, while the UK version is filmed on the "international" Wipeout set in Argentina, along with the other non-US versions of the show. The commentary makes great use of this fact, referencing the location constantly, and often gently mocking contestants for having travelled so far to take part.
The slight change to the show's name is to differentiate it from an earlier BBC gameshow named Wipeout, hosted by Paul Daniels, and later Bob Monkhouse.

Total Wipeout episodes

Series 1 (2009)

Series 1 contained eight episodes, airing from 3 January to 21 March 2009. The Total Wipeout Awards aired on 4 April.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
1 1"Episode One"3 January 2009
2 2"Episode Two"10 January 2009
3 3"Episode Three"17 January 2009
4 4"Episode Four"24 January 2009
5 5"Episode Five"31 January 2009
6 6"Episode Six"7 February 2009
7 7"Episode Seven"21 February 2009
8 8"Episode Eight"21 March 2009
9 9"Awards Special"4 April 2009

Series 2

Series 2 contained twelve episodes, comprising once again of eight episodes, plus three specials and a second Total Wipeout Awards. The series debuted on 4 July 2009 and concluded on 9 January 2010. The final three episodes of the series were broadcast months after the first episodes, shown as part of the BBC's Christmas line-up.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
10 1"Episode One"4 July 2009
11 2"Episode Two"11 July 2009
12 3"Episode Three"18 July 2009
13 4"Episode Four"25 July 2009
14 5"Episode Five"1 August 2009
15 6"Episode Six"8 August 2009
16 7"Episode Seven"15 August 2009
17 8"Episode Eight"22 August 2009
18 9"Champion of Champions"29 August 2009
19 10Celebrity Specials26 December 2009
20 112 January 2010
21 12"Awards Special"9 January 2010

Series 3

The first episode of series 3 aired on BBC One on 30 January 2010, with the rest of the series airing from 3 April 2010,[12] containing eight episodes. Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram continue as the presenting team. The rounds have been re-designed for the series, introducing a brand new Wipeout Zone.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
22 1"Episode One"30 January 2010
23 2"Episode Two"3 April 2010
24 3"Episode Three"10 April 2010
25 4"Episode Four"17 April 2010
26 5"Episode Five"24 April 2010
27 6"Episode Six"1 May 2010
28 7"Episode Seven"8 May 2010
29 8"Champion of Champions"15 May 2010
30 9"The Legends Special"12 June 2010
31 10"Awards Special"19 June 2010
32 11Celebrity Specials16 September 2010
33 1223 September 2010

Series 4

Series 4 began on 8 January 2011 and used the same course as series three besides one or two new obstacles. Episodes 1–7 of the series aired from 8 January to 19 February. Episode 8 aired two weeks after Episode 7. Episode 9 (The Final) aired on 26 March 2011. Series 4 introduced obstacles such as the 'Swinging Letters of SH' (the U.S. Fling Set), as well as Argentina exclusives like the 'Dangleberries', a series of hanging shapes.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
34 1"Episode One"8 January 2011
35 2"Episode Two"15 January 2011
36 3"Episode Three"22 January 2011
37 4"Episode Four"29 January 2011
38 5"Episode Five"5 February 2011
39 6"Episode Six"12 February 2011
40 7"North Vs South Special"19 February 2011
41 8"International Special"5 March 2011
42 9"Champion of Champions"26 March 2011
43 10"Awards Special"2 April 2011
44 11Celebrity Specials9 April 2011
45 1225 April 2011

Series 5

Series 5 began airing on 27 August 2011[13] with two celebrity specials, with the rest of the series beginning on 18 August 2012.[13] Crash Mountain was changed to Double Cross and the Dizzy Dummy 2.0 was changed to Terror-Go-Round. The Wipeout Zone saw only a minor change from the previous series, the tarzan swing was changed to the Bumper turntables. It is to be the last series aired by the BBC and finished in late 2012.

The remaining 10 episodes from Series 5 began airing on 18 August 2012 and continued each week until 13 October, with the final episode held back to be broadcast at a later date after Pointless Celebrities. The last episode, an awards compilation special, aired on 31 December 2012.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
46 1Celebrity Specials27 August 2011
47 23 September 2011
48 3"Episode One"18 August 2012
49 4"Episode Two"25 August 2012
50 5"Episode Three"1 September 2012
51 6"Episode Four"8 September 2012
52 7"Episode Five"15 September 2012
53 8"Episode Six"22 September 2012
54 9"Episode Seven"29 September 2012
55 10"Episode Eight"6 October 2012
56 11"Episode Nine"13 October 2012
57 12"Awards Special"31 December 2012

Winter Wipeout episodes

Series 1

A wintry series, called Winter Wipeout, started on 17 December 2011 still hosted (and narrated) by Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram. The brand new series introduces a brand-new snow-covered course, with winter-themed obstacles and seasonal challenges. The new series does include two celebrity specials, plus a Winter Wipeout final at the series' climax.[14] The executive producers for Winter Wipeout were Andy Rowe for Initial and Mirella Breda for the BBC. The series producer was Emma Taylor.

OverallIn seriesEpisodeOriginal airdate
58 1"Episode One"17 December 2011
59 2"Christmas Special"24 December 2011
60 3"Episode Three"31 December 2011
61 4"Episode Four"7 January 2012
62 5"Episode Five"14 January 2012
63 6"Episode Six"21 January 2012
64 7"Episode Seven"28 January 2012
65 8"Episode Eight"11 February 2012
66 9"Champion of Champions"18 February 2012
67 10"The 'Snow Globes'"3 March 2012
68 11Celebrity Specials24 March 2012
69 1231 March 2012

Total Wipeout: Big Ball Run

The show's producers, Endemol UK, launched a social game based on the Total Wipeout format. Available on Facebook and through a standalone Downloadable Application, the game adopts the use of 'Motion Sensor Technology' available through a webcam, whereby the user negotiates the obstacle course through a variety of movements common with the show.[15]


Original series

SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodes
13 January 20094 April 20099
24 July 20099 January 201012
330 January 201025 September 201012
48 January 201125 April 201112
527 August 201131 December 201212

Winter Wipeout

SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodes
117 December 201131 March 201212

Home Media

In the early evening of 10 August 2019, voice actor John Sachs announced that CBBC would team up once again to release both Total Wipeout and Winter Wipeout on DVD to coincide for Christmas 2019.

See also


  1. Sweney, Mark (29 March 2012). "Total Wipeout dropped by BBC1". Guardian.
  2. BBC show Total Wipeout axed after six series after it had 'served its purpose'
  3. "BBC One – Total Wipeout, Series 1". 30 June 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  4. "BBC One Programmes – Total Wipeout, Episode 1".
  5. The Sun Xmas Tv Guide, 26 November 2009
  6. Fletcher, Alex (28 October 2009). "Celebrity 'Wipeout' contestants revealed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  7. Ward, Mike (18 September 2010). "CELEBRITY TOTAL WIPEOUT". Daily Star. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  8. "Benjamin does Wipeout". Chortle. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  9. "All New Celebrity Total Wipeout". DigiGuide. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  10. "BBC One – Total Wipeout, Series 1, Episode 1". 26 May 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  11. "Google Maps". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  12. "Total Wipeout, Series 3, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  13. "Total Wipeout Series 5 Episode guide". BBC. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  14. "Winter Wipeout! « Welcome to the official Total Wipeout UK website". 21 September 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  15. "Big Ball Run". Facebook. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
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