The Chase’s Darragh Ennis reveals how other Chasers helped after he lost his first show

The research neuroscientist explains that the other Chasers rallied around him when he lost for the first time.

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Darragh Ennis joins The Chase

The Irish research neuroscientist Darragh Ennis says the five other Chasers were on hand to pick him up when he lost the first time in ITV quiz show The Chase.

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Ennis, 40, debuted on Thursday’s episode and won the Final Chase with seven seconds left against two contestants who pushed him close.

So he currently has a 100 per cent win record, but that doesn’t last. Ennis explained how the Chasers were a supportive bunch and gave him good advice.

He said: “The one that stuck, when I lost a show for the first time, they did encourage me to put it behind me and to not worry about it. That’s been very useful. And they’ve been very good about the things you need to learn and know and what you really need to bone up on.”

You might think the Beast, the Governess, the Dark Destroyer, the Vixen and the Sinnerman would be as fiercely competitive off camera as they are on it, but the new Chaser, nicknamed The Menace, suggested otherwise.

He said: “We’re mildly competitive, but we are more of an encouraging team that works together, rather than trying to impress each other. Personally, I want to reach certain goals. I want to be good at this. So I do work quite hard at that. I do a lot of studying and I do work at it. Impressing myself is the main thing, I think.

“If you have a bad show they are incredibly sympathetic and they help you,” he added. “It’s a really nice environment that we all work in. We all try to help each other out. So I think they should be really happy with that. Mark will be writing down the numbers and the facts and figures.”

Far from being worried about losing his debut (“I don’t get nerves” he says) Ennis explained that even though he only won with seven seconds left, he was always confident about winning the Final Chase.

“I got a few wrong, five wrong,” he said. “At least two of those were because I really wasn’t paying attention to the questions properly. I kind of half heard what Brad had said and I had been thinking about the previous question and not focusing on the next one. I think if I could wipe my memory and go back again and concentrate properly, I might have only got two wrong.”

It was crucial to actually win his first show because bad first impressions were difficult to reverse.

Ennis said: “It’s like Heathrow Terminal 5: when it wasn’t going well the first day, everyone just wrote it off. It’s a thing that humans do: if something doesn’t work the first time people get a bias against you and they keep that in their mind always, no matter what the evidence is afterwards. So it was good to get a first win.”

Host Bradley Walsh was a complete gentleman to him when he joined the show.

He explained: “He was very kind, very friendly. He said, ‘Relax, don’t worry about anything. We’ll have a bit of back and forth. You give me a hard time, I’ll give you a hard time, but it’s all just fun. Just go out and do your thing.’

“I grew up in a household like that and I have a group of friends at home who are exactly like that. We give each other a terrible time, so it’s great.”

Bradley actually chose his nickname, The Menace.

Ennis said: “I really like it actually. I didn’t know my The Menace name until I walked out on set. I like it, it’s good.

The Chaser’s signature look of a paisley jacket and Western bootlace tie drew diverse opinions from The Chase fans, not that he was concerned.

“I had originally said that I genuinely didn’t care about the costume and that I would come out in a chicken suit if they wanted to – which I think they were tempted to do for a moment in time. They played around with a few different things. The tie is a bolo tie, a kind of Wild West thing. They found this really cool paisley material for the jacket. I really like the jacket.”

The Chase screens each weeknight at 5pm on ITV.

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