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Touch the Truck was a British Channel 5 endurance gameshow which aired in 2001.

It was hosted by Dale Winton and involved a group of 20 contestants holding onto a truck with the last person left touching the truck winning it.

The show was filmed at the Lakeside Shopping Centremarker in Thurrock, Essex.

Jerry Middleton, 39, from Winchester, Hampshire, was the winner who managed to stay awake touching the vehicle for 81 hours 43 minutes and 31 seconds. He stated that he was going to sell the vehicle to fund a political party. Middleton stood at the 2001 General Election in the Kingston and Surbitonmarker constituency, but gained only 54 votes of a turnout of 49,093.


According to the rules of the competition, disqualification occurred when:

  • a contestant overran breaks which were 10 minutes every two hours and 15 minutes every six hours,
  • a contestant removed both hands from the truck, or
  • a contestant fell asleep.

Contestants could also be drug tested to ensure fairness.

The format

The format was devised by Glenn Barden and Dave Hills and is owned by Vashca.It has been subsequently licensed to the Philippines, Indonesia, Portugal and Turkey.

Similar events

Such competitions have occurred as a way of raising money for charity. In 2007, Bristol Universitymarker did a similar competition as part of charitable RAG week (Raise and Give) where the winner gained an old BMW.

The 1969 Pollack movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They? starring Jane Fonda features a marathon dance where the eventually desperate participants must stay awake to win a prize. The file is based on a 1935 novel by the same name written by Horace McCoy with the dance marathon taking place during the Great Depression.


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