It’s one of the most popular shows on telly, but ITV quiz show The Chase would be nothing without its Chasers. The five ridiculously clever brainiacs take endless abuse from host Bradley Walsh and do their best to wind up the contestants in return, adding to the drama of the show. But it’s their reliably comprehensive knowledge of almost every subject that continues to stun us, and means it’s still extremely rare for Bradley’s team to take home any cash.
But behind their nicknames and panto villain personas, who are they?
Here’s everything you need to know about The Chasers…
Mark Labbett (The Beast)
Other quiz appearances: Mastermind, University Challenge, Fifteen to One, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?, Only Connect. Mark is also a Chaser on the American and Australian versions of the show.
Mark was born in 1965 and comes from Devon. He has a degree in maths from the University of Oxford. Also referred to as ‘Beastie Boy’, Mark was one of the show’s original Chasers alongside Shaun Wallace. Before television beckoned he had a career as a maths teacher and he reportedly became interested in quizzing when working at Butlins – he supplemented his wages by winning on quiz machines.
Shaun Wallace (The Dark Destroyer)
Other quiz appearances: Fifteen to One, The Weakest Link, Beat the Nation, Brainteaser, Are You An Egghead? Shaun has also appeared as a guest chaser on the Australian version of the show.
Shaun was born in 1960. As Bradley frequently mentions on the show, Shaun is a qualified barrister and has been working as a Criminal Defence Advocate for 35 years, taking part in hearings at The Old Bailey in London. He first caught the public’s attention when he became the first black person to win Mastermind in 2004, and the year after he stood as an independent Parliamentary candidate in North London. He joined The Chase in 2009 as one of the two original chasers, alongside Mark Labbett.
Anne Hegerty (The Governess)
Other quiz appearances: Mastermind (twice), Fifteen to One, Are You An Egghead? Anne is also a Chaser on the Australian version of the show, and acted as a phone a friend on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, giving the correct answer.
Anne began her career as a journalist in the 1980s, working as a reporter on local papers in South Wales and Manchester. She has also worked as a ghostwriter and proofreader. She joined The Chase in 2010, the show’s second year, becoming its first female chaser.
Anne’s stern demeanour has earned her the nickname of ‘Frosty Knickers’ from host Bradley, but her appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2018 dramatically changed the public’s perception of her. Talking openly about being diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 45, she won the respect of her fellow campmates and the audience saw her in a whole new light.
Anne also hosts her own ITV quiz show, Britain’s Brightest Family in which families compete against each other to prove who is the smartest.
Paul Sinha (The Sinnerman)
Other quiz appearances: Mastermind, University Challenge, The Weakest Link, Are You An Egghead?
Paul was born in 1970 in Luton. Also known as ‘The Smiling Assassin’ and ‘Sarcasm in a Suit’, Paul was the fourth chaser to join the show, signing up in 2011. Impressively, he is a trained doctor and worked as a GP and a junior doctor in hospitals, but eventually swapped medicine for a career in stand-up comedy. He has loved quizzing since childhood and took part in many TV quizzes before landing the job as a chaser.
In 2019 Paul revealed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Jenny Ryan (The Vixen)
Other quiz appearances: University Challenge, Are You An Egghead?, The Weakest Link, Mastermind, Fifteen to One.
The most recent addition to the line-up, Jenny became a chaser in 2015 but she has been associated with the show since the very beginning, having written questions for the pilot episode in 2009. She has previously competed on quiz teams with fellow chaser Anne Hegerty, who recommended her for the show. Despite fans asking her on social media, she hasn’t revealed her previous day job, only saying that she has long been a professional quizzer.
In 2019, Jenny appeared on Celebrity X Factor, singing for Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh. They were stunned by her voice, and Jenny made it all the way to the final, finishing third overall in the competition.