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Robot Wars returns to BBC 2

The BBC has announced Robot Wars is back and promises larger arenas, more mayhem, Dara Ó Briain as co-host and considerably scarier House Robots.

Robot Wars will be hosted by Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain and Irish presenter Angela Scanlon when it airs on Sunday the 24th of July, 2016 from 8pm on BBC Two.

Fans of the original Robot Wars that ran from 1998 to 2004 should be well catered for as the show appears to business as usual, although its creators have promised a “new structure” with “more robots” and “more battles”.

Think big robots from various teams in a fight to the (mechanical) death, big arenas filled with House Robots that can step in to ‘help’ and deadly spike and fire pits that need to be avoided at all costs (all the good stuff, basically) and you probably aren’t far off.

Except in the new series of Robot Wars, everything has been dialled up to 11. House Robot Shunt, for example, now weighs a whopping 300kg and has a titanium-tipped axe to smash through combatants. Meanwhile Dead Metal weighs 370kg and has pincers that are 1.4 metres wide.

As for Matilda, the dinosaur-inspired house robot, her pincers can flip opponents who weigh up to a tonne, thanks to a pair of 800PSI tusks. As for Sir Killalot? He weighs a ridiculous 750kg, moves twice as quickly and has a claw that can exert up to 2.4 tonnes. Best to stay away, then.

Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic and I’m thrilled to be updating it for the next generation of viewers,” said BBC Two controller Kim Shillinglaw. “With new technological advances making for an even more exciting and immersive experience, this is a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment that BBC Two excels at.”

Robot Wars harkens back to a time of cheesy, slightly poorly made but ultimately lovable 90s television shows such as Scrapheap Challenge, Knightmare and, of course, The Crystal Maze, which was hosted by Richard O’Brien for the first four series and then Ed Tudor-Pole for the final two.

This is actually the second Robot Wars revamp as a US version of the show was released by ABC last year and is called BattleBots. It was recently renewed for a second season.

No doubt Ó Briain and Scanlon will be good hosts, but we can’t help but miss Craig Charles (of Red Dwarf fame). Still, at least it’s back at all. GamesMaster next?

Video: Robot Wars ─ Meet the House Robots 2016

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