Total Wipeout is a British game show, hosted by Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram that first aired on 3 January 2009 and first reported to Amnesty International shortly afterward. Each week, 20 idiots compete in an orgy of masochistic self mutilation in an attempt to win £10,000. Presumably to spend on physiotherapy as their bones knit in subsequent months. These challenges generally involve large assault courses set in large pools of water or mud to break their fall, when the inevitable occurs and they lose their grip/balance/sanity and fall in. Total Wipeout is also a term for when you wipe your Ainsley Harriot too vigourously and it bleeds.
Total Wipeout is hosted by Richard Hammond, hereafter known as the Master of Pain, who commentates as the contestants attempt to maim themselves. The main footage is filmed in Argentina, principally due to the fact that out there, the producers can pop round to the local Health and Safety Representatives and discuss any production changes they feel necessary over a nice game of Baseball and nobody will bat an eyelid. Hammond records his sections from a studio in Britain, presumably so he wont have to hear the screams after the cameras are switched off. Meanwhile, Amanda Byram (who has no real presenting skills whatsoever) interviews the contestants during the show and laughs at them from the sidelines as they go through the course and the pain barrier.
During Total Wipeout, contestants are put through a series of sadistic obstacle courses and challenges. After each one, a certain number of them are eliminated from the competition, a certain number eliminated from anything but a desk job in future and a certain number eliminated from this plane of existance. After the fourth and final round, the fastest of the remaining three competitors around the course wins the game, the cash prize and a chance to go one on one with Richard Hammond wearing nothing but skimpy leather thongs for the right to be the new Master of Pain. The eliminated contestants can be seen sitting at the side throughout later challenges, whilst learning how to eat through straws/walk again/use a keyboard with one of those pointy stick things strapped to their heads.
There are eight episodes, 55 head wounds, 16 broken legs, 8 broken arms, 12 broken backs, 6 cases of paraplegia, 4 cases of quadroplegia and 2 deaths in series 1, The first episode aired on 3 January 2009, on BBC One and peaked with an audience of 7 million and merchandising potential of approximately 4.5 million
It was announced on 24 March 2009 that the show would return for a second series beginning on 4 July 2009,with both Richard Hammond and Amanda Bryam returning. Series 2 format changes featured Bill Oddie being executed live on air at the start of episode one and a complete course redesign by Jigsaw from the "Saw" films.
The BBC are currently auditioning possible contestants for Series 3, taken from a cross section of society inlcuding: Villiage idiots, Masochists, Ben Richards (The Butcher of Bakersfield), convicted sex offenders, mainly from Celtic Football Club, are given the choice of doing the show or going to prison and Daily express readers. Providing they sign away the power of attorney, the series will be aired in early 2010.