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"Their catchphrase is "We're in a class of our own!""
— Jonathan Pearce in Series 5

The Hub Nuts (also commonly called the Class Act) were a team that fought in Series 3-6 of Robot Wars as well as both series of Robot Wars Extreme.

The TeamEdit

"How did Sir Chromalot Start? It was one Monday morning and Merrill called an emergency business meeting to discuss Sunday's edition of Robot Wars with Smith. Smith explained to Merrill how every time he watched it he wanted to build one, but had no spare time and the making of a Robot would take many months of hard work. Suddenly both men found themselves sketching and later faxing plans and ideas to each other. By the Thursday Merrill had entered the competition, got a team together, got a boot full of old iron, purchased the radio control equipment and booked a holiday. Smith had been real busy also, drawing up the master blue-print technical drawings for the Robot"
— The origins of Sir Chromalot from The Hub Nuts website
HubNutsS3

The Hub Nuts in Series 3

The Hub Nuts appeared in every series they fought in with Sir Chromalot, which reached the second round in Series 3-6 and competed in various competitions across both series of Extreme. The team originally consisted of Steve Merrill, Steve Smith and David Whitehead. Smith left after Series 3, and Whitehead left after Series 4.

Ray Tait, former captain of the recently-retired Centurion team, joined Merrill in Series 5/Extreme 1 and helped completely rebuild Sir Chromalot, replacing its previously ineffective spike weapons with a pneumatic flipping arm.

"It was not my intension {sic} to come back but I was asked by Steve Merrill who's previous team members had pulled out leaving no one to rebuild. We was automatically seeded for the show and did not have to attend auditions as, this was the case I decided to Join Steve Merril {sic} and rebuild Sir Chromalot for Extreme We won the best Entertainers award."
— Ray Tait on joining the team[1]
Chromalot celebs

Shane Lynch with Sir Chromalot

For the Series 4 Celebrity Special shown as one of the Christmas specials in December 2000, the team were joined by the Boyzone singer Shane Lynch. As per the rules, he had to control the machine for sixty seconds before he was permitted to hand the controls over to the roboteers.

After Extreme 2, Ray Tait left the team. Steve Merrill, along with several engineers from Alchrist Engineering, constructed a brand-new version of Sir Chromalot for entry into Series 7. However, it was torn apart by Scorpion in its qualifier battle, and thus failed to qualify for that series.

Team Class Act S6

The team in Series 6

The Hub Nuts were considered to be excellent sports and comedians, guaranteed to offer entertainment and laughs throughout their appearances. On many occasions, the team, particularly Merrill, would make jokes out of the competition and fuss over trivial issues such as their outfits.

Despite their seemingly over-inflated egos, the team were very helpful in the pits, and were nominated for the Sportsmanship Award in Series 3 and 4. However, on both occasions they lost to Diotoir. They also won the untelevised Best Entertainers award in Extreme 1.

Sadly, Steve Merrill passed away on June 19th, 2011 from complications relating to bowel cancer. [2] Both surviving models of Sir Chromalot became the property of Ray Tait.

ImageEdit

Steve Merrill: "You people have got no idea the stress that goes on. Philippa, what jacket shall I wear?"
Philippa Forrester: "Any interest in who you're fighting?"
Steve Merrill: "What, the robot? No, the jacket's more important."
— Steve Merrill to Philippa Forrester in Series 6

The Hub Nuts considered attire very important. As a trademark, members of the Hub Nuts always dressed in tuxedos. One particular exchange in Series 6 showed Steve Merrill more interested in the jacket he would wear than who he was fighting, having brought a whole rack of jackets into the pits. The exchange resulted in Philippa stating that she believed that some of Steve Merrill's jackets were "illegal".

"...most teams did not like us, but we didn't care...we used the same game plan as boxers use before going into the ring"
— Steve Merrill

Grand EntrancesEdit

Always interested in making a big show of the competition and entertaining the audience, The Hub Nuts often arrived in style.

