‘THAT’S ME WITH THE VOL­UME TURNED UP’

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - BY HOLLY BYRNES NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

If you think the tough guy act is just that when it comes to Mark “The Beast” Lab­bett, think again.

The Chase Aus­tralia’s UK im­port is most cer­tainly af­fa­ble to in­ter­view, but when it comes to stick­ing it to his com­pe­ti­tion on the quiz show, Lab­bett as­sures us his ag­gres­sive streak is in no way scripted.

“I re­mem­ber see­ing a bi­og­ra­phy on ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, the Amer­i­can wrestler, and some­body came up with one of those lit­tle apho­risms, which is per­fect: the best wrestlers are them­selves with the vol­ume turned up. And I thought, ‘well that’s me with the vol­ume turned up’,” the Ox­ford alum told Switched On.

His pot-stir­ring and potty mouth have made him an in­fa­mous char­ac­ter on the UK se­ries, when the cen­sors al­low, bring­ing the same spirit of men­ace and mis­chief to the Aus­tralian se­ries.

Com­par­ing the con­tes­tants, Lab­bett drew on his ex­pe­ri­ences play­ing sport against Aussies for 30 years.

“There was a bit of sledg­ing but not abuse and that was that. It’s just that ev­ery once in a while I wanted some­one to be a lit­tle nas­tier so you could get in the hunt with them, but they were too nice to play against,” the 51-year-old said.

Be­sides pack­ing his game face, he also boned up on Aus­tralian trivia, find­ing our tu­mul­tuous political scene a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to keep up with, jok­ing: “I’m not too bad on prime min­is­ters now, but keep­ing up with that seems like a na­tional sport.”

With a masters in math­e­mat­ics to his credit, and a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best q quiz cham­pi­ons in the world, Lab­bett knows there’s a tar­get on his back — with the rat­ings suc­cess of the Chan­nel 7 show only grow­ing in­ter­est from the au­di­ence to take him on.

“As it’s get­ting to be a big­ger show, we’re get­ting a wider range of con­tes­tants be­cause p peo­ple now want to come on it,” L Lab­bett said.

THET CHASE AUS­TRALIA, CHAN­NEL 7, WEEK­DAYS,W 5PM

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