Wheeler Dealers, which has aired since 2003, is a show on the Discovery Channel that follows Mike Brewer as he locates and purchases cars to restore and sell for a profit.
From 2017 to 2020, Mike partnered with master mechanic Ant Anstead, who expertly restored the vehicles and guided us through his repairs.
Mike and Ant made a great team for years. But in 2020, Ant officially announced his departure from the show.
Today, we’ll explore why Ant left the show and what he’s getting up to now.
Why Ant left Wheeler Dealers
Ant announced his departure from Wheeler Dealers in November of 2020. As the show headed back to the UK, Ant wanted to stay in California with his family and work on three new TV shows instead.
Those three new shows were World’s Greatest Cars on Sky, Celebrity IOU: Joyride on Discovery+ and one project that is yet to be announced.
As Mike took Wheeler Dealers back to its original stomping ground in the United Kingdom, fans were left wondering why Ant chose to leave the show at the height of its popularity.
Why did Ant stay in California?
It’s fair to say that Wheeler Dealer fans were left a bit perplexed by the news that Ant was leaving the show for good.
While the original fanbase had long been calling for the show to return to the UK, they had come to enjoy Ant’s presence, sense of humour and expertise.
There are a few reasons why Ant Anstead might have chosen to remain in the US. His new television projects are a big part of this.
In 2021, Ant extended a contract with Discovery Channel to provide new shows to the Discovery+ platform.
Also, Ant’s personal life has been rooted in the US for over five years now.
Ant was originally born in Plymouth, Devon (UK). When he joined Wheeler Dealers in 2017, he made the decision to relocate permanently to California.
Ant married American TV personality Christina Haack in 2017 and they share a son together. After 3 years of marriage, the pair took the decision to split amicably and file for divorce.
In 2021, Ant began dating American actress Renée Zellweger (well-known for her recurring role as Bridget Jones).
As you can probably tell, Ant has built himself a new life in the US. He has a home and a loving family, as well as numerous exciting projects coming up.
It must have been a difficult decision to leave Wheeler Dealers, but staying in California was the logical choice for Ant.
Who replaced Ant Anstead on Wheeler Dealers?
When Ant left the show in 2020, Mike Brewer and the production team found themselves in a familiar predicament: finding the next Wheeler Dealers mechanic.
Wheeler Dealers had already bounced back from an uncertain future in 2017 when Edd China left the show.
This is where Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley comes in. Elvis was an F1 mechanic for McLaren from 1999 to 2009.
After leaving F1 with huge amounts of specialist car knowledge and experience under his belt, Elvis chose to focus on automotive media and journalism.
In 2020, he officially joined Wheeler Dealers as the third mechanic. The third time’s the charm, right?
To top it off, Elvis already had prior experience working alongside Mike on the Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car series.
Mike expressed pure satisfaction in working with Elvis, stating that they ‘so enjoyed each other’s company’.
In truth, choosing Elvis to be the third mechanic on Wheeler Dealers was a no-brainer for Mike.
Is Ant still friends with Mike Brewer?
Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead remain good friends since Ant’s departure from Wheeler Dealers. Ant’s decision to leave the show was not a matter of unhappiness or distrust in Mike or the production company. It simply came down to logistics.
Mike needed to return to the UK with Wheeler Dealers for a number of reasons: both personal and professional.
And Ant had established a life for himself out in the US. Thus, they went their separate ways.
There will always be good memories between the two of working together on the show. For instance, Ant helped Mike to make the biggest profit in Wheeler Dealers history.
Ant’s continued commitment to his friendship with Mike is shown in Ant’s willingness to make special appearances on Wheeler Dealers.
Ant is expected to pop up in episodes here and there when he travels back to the UK.
Is Ant Anstead friendly with Edd China?
Yes. Both Ant and Edd have exchanged compliments about each other, and they appear to have an amicable relationship. In fact, Ant is a big self-confessed Edd China fan.
Ant first came across Mike Brewer and Edd China at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Ant would typically present on the Wheeler Dealers stage at the Classic Motor Show, when Edd was still the show’s mechanic.
In a recent interview on the Late Brake Show with Jonny Smith, Ant denies that he is the most famous car mechanic in the world. Instead, he claims that Edd China holds that title:
Edd has also exchanged compliments about Ant, and there appears to be no animosity between the two.
For car enthusiasts young and old, Wheeler Dealers is a highlight of automotive television.
It’s such a simple concept – buy a car, fix it up and sell it for profit – but it’s just so effective. It’s endlessly entertaining.
Mike has been holding down the Wheeler Dealers fort for nearly 20 years now.
Over that same time, audiences have had to adapt to three different mechanics holding the wrenches: Edd, Ant and now Elvis.
Accepting change is never easy for the die-hard audiences of a TV show. But it ensures that the show can continue and evolve in new and exciting formats.
How do you feel about Ant’s stint on Wheeler Dealers? Let us know below!
7 thoughts on “Why did Ant Anstead leave Wheeler Dealers? Explained”
I am not a driver but I’ve loved watching Wheeler Dealers since day one. I was sorry to see Edd go, Ant was, however, a worthy sucessor and I shall be sorry to see him leave too. As good as Edd was Ant seems a better fabricator. The main thing I like about the show is it’s a British show and was mainly about British or European cars. When it became more American I found it difficult to relate to it. We are unlikely to see these cars on the streets over here and as the costs are in dollars it seemed to me the series was made exclusively for Americans. We have enough American car programmes, it was it’s British abd European cars we all relate to that made it special. By all means import a few American cars but don’t lose the shows British pedigree it’s what made the series special to us.
I love wheeler dealer, it motivated me to buy cars and flip them, getting me out of a poverty and social housing by raising enough cash for a healthy deposit on my first house. Big thank you Mike n Ed.
I must say I liked Ed more than Ant as I found Ant to be a tad patronising and got the impression on the show that Ant and Mike didn’t really gel together. Watching Mike and Elvis together seems to be working better from a viewer perspective.
I like Wheeler dealer’s especially the episode about the Porche 912
It astonished me the automotive knowledge of Ant Anstead. He was a brilliant mechanic. It will be interesting how Priestley will succeed.
I think WD has finally left me behind. British cars and the UK’s all electric future have zero interest for me. Generally British cars are very poorly built, especially early ones (ask me about my brutal ownership experience) and UK gets an entirely different group of cars than the US. I used to subscribe to British mag EVO and 80-90% of the cars highlighted there are not available in the US. So it’s now lost relevance for my tastes. Plus I can barely tolerate Brewer whose minimal role gets exaggerated like his ego. Goodbye WD.
I’m glad Wheeler dealers have returned to the UK with some proper cars that can go round corners and don’t need a 7000cc engine to make 60mph and fall to bits.