But the 40-year-old Irish post-doctoral research neuro-scientist got cautious approval from many fans.
One tweeted: “It’s a thumbs up from me time to concentrate on the game #thechase”.
Another wrote: “Ooooh I like this new Chaser. Got to settle in a bit but very knowledgeