Star of The Chase, and now Beat The Chasers, Anne Hegerty is back in the host’s chair for a new series of Britain’s Brightest Family, the quiz that every generation can play.
This time round it’s a celebrity edition, featuring the likes of Lucy Fallon, Shaun Williamson, Dr Ranj and Scarlett Moffatt, competing with their families.
Chatting to RadioTimes.com, Anne reveals all about the new series, as well as lockdown quizzing, and which Chaser sets the hardest online questions.
You’re back for a celebrity version of Britain’s Brightest Family, tell us more…
I thought it was an excellent idea and I think you will be surprised how clever the celebrities are! I already knew Shaun Williamson – he is actually quite a good quizzer, he comes to quizzing events. I’d met Laurence Llewelyn Bowen and his children a few years ago at a charity party too and realised they were all pretty smart. We have a football episode with John Barnes and Matt Le Tissier. I’m really not very good on football, but I had heard of both of them, so that was fun! I enjoyed doing it, I do hope we’ll do another series.
There are two new rounds this series?
Yes, an Observation round where they have to look at utterly wonderful cartoons of me and answer memory questions. And then the Identify round where they have a pile of names and half might be Italian composers while the other half are cheeses, so you have to sort them into the correct categories very quickly. I do hope people will enjoy playing at home, these are rounds that children are very good at. I don’t know if you’ve ever played a game where you have to memorise things – generally every adult will get their bum kicked by a child under 10, kids can be amazing. In the last year I had to play Scrabble against a boy Scrabble champion and he was quite upset because he only beat me by about 200 points. He’s used to beating his dad by 600 points, but he still humiliated me!
Do you think I’m A Celebrity… changed how the country saw you?
It certainly raised my profile and everyone says to me, “Oh I thought you were brilliant in the jungle.” I look at them and say, “But I was pathetic in the jungle!” I was a bit tragic, but people seemed to like that. I do get recognised more, but luckily I don’t think I’ve lost the ability to be authoritative on The Chase. People think, “OK, she didn’t like having mealworms thrown over her head, but she is still very good at Kings and Queens of England…”
Do you still enjoy working on The Chase?
I love it, I’ve been doing it for more than 10 years and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. One of the things that is frustrating about the lockdown is that we really should have filmed a lot more shows than we have, we’ve had to do a lot of rescheduling. I’ve been craving some time off, so I’m really enjoying the lockdown, but it would be really nice to be back in the studio, that’s what I do.
How do you prepare for The Chase?
We don’t like losing, we do mind if we don’t win. I’ve been known to come back down the steps and kick the set because I’m so angry at having lost! So I try to keep an eye on the stuff I’m not that great at. For example I stopped playing attention to chart music in about 1980 so now I try to listen to the chart and programmes like Sounds of the 90s while I do the housework. I remember making a big effort a few years ago to learn recent winners of golf majors and tennis grand slams but there were just so many, I couldn’t keep up with them all.
Have you been enjoying lockdown quizzing?
Yes, I have been doing an awful lot of quizzing on the internet! Zoom quizzes with friends and the more high-level written quizzes where they can see you’re not googling if you do it online, so your results are counted. Shaun (Wallace, fellow Chaser) has been posting online quizzes and Paul (Sinha) is setting really tough quizzes. He’s become absolutely brilliant in the last couple of years and he keeps posting questions on Facebook that are a cross between a quiz question, a puzzle and a cryptic crossword clue. A lot of it is beyond me, I just click straight to the comments to see if other people have solved it all, saving me the trouble!
Britain’s Brightest Celebrity Family airs on ITV on 28th May. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.