  • The limo arrives at Series 3
  • Sir Chromalot's Series 3 arrival in a limo
  • The team entertain the audience by dancing in Series 3
  • The team arrive at Series 4 with The Chromettes
  • The Hub Nuts with the Chromettes in Series 4
  • The Chromettes dance before Sir Chromalot's Round 2 battle in Series 4
  • The team arrive at Extreme 1
  • The Chromettes in Extreme 1
  • The bouncers stand over the Judges
  • The Hub Nuts arrive at Series 6
  • In Series 3, the team arrived in a Rolls Royce, and before their first battle, warmed up the audience by dancing around the arena.
"...it was a joke, really - 15 minutes before we went on, they said "We need you to do a dance routine," and we're three big guys. We can't dance - it's very obvious that we can't, but we had a go."
— Steve Merrill, interviewed in the original Robot Wars Magazine
  • In Series 4, The Hub Nuts arrived on the back of a truck with a group of cheerleaders, who chanted to announce their arrival. Before Sir Chromalot’s battle with The Steel Avenger, the cheerleaders, known as the Chromettes, also performed a dance routine to a track produced and recorded by Steve and David.
"The Rolls Royce seemed to go down really well last year. When we got a call saying we'd been seeded into Series 4, we thought we needed to top the Rolls Royce, but what could we do? My sister-in-law runs the dance troupe, which is useful!"
— Steve Merrill, interviewed in the original Robot Wars Magazine
  • In the build-up to their Vengeance battle in Extreme 1, The Class Act arrived in an silver car with a personalised number plate, supported by a group of bouncers, and followed by a squad of majorettes and cheerleaders, who sang a song praising Sir Chromalot. The bouncers also stood by the Judges table during the battle, to “intimidate” the Judges.
  • In Series 6, the team arrived in a Mercedes, with a personalised number plate. They filmed a special introduction for the heat, which showed them arriving at the studio in the car, and being greeted by crew members, who helped them select a jacket.

The Hub Nuts also arrived at Extreme 2 in a limousine, but this was not shown on the televised show. [3]

RivalriesEdit

The team shared a long-standing rivalry with Jonathan Pearce. Pearce originally made a comment about Merrill's weight, which started the dislike between the two. Pearce frequently made jokes about Sir Chromalot, and in turn, Sir Chromalot frequently insulted Pearce, stating at one point that he had a "grease nipple on his chin to keep his mouth moving". Sir Chromalot's weakness was often listed as "Jonathan Pearce" on its statistics boards in later appearances.

The Hub Nuts also had a particular enmity with the International Wreck Crew, with hostilities leading to a Vengeance battle in Extreme 1. Steve and Ray called the opposing team "Plundergirls" repeatedly, and accused them of having no style or skill. The two teams regularly fought grudge matches outside of Robot Wars, and the rivalry was also shown in the Robot Wars Magazine, as one of the Comic Strip fights was between Sir Chromalot and Plunderbird 4. Interestingly, Sir Chromalot won both of these fights under similar circumstances, after Plunderbird drove into the pit.

RobotsEdit

Name Weight Class Series
Sir Chromalot Heavyweight Series 3-6, Extreme 1-2
  • Sir Chromalot (Series 3)
  • Sir Chromalot (Series 4)
  • Sir Chromalot (Series 5/Extreme 1)
  • Sir Chromalot (Series 6)
  • Sir Chromalot (Extreme 2)
  • The version of Sir Chromalot which failed to qualify for Series 7

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 6
  • Losses: 7

Series RecordEdit

Main Series The Hub Nuts Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Heat, Round 2 with Sir Chromalot
Heat, Round 2 with Centurion (Ray Tait)
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2 with Sir Chromalot
Heat, Round 1 with Centurion (Ray Tait)
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 2 with Sir Chromalot
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 2 with Sir Chromalot
The Seventh Wars Failed to qualify with Sir Chromalot
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Sir Chromalot
Series 2 Entered with Sir Chromalot

Outside Robot WarsEdit

SteveMRobotZone

Steve Merrill hosting The Robot Zone

Steve Merrill also hosted a live show called “The Robot Zone”. These events were displays of robots including Sir Chromalot, Centurion, Skeletron, Tornado, Chaos 2, Firestorm, Panic Attack, Bigger Brother and the House Robots. Steve Merrill would set competitions for the visitors, offering Robot Wars Merchandise as prizes. All the money raised at Robot Zone events was donated to charity.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20030401200940fw_/http://www.matthewtait.co.uk/appearences.asp
  2. http://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/news/9110287.Tributes_paid_to_well_known_Steve/
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL8vjuxQ4nU
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