Mike Brewer – Wheeler Dealer
Car and van dealers may be known for their big personalities and colourful characters. But what happens when a wheeler dealer turns TV presenter? Trader and presenter Mike Brewer is famous in the vehicle trade and television industry alike, both for his unique style and remarkable career progression. He is now perhaps best well-known for presenting Channel 4’s Deals on Wheels and Driven.
How did this all come about? The youngest of six, Mike was born and raised in South London and Surrey. He worked as a fruit and veg market trader before moving into the motor trade in his late teens. A combination of hard work and honest dealing resulted in him running the largest 4×4 centre in the south of England, and he has since imported and sold thousands of motor vehicles over the course of his career.
Mike’s lucky break into television began with a chance phone call. Upon answering a friend’s phone, he found himself chatting to a television producer who, entertained by Mike’s candid style and humorous anecdotes, promptly hired him for Deals on Wheels. His role in the show, beginning back in 1997, was an instant success and through this he was also given his presenter’s position on Driven.
Mike presented over 100 episodes of Driven, the last in 2003. But this wasn’t the end of the story by any means. Further TV credits included Channel 4 Sports’ and Sky Sports’ The British Rally Championships. His popularity on the screen meant that he was also able to branch out into different fields and he appeared in various programmes for ITV and the Discovery Channel. In 2004, thanks to his television appearances and refreshingly honest style, Mike was awarded the Royal Television Society Midland Centre Award for “Best In Vision Personality”.
Mike has presented several celebrity-themed shows, including the popular He’s Gotta Have It for Discovery Channel, where his natural sense of fun and humour helped ensure the show about celebrities and their gadgets was a success. A more serious programme, Channel 4’s Celebrity Wheelchair Challenge, looked at overcoming disability in the UK; featuring Gaby Roslin, Tanya Strecker and Sean Hughes, the show achieved huge ratings and demonstrated a different side to Mike’s presenting style.
Mike is well-known as the face of Discovery Channel’s massively successful Wheeler Dealers, which over the last decade has become a global hit, along with Wheeler Dealers Trading Up. He has previously presented British Rally, Revved Up, Auto Trader, Pulling Power and his own show for ITV, Wrecks to Riches. In addition he presented house-building show House Race, radio-controlled vehicle racing show Remote Madness and Frontline Battle Machines, which was based in Afghanistan alongside front line troops.
All this from a simple phone conversation! But Mike hasn’t completely turned his back on the vehicle trade for the glitzy lights of television stardom. He still runs his own car dealership, Mike Brewer Motors, and is committed to providing customers with the best possible car-buying experience. His dealership sells nearly new and used cars at competitive prices and also carries out servicing and repairs, including MOT testing and valeting.
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Combining a career in motor dealing of over 30 years with a long-running television career, Mike is keen to communicate his knowledge about car dealing to non-experts. To this end he has also put pen to paper and written a book, The Wheeler Dealer Know How, which guides potential customers through the car-buying process. Containing everything buyers and sellers need to know about modern cars, from insurance to getting the best price, it is filled with tips and information along with fascinating stories and anecdotes from Mike’s many years of personal experience.
Becoming an expert in any field certainly takes years of experience. But more than this, it takes keen insight, hard work and sometimes just a little twist of luck. When all of these come together, a wheeler dealer from South London can become one of the best known faces in the motoring trade and a television celebrity.