1,000 up for Bradley Walsh and the Chasers

TV Times - - Front Page - Quiz The Chase thurs­day / ITV / 5.00Pm He­len Daly

We cel­e­brate with Bradley Walsh and his Chasers as they get set for their 1,000th episode

Since it burst onto our screens back in 2009, The Chase has es­tab­lished it­self as the na­tion’s teatime favourite, top­ping a tri­umphant first seven years by win­ning Best Day­time Show at the Na­tional Tele­vi­sion Awards this year.

This Thurs­day, it cel­e­brates its 1,000th episode with a spe­cial fea­tur­ing all five of the for­mi­da­ble Chasers – Mark Lab­bett, Anne Hegerty, Paul Sinha, Jenny

Ryan and Shaun Wal­lace.

TV Times caught up with host Bradley Walsh and the gang af­ter they’d fin­ished film­ing the spe­cial to talk The Chase, cel­e­bra­tions and celebrity con­tes­tants.

you’ve just filmed the 1,000th episode. How did it go?

Bradley: Very good and highly en­ter­tain­ing. It was a slightly dif­fer­ent for­mat fea­tur­ing all the Chasers, so it was tremen­dous fun. One of the con­tes­tants, John, was fab­u­lous. We’re thrilled the show’s come this far. To do 1,000 hours of TV and to still be at the top of the tree is fan­tas­tic.

What makes it so spe­cial?

Mark: I think it’s be­cause we had a very good team who were en­joy­able to play. It’s a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere, as we rarely see each other be­cause of the sched­ul­ing. We very rarely get to­gether as a five and we never re­ally hunt as a pack. Anne: Did Mark men­tion the fact that we’re all here?!

What’s changed since the show launched in 2009?

Jenny: It’s been a mas­sive learn­ing curve. I was very wor­ried about how the pub­lic would per­ceive me and ac­tu­ally that hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I’ve started to re­lax and en­joy it now! shaun: I think what’s changed is that when we started out, Mark and I were just the pro­fes­sional quizzers, and as the show’s pro­gressed, we’ve be­come more and more re­laxed and more our­selves, which has made it more au­then­tic. Mark: When Shaun and I started on the pi­lot, we were very much told, ‘Just an­swer the ques­tions, maybe add a bit of fact and what­ever you do, don’t be pan­tomime vil­lains’. When Bradley started us­ing my nick­name [The Beast] the pro­duc­ers said, ‘No, none of that’. So much of this show has been a happy ac­ci­dent. Things have worked, so by sea­sons three and four, the pro­duc­ers told us, ‘Do be pan­tomime vil­lains and use your nick­names!’

Paul: There was an episode with Mark where a con­tes­tant took the lower mi­nus of­fer and the team was beg­ging Mark to catch him. Be­fore that episode, The Chase was just a gen­eral knowl­edge show, but then an­other level was added.

It’s very clear that more peo­ple watch the show for the glad­i­a­to­rial

com­pe­ti­tion rather than a love of gen­eral knowl­edge!

Mark: We have a wider range of ques­tions than Mas­ter­mind be­cause on the one hand we’ve been able to ask about high­brow things, and on the other we ask about the Back­street Boys. Mas­ter­mind wouldn’t ask that!

How will you be cel­e­brat­ing this fan­tas­tic achieve­ment?

Jenny: In our down­time we quiz each other to keep our­selves warmed up, so prob­a­bly a quiz. Paul: By sit­ting in my bed learn­ing more facts to en­sure The Chase goes on and on and on.

How do you like to cel­e­brate?

Anne: I’m a to­tal geek. I like to go home, surf the in­ter­net and chill. Mark: I try to bot­tle up the screams of de­light I have for win­ning be­cause it might be too tri­umphant. But they’re there… in­ter­nally. Bradley: I like an early night, me! I go home, I watch a bit of TV with my son and then I go to bed be­cause it’s a long and tough old day.

Who’s the most com­pet­i­tive?

shaun: I think we’re all equally com­pet­i­tive be­cause we all equally want to beat the con­tes­tants and win. The ideal sit­u­a­tion is where the con­tes­tants go home with zilch.

Bradley:

Mark

Lab­bett.

Bar none.

If money and sched­ul­ing were no prob­lem, who would you like to see play The Chase?

shaun: Prob­a­bly David Beck­ham… Jenny: Well, I’d be fib­bing if I didn’t want some eye candy… Tom Hardy or Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch… They would be good! I think Bradley would be great, ac­tu­ally. He knows a lot on the sly and he doesn’t show it all the time. Bradley: They all bring some­thing dif­fer­ent. I’d like to see Ant & Dec come and do it be­cause they love the show. Peo­ple can get in­tim­i­dated by it but if you come on and have a laugh then it’s a dif­fer­ent ball game.

Who would play you in a film ver­sion of The Chase?

shaun: Idris Elba, ob­vi­ously. He could put on some glasses

– he’s a good-look­ing boy.

Jenny: I hope I have a very long ca­reer and it gets to be some­one like Mag­gie Smith. But se­ri­ously, Jes­sica Chas­tain would be good be­cause she’s a red­head, but I don’t think she could get my ac­cent!

Paul: Erik Estrada, who played Ponch in CHIPS. Anne would be played by Jen­nifer Lawrence.

I don’t know who would play The Beast… he’s one of a kind! Michael Mcin­tyre is the only per­son I can think of who looks vaguely like him. Bradley: It would be a toss-up be­tween Brad Pitt, Ge­orge Clooney, Or­lando Bloom… or Joe Pasquale.

Suc­cess is sweet: Bradley ac­cepts a spe­cially made TV Times cake

The gang’s all here... the Chasers and Bradley mark their mile­stone

Pho­tographed for TV Times by Dan Gold­smith Itõs very clear more peo­ple watch for the glad­i­a­to­rial com­pe­ti­tion rather

than a love of gen­eral knowl­edge

PAUL SINHA The team would love to get quizzi­cal with Ant & Dec

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