The quizzers are back to ‘Beat the Chasers’

Monday: Beat the Chasers; (ITV, 9pm)

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 5:00 pm
Shaun 'The Dark Destroyer' Wallace, Anne 'The Governess' Hegerty, Mark 'The Beast' Labbett, Bradley Walsh, Jenny 'The Vixen' Ryan and Darragh 'The Menace' Ennis
Shaun 'The Dark Destroyer' Wallace, Anne 'The Governess' Hegerty, Mark 'The Beast' Labbett, Bradley Walsh, Jenny 'The Vixen' Ryan and Darragh 'The Menace' Ennis

What started as an experimental spin-off of the teatime quiz show is now in danger of becoming even more popular than the original.

When it launched during the first lockdown in April 2020, Beat the Chasers became ITV’s biggest new entertainment series launch since Britain’s Got Talent and topped ratings records.

Fans loved seeing Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett, Shaun ‘The Dark Destroyer’ Wallace, Anne ‘The Governess’ Hegerty, Paul ‘Sinnerman’ Sinha and Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan team up to take on brave contestants, rather than just one of the quiz geniuses pitting their wits against a team of players, as is customary on The Chase .

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Host Bradley Walsh claimed Beat the Chasers was like “The X Factor for quizzers”, while one fan even compared the show to Avengers Assemble – sharing a photo in which he had photoshopped each of the Chasers’ heads on to one of the superheroes, including The Beast as The Hulk.

Now, following two celebrity specials in March in which Joe Pasquale, Katherine Ryan, Radzi Chinyanganya, Christine Ohuruogu and, most memorably ‘master of quizzes’ Shaun Williamson, took on the line-up, Beat the Chasers is back for a third, week-long, run.

For those who haven’t seen the show yet, it starts off with the Cash Builder round, in which a contestant answers five multiple-choice questions for the chance to bank up to £5,000. (However, if they start with a wrong answer, they are immediately out of the game).

They are then given the option of facing between two and all five of the Chasers.

The more opponents they are against, the more money they can win, but the time advantage against them will decrease.

The game sees questions alternating between the contestant and the Chasers, and if either get their question wrong, the clock will keep ticking down until a correct answer is given.

The first side to run out of seconds loses the game.

The recent specials welcomed new Chaser, Irish scientist Darragh Ennis, to the team for the first time since he joined last year.

‘The Menace’ will sit alongside Mark, Shaun, Anne and Jenny the week, with Paul missing out on filming due to illness.

Speaking of how they worked as a team on the celebrity specials, Darragh, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University, where he primarily studies the brains of insects, said: “I thought we did quite well.

“It took me a few minutes to hit my stride as this was the first time I’d been on a team with the others.

“I had to get my speed up. On The Chase, my final Chase tactics are slow and careful, but that doesn’t work for Beat the Chasers.

“This show is all about speed and we’re really up against it with some of the time offers we give.

“But we have such a range of strengths that once we hit our stride we are very hard to beat.”

So will the quintet of quizzers come a cropper tonight, or will they, like The Chase and this successful spin-off, go from strength to strength?

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