AN unprepossessing industrial unit in Renfrewshire is to host the return of the cult TV show Robot Wars after an absence from our screens of more than a decade.

The warehouse the size of two small football pitches on the Westway Park estate in Renfrew will be turned into the Robot Wars arena for the start of filming which begins next month.

BBC2 have commissioned Mentorn Scotland, the producers of Question Time, to orchestrate the reboot of the nerd extravaganza which seems teams battle with radio-controlled fighting droids. The new show is due to air later this year.


New Irish hosts Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon will replace former host Craig Charles for the six-parter which producers say will follow the same format as the original show.

Jonathan Pearce will commentate, as he did on the original series, which ran from 1998 to 2002. The show briefly moved to Channel 5 for the final series in 2003.

Producers are promising that viewers will be able to get even closer to the action, with state-of-the-art cameras capable of capturing every crushing, sawing and scorching moment in incredible detail.

The series involved teams of amateur and professional 'roboteers' who made their own robots to fight against each other in both friendly and tournament matches.


As well as fighting each other, they had to avoid the House Robots which were not bound by the same weight or weapon limits as the contestants.

In its heyday during the late 1990s the show, hosted by Charles and Philippa Forrester, attracted six million viewers in the UK.

The format ended up being exported to 45 countries including the US, Australia, Canada, China, India, Germany and Italy.

In 2003, it was dropped by BBC Two and Mentorn announced it was making 22 episodes for Channel 5, giving the show a fresh look.

A spokesman for the show said: "It will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before. It also includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title."

But young children will not be able to be part of the audience for the arena fun and games as it is being filmed.

Only those aged eight and over will be allowed in.

Coaches from central Glasgow are being lined up to transport audiences to and from the venue.

Chris Brogden, creative director of entertainment at Tinopolis, the parent company of Mentorn, said: “Bringing back Robot Wars to our screens is hugely exciting. Its return will see new and improved robots, with extraordinary innovation and power in these updated machines – it promises to be quite the competition.”

The new show is expected to feature house robots , Shunt and Sergeant Bash, as contestant-built machines attempt to beat them in a series of challenges and battles in an arena.

HeraldScotland: Dara O’Briain, Eastbourne Congress Theatre,  Apr 1-2

Dara O Briain said: “For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer. It's war, and how I love it so.”

Angela Scanlon added: “I'm so excited to be joining such a legendary show that, after all this time, still manages to make people squeal with joy. I cannot wait to see the robots in all their metallic glory playfully destroying each other.”

The brainchild of former LucasToys designer Marc Thorpe, the show first aired in 1998 with Jeremy Clarkson as host.

The update comes after US broadcaster ABC had success this past summer with a six-episode revival of BattleBots, an offshoot of the original American version of Robot Wars.


The new BattleBots was recently renewed for a second series.

Top 5 Robot Wars Battles according to Robot Wars Wiki