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Who Wants To Be A Superhero? (UK TV series)

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Who Wants To Be A Superhero? (UK TV series)

Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
Format Reality
Created by Stan Lee
Bruce Nash
Developed by CBBC / NBC Universal
Starring Sam Nixon
Mark Rhodes
Stan Lee(TV Screen)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 15
Executive producer(s) Alex Cross
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel BBC Two/CBBC
Original run 3 January 2009 – 18 April 2009

Who Wants to Be a Superhero? is a UK children's reality show hosted by Sam Nixon, Mark Rhodes and Stan Lee, based on the NBC Universal/Sci Fi Channel (United States) series of the same name. The show is a co-production between CBBC and NBC.

Children aged 9 – 13 create and become their very own, unique, never before seen superhero characters for the series, taking part in missions and challenges and living away from home in ‘The Superhero Lair’ in London. Contestants responded to trails on the CBBC Channel and application forms on the CBBC website. It is unknown whether a second season will be made.


There were 13 superheroes in total; seven boys and six girls.


  • Deflector - James 10 [Eliminated 7th]
  • H2O Man - Karl 13 [Winner]
  • Mega-Might Man - Sam 10 [Eliminated 2nd]
  • Nine Lives - Jake 10 [Eliminated 5th]
  • Santh - Elliot 10 [Eliminated 6th] (youngest boy)
  • Steel Soldier - Tobe 13 [Quarter Finalist] [Eliminated 9th] ( oldest boy and oldest of all the superheroes)
  • S.G.W. (Stop Global Warming) - Michael 11 [Joint 2nd] [Eliminated 11th]


  • Dolphin Girl - Beth 9 [Eliminated 3rd]
  • Flying Feather - Branwen 10 [Eliminated 4th]
  • Gold-Starlet- Ellah 9 [Joint 2nd] [Eliminated 11th] (youngest girl and youngest of all the superheroes)
  • Mizz Dungarees - Emma 10 [Eliminated 1st]
  • Princess Paw - Charlie 12 [Eliminated 8th] (oldest girl)
  • Pink Puffle Girl - 11 April [Semi Finalist] [Eliminated]


This table gives the order of superheroes being "powered down" (eliminated) from the series. Some weeks, superheroes were immune from being powered down as a reward for a challenge or were unable to take part due to illness.

Stats in Written Form

Superhero Times in Power Down
(Bottom 3)
Mizz Dungeress 1 (Show 3) Eliminated 1st
Mega Might Man 2 (Show 3, Show 4) Eliminated 2nd
Dolphin Girl 3 (Show 2, Show 3, Show 5) Eliminated 3rd
Flying Feather 2 (Show 4, Show 7) Eliminated 4th
9 Lives 3 (Show 5, Show 6, Show 8) Eliminated 5th
Santh 3 (Show 6, Show 7, Show 9) Eliminated 6th
Deflector 2 (Show 2, Show 10) Eliminated 7th
Princess Paw 3 (Show 8, Show 10, Show 11) Eliminated 8th
Steel Soldier 2 (Show 4, Show 12) Eliminated 9th
Pink Puffle Girl 4 (Show 5, Show 9, Show 11, Show 13) Eliminated 10th
Gold Starlet 5 (show 2, Show 8, Show 10, Show 12, Show 13) Joint 2nd
SGW 4 (Show 6, Show 9, Show 11, Show 13) Joint 2nd
H20 Man 3 (Never) Winner

Stats in Grid Form

Colour Meaning
Powered Down (Eliminated from the series)
P In the Power Down (Bottom 3 up for elimination)
S Saved/Safe from Power Down
Superhero Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
H2O Man P P P Won
Gold-Starlet P P P P P Joint 2nd
SGW P P P P Joint 2nd
Pink Puffle Girl P P P Eliminated 10th
Steel Soldier P Eliminated 9th
Princess Paw P P Eliminated 8th
Deflector P Eliminated 7th
Santh P P Eliminated 6th
9 Lives P S Eliminated 5th
Flying Feather P Eliminated 4th
Dolphin Girl P P S Eliminated 3rd
Mega Might Man P Eliminated 2nd
Mizz Dungarees Eliminated 1st


  • There was not a power down in Show 1 as this documented the audition process for the series.
  • There was no elimination/powered down superhero in Show 2 as Sam & Mark decided to offer second chances to the superheroes in the bottom three.
  • There was no elimination/powered down superhero in Show 6 as Sam & Mark were unable to make a decision between the bottom three superheroes.
  • There was not a power down in Show 15 as this documented H20 Man's winning story and meeting Stan Lee in Los Angeles.

