"3-2-1 Activate!"
— McDonald's most repeated phrase

Stuart McDonald is a British television director, specialising in game shows, who worked on Robot Wars as the director and as the famous Robot Wars Announcer.

Robot WarsEdit


Stuart McDonald in his director's position in 1997

During the filming of the show, McDonald had two primary jobs. First of all, he directed the cameramen to help achieve the optimum end product, as well as advising the audience on health and safety concerns, and building them up for the battle. His second, and more famous, role was as the deep-voiced announcer who introduced the hosts - firstly with a different humorous introduction, before this was replaced with the ubiquitous Master of Mayhem introduction - and the robots as they entered the arena. McDonald was also responsible for the calling of Activate and Cease, the latter on the call of the timekeeper, to begin and end a match. In Series 1, he would say "Stop, and deactivate robots", but this was replaced with "Cease" for Series 2 onwards.

McDonald had no involvement with the reboot series, his position as director being filled by Nikki Parsons, and another more electronic-sounding voice was used for the announcer role.

Career Outside of Robot WarsEdit

Stuart McDonald is considered one of the foremost television broadcasters in Britain today, especially in the field of 3D broadcasting, of which he is a pioneer. He has worked on many successful TV shows including Top of the Pops, Gladiators, Are you Smarter than a Ten Year Old?, Parkinson, Pointless, The Chase and The Apprentice: You're Fired, as well as the annual BBC Children in Need. Along the way he has met the likes of George Michael and Sir Paul McCartney, and worked for the BBC, ITV, Sky and Fox, as well as earning membership in BAFTA and Directors UK.


  • McDonald sometimes, humorously, had trouble pronouncing the names of robots, notably Dantomkia and Tsunami, the former he pronounced many different ways.
  • McDonald also directed the hit game show Gladiators, of which Robot Wars is considered to be the robot equivalent. The Gladiators from the show were the inspiration behind the House Robots.
  • Stuart McDonald also directed the show Top of the Pops, which followed Robot Wars in its traditional Friday night slot.
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