Host Angela Scanlon plans to put her own stamp on Robot Wars reboot
The new presenters of Robot Wars have insisted they will put their own stamp on the rebooted BBC series.
Irish star Angela Scanlon is co-presenting the new version alongside comedian Dara O’Briain.
Scanlon told the Press Association she is not worried about comparisons to Craig Charles and Philippa Forrester, the show’s most famous presenting team.
She said: “We’re not trying to do what they did. You do your own thing and we’re both there because we bring a certain level of interest and something different to the table.
“It was important for me not to pore over episodes and try to replicate what somebody did years ago.”
Scanlon added: “It’s important to respect and acknowledge what they did, but not to be ruled by that.”
The original programme was broadcast on the BBC from 1998 to 2003. It was picked up by Channel 5 and ran until 2004.
The new six-part series makes its BBC Two debut on Sunday and promises a “raft of technological advances”.
Following on from the old format, teams of engineers do battle with their robots in a special arena with the aim of destroying their competitor.
Sports broadcaster Jonathan Pearce resumes his role as enthusiastic commentator.
Scanlon, who worked as a journalist before moving into television, paid tribute to Robot Wars’ dedicated participants.
“At the heart of it, the stars of the show are the people who build the robots and they’re kind of wonderfully eccentric and a bit bonkers,” she said.
“The relationship between them and their robots is really special – it’s kind of heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time.
“They spend so much time, money and effort painstakingly developing and engineering wonderful machinery that then gets destroyed within two minutes flat. Or two seconds! It’s just mental.”
Robot Wars, which was presented by Jeremy Clarkson before Charles took over, quickly became cult viewing from the late 1990s.
Scanlon also hailed the hardcore fans who kept memories of the show alive while it was off the air.
She said: “There are very few shows that are as well loved as this show and that is overwhelming in itself.
“For me it feels like a very special thing and I made a concerted effort to enjoy this process.”
The 32-year-old joked: “They’re robots fighting each other. It’s not life or death – except for the robots!”