Leaderboard by number of Powerdowns

Place Superhero Number of Powerdowns Powerdown(s) shows Powerdown 1 Status Powerdown 2 Status Powerdown 3 Status Powerdown 4 Status Powerdown 5 Status Overall Status
1 Mizz Dungarees 1 Show 3 Eliminated g g g g 13th
2 Steel Soldier 2 Show 4, Show 12 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g g 5th (Quarter Finalist)
3 Deflector 2 Show 2, Show 10 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g 7th
4 Flying Feather 2 Show 4, Show 7 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g g 10th
5 Mega Might Man 2 Show 3, Show 4 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g g 12th
6 H20 Man 3 Show 7, Show 12, Show 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 4 1st (Finalist)
7 Princess Paw 3 Show 8, Show 10, Show 11 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g 6th
8 Santh 3 Show 6, Show 7, Show 9 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g 6th
9 9 Lives 3 Show 5, Show 6, Show 8 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g 9th
10 Dolphin Girl 3 Show 2, Show 3, Show 5 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Eliminated g g 11th
11 SGW 4 Show 6, Show 9, Show 11, Show 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 4 g Joint 2nd (Finalist)
12 Pink Puffle Girl 4 Show 5, Show 9, Show 11, Show 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Eliminated g 4th (Semi-Finalist)
13 Gold Starlet 5 Show 2, Show 8, Show 10, Show 12, Show 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 4 Joint 2nd (Finalist)


In most episodes, the superheroes take part in challenges and missions (as instructed by Stan Lee) to save the world from evil villain, Doctor Dark. Doctor Dark tricks them, steals from them and tries to cause international disaster. The villain is assisted by his evil, mutated, scary (and often angry) half human-half pig henchmen, Pigface, who the superheroes regularly come into contact with. Doctor Dark is eventually defeated in episode 14 by the three finalists, on the roof of the Superhero Lair. In the final episode, Stane Lee creates Fire Fiend, a fire based enemy of winner H2O Man.

Episode list and missions

Each episode (with the exception of episode 1 – auditions) the superheroes face one or two challenges working as a team, pairs, trios or individually. They are judged by Sam and Mark on their behaviour as a superhero.

Episode # Description Air date Left the show
1 Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes travel to Los Angeles to meet comic book genius and multi-superhero creator, Stan Lee. The duo gain advice on creating superheroes, their powers, traits and other tips from Lee. Meanwhile hundreds of children from around the UK apply for the series and regional auditions are held. The team meet 30 children in Glasgow, 30 children in Cardiff, 30 children in London and 30 children in Manchester. From the 120 children, 30 are recalled to London to take part in their first mission and for Sam and Mark to find the final 13 superheroes to live in the Superhero Lair. 3 January 2009 No one (Auditions)
2 The superheroes move into the Superhero Lair in London. They all move into the lair and they all fall in love with it instantly. The superheroes also get given bedrooms. In each room are three bunkbeds but as there are 7 boys, there's also a camp bed. H2o man decides to have the camp bed and the others take the bunks. Then Sam and Mark give the hero's supersuits, and told them the prize: starring in their own comic book and meeting Stan Lee to receive it. The 13 individually complete a race, the first challenge to change into their costumes without being spotted by the public. The second part of the race would test the heroes to see if they would stop and help a lost tourist trying to find the "moon" (which turns out to be the Moon Cafe) and an elderly woman who dropped her shopping bags. Only Steel Soldier and Mega Might Man help both of them, others only helped the old lady and several didn't help either of them. At the powerdown, Sam and Mark decided who should be in the bottom three: Dolphin Girl for not helping either of the two in need, Gold Starlet for laughing at both of them, and SGW for avoiding the old lady so he could get a quick time. However, Sam and Mark decided that none of the bottom three should be eliminated. 10 January 2009 No one
3 The superheroes suffer at the hands of trickery, when an unidentified person changes the numbers on the building where they are to meet Sam and Mark. The 13 heroes are trapped on the roof of building 16 (as opposed to 19) and have to cross an 18-meter-high, narrow plank between building 16 and 19 to meet Sam and Mark. All superheroes complete the challenge, however, SGW and Princess Paw in particular conquer their fears. Following the successful mission, back at The Lair, the superheroes are divided into pairs (and one trio) and are set the challenge of getting to know each other better. Individually they have to then present facts about their partners to the rest of the superheroes, testing their listening skills. Mizz Dungarees is asked to talk about H2o Man and she (for a joke) calls him an idiot. in the Power down Sam and mark chosen Mizz Dungarees, Dolphin girl and mega might man. They told Mizz Dungaress about calling H2O man an idiot which a superhero never do, then told mega might man about his lack of question about 9 lives, then talking about dolphin girl about Mocking about on the bridge, they decided Mizz Dungaress to be eliminated causing her to call H2O man an idiot also Cryed. 17 January 2009 Mizz Dungarees (Emma)
4 The 12 remaining superheroes had to solve a crime and to work out who stole a red hat box from Dani Harmer’s hotel suit. They wait in the hotel lobby, witnessing some suspicious behaviour, and then individually enter Dani’s hotel room, looking for clues (such as muddy footprints, crowbar and a broken window handle). Before entering Dani’s room, Dolphin Girl suffers a broken tooth and couldn't take part in the challenge or powerdown. Back at the lair, a line-up of suspects is formed for the superheroes (this time in pairs and one trio) to identify. Three suspects were at the scene of the crime, two looked similar to those at the scene and one individual was random. In the powerdown they chosen Steel soldier, mega might man, princess paw. They talking to Steel soldier cause he was the only person to find no clues, then talked to mega might man about interrogating the suspect and princess paw cause of her lack, they chosen Mega might man cause of interaging the suspects. 24 January 2009 Mega-Might Man (Sam)
5 Sinister forces are at work again and this time Doctor Dark has trapped and tied up a pet shop owner in his own shop. The 11 remaining superheroes have to individually negotiate a shop with fallen shelves and snakes crawling everywhere. Santh & Pink Puffle Girl struggle to face their fears and don’t complete the challenge. The owner offers them all £1 as a reward, Steel Soldier is the first to turn down the money and the others follow his example, except Dolphin Girl. Following the event the press turn up outside the shop requesting interviews for the heroes, which take place individually back at The Lair. Some superheroes give away too many details. they chosen Dolphin girl, 9-lives and gold starlet. they talking about Gold starlett cause of the poses cause superheros don't do that, Then talked about 9-lives cause of his song called 9-lives then Dolphin girl cause of giving too much information away they eliminated Dolphin girl because of telling where she lives and her real name. 31 January 2009 Dolphin Girl (Beth)
6 The first part of the episode saw the final 10 heroes working in pairs to try to save the world—'the world’ being a huge globe in a cage. Despite the room being laden with props and a ‘don’t touch’ button the answer to saving the world was hidden in an envelope above the door. After all pairs again failed to save the world (and many individuals pressing the ‘do not touch’ button) the final 10 were given an opportunity to save the world as a team with 9 Lives finding the hidden envelope, for which he received immunity in the powerdown. Then in the second part Doctor Dark and two of his mutated pig henchmen hid 10 radio-active canisters in a rubbish skip for the superheroes to find and dispose of safely within a limited time. Working as a team only three canisters were disposed of safely and the heroes incurred their first mission fail. Many of the heroes began to hate 9 Lives because they thought he wasted their time in the skip challenge. No superhero was powered-down as Sam & Mark couldn’t find enough reason for any individual to go, despite calling three heroes forward. 7 February 2009 No one
7 Doctor Dark took over the nations TV’s and airwaves with his own satellite signal. The remaining nine superheroes had climb a wall in London to collect items which would knock out his signal, in two teams. The heroes completed the mission as a group in contract to last weeks skip challenge. They also took exams. Santh, H20 Man and Flying Feather looked at the answers on the back of the paper. Steel Soldier almost looked at the answers but refrained from doing so. in the powerdown they chosen. Flying feather H2O man and Steel soldier, They talked to H2O man about his progress is doing well but Turning the piece of paper and looking at the answer is a no no, then Flying feather looking at the back of the paper 6 times, and steel solder looking at the paper close, they chose Flying feather to be eliminated cause she looks at the piec of the paper. 14 February 2009 Flying Feather (Bromwyn)
8 The Superheroes secret identity files were stolen by Doctor Dark’s pig mutated henchman. The heroes had to go disguise themselves in civilian clothing and go undercover to reclaim their files. They worked in pairs, with one trio. All the heroes recovered their secret files for the café, with the exception of Gold-Starlet and 9 Lives. Three faced the powerdown – Gold-Starlet, 9 Lives, Princess Paw. Gold-Starlet was up for giving up the mission quickly after failing. 9 Lives was up for laughing in the cafe whilst attempting this mission and Princess Paw was up because of her lack of action in the cafe, and her reluctance to get involved with the mission. 21 February 2009 9 Lives (Jake)
9 Eight superheroes remain in the lair. Stan Lee has received important new information: the exact location of Dr Dark's secret hideout.

For their next mission, the superheroes are sent to Dr Dark's lair to rescue the animals he stole from a pet shop. There's a sleeping pig henchman inside, and the animals have to be lifted to safety by hand. With cockroaches, locusts, maggots, a rat and a lizard among the animals that need rescuing, how do the superheroes cope rather badly. They able to rescue the animals without waking the henchman. They manage to save most of the animals. And they complete their mission before Dr Dark returns. Back at the lair, Stan announces a surprise treat for the superheroes: a meal at a restaurant with two celebrities - but not everyone is able to go. Santh stays behind with Pink Puffle Girl. Santh only stays because he believes they will be rewarded. Heroes shouldn't expect rewards for their actions and he falls victim to the power down.

28 February 2009 Santh (Elliot)
10 Dr Dark gets dangerously close to the superheroes. The evil Supervillain captures Sam and Mark and locks them up in the control room. The only way for the superheroes to save them is by answering Dr Dark's riddles to get the secret code to unlock control room door. But will they work well as team ? And more importantly can they crack the code before Dr Dark's mega laser beam reaches Sam and Mark but they have three attempts in the end they rescued same and mark. The superheroes head off to the Newsround studios to warn the nation about their nemesis. But how will they get on at the famous BBC Television studios? Will they remain superhero-like at all times? Will they remember that a superhero is never off duty? Hidden cameras in the makeup room reveal what the superheroes talk about when they think no one is watching.

And one more superhero will be chosen to power down, return to their secret identity and leave the lair for good. Three Superheroes faced the powerdown: Gold Starlet, Princess Paw, and Deflector. Defleactor was elimanated cause was wanst good at talking.

7 March 2009 Deflector (James)
11 Sam and Mark continue their search to find the world's next great superhero. Six superheroes remain in the lair.

The superheroes are called into action when Dr Dark attempts to contaminate the city's water supply. The evil supervillain has released five barrels of toxic waste into the Thames and the superheroes need to get them back to dry land before they leak and before Dr Dark's pig-faced henchman returns. The superheroes brave the icy water as they race to retrieve the barrels, but will they work effectively as a team? Back at the lair, Sam and Mark put the superheroes' super senses to the test. Will they be able to identify pickled egg and chocolate ants by taste alone? And how will they cope when faced with the unknown during the touch test? Wearing blacked-out goggles, the superheroes are presented with a fake spider and a rubber snake. Will they demonstrate bravery? Will they overcome their fears? Or will their imaginations get the better of them? Plus, one more superhero will be chosen to power down, return to their secret identity and leave the lair for good.

14 March 2009 Princess Paw (Charlie)
12 (Quarter Final) The Superhero lair is a right mess. Sam and Mark asked the Superheroes to do a spot of cleaning. Barney Harwood paid the superheroes a visit, intended as a distraction for them, but also to see which Superheroes would remember their manners, and make Barney feel welcome. Steel Soldier spent most of his time talking to Barney, but failed to help with the cleaning. Pink Puffle Girl asked Barney to leave, and come back in an hour, when Sam and Mark would be returning. The remaining Superheroes - SGW, H20 man, and Gold Starlett, carried on with the cleaning, but H20 Man was unusually quiet and never even introduced himself, and seemed to be ignoring Barney .Next, the Superheroes were given an observation quiz by Sam and Mark. The purpose of this was to see which superhero thought about their answer, before putting a hand up. H20 man scored the lowest score with -3, and Steel Soldier scored 4. The Superheroes were also required to work as team in creating an anti-dote to administer to Dr Dark's giant spider, which was crawling all over the houses of parliament, Canary Wharf, and other famous London locations. Steel soldier spent a lot of his time watching the sleeping henchmen in Dr Dark's lair, thus removing himself from the active teamwork in creating the anti-dote. The team was given the chance to retrieve Gold Starlett's identity file and they succeeded. Three Superheroes faced the powerdown - Gold Starlett - Steel Soldier for his laid back and cautious approach in Dr Dark's lair, and H20 man for being too eager in the observation mission, causing his score to suffer. Next time, the three Superheroes entering the final will be revealed. 21 March 2009 Steel Soldier (Tobe)
13 (Semi final) The remaining superheroes are told they need to see off Dr Dark's evil henchmen for the last time. They arrive at Dr Dark's lair ready to put the earplugs in the henchmen. H20 Man listened to Sam and Mark's advice and let others do the work. SGW and Gold Starlet successfully placed the earplugs in the henchmen. Pink Puffle Girl asked H20 Man for help. They completed that challenge as a team. Next, they had to get the key to get the antidote so the henchmen turns back into a little piglet. They realised that one of them had to stay out of the cage in case they get locked in. Gold Starlet did this. Because they sounded the alarm to many times, they ended up getting locked in. Gold Starlet got the key for the cage and they were able to get the antidote. They placed the antidote in the henchmen's tea and he drank it. The henchmen is now a piglet! The superheroes next mission was to present their superhero character to a class of children. SGW started off with a confident and informal presentation. Next was Gold Starlet and she was good, although nearer the end, she got stuck for words. Third was H20 Man who also did an informal presentation with the children liking him the best. Last was Pink Puffle Girl who was informal, and did a good presentation. However, she received the least support when they were asked their favourite. Everyone faced the powerdown. Pink Puffle Girl was eliminated for not listening to Sam and Mark's advice and getting distracted in the first mission. So, Gold Starlet, SGW and H20 Man are the three finalists! 28 March 2009 Pink Puffle Girl (April)
14 (Final) The three finalists come face to face with Dr Dark on the roof of the Superhero Lair. The trio combine their super powers and defeat their evil nemesis. The three superheroes then travel to a TV studio with Chroma key facilities to see what it is like to fly like real superheroes. At a glamorous central London location Stan Lee reveals H20 Man as the winner. 4 April 2009 Winner:
S.G.W (Michael)
Gold-Starlet (Ellah) H20 Man (Karl)Winner:
15 This episode sees Sam and Mark take winner h20 Man to LA to see Stan Lee and get his

comic book self. Stan Lee makes a h20 Man comic book in which he stops the evil fire villain. Sam and Mark are apparently captured and h20 man saves them, but, reveals later that they were just on a L.A. film set. h20 Man is the Winner! (There was no power down in this episode because it documents BGS's trip to LA.)

11 April 2009 N/A


In early March 2009 UK mid-market newspaper the Daily Mail attempted to link the programme with the issue of child exploitation in reality television. After approaches to the BBC failed to produce sufficient evidence to support their position, the newspaper approached a number of the contestants' families, resulting in complaints that the newspaper was invading the families' privacies, and injunctions to prevent publication of the children's real identities. Furthermore it is alleged that some of the story's professional sources had been quoted selectively in such a way as to direct what were general observations as if they were specific criticisms of the programme.

There was also some controversy among viewers about the power down of Steel Soldier, who many viewers felt was powered down to even out the number of girls, seeing as his track record had been much better than the two other superheroes up for powerdown, H2O Man and Gold Starlet.

External sources

  • Mail Online: The little superheroes reduced to tears by the BBC

External links

  • BBC Programmes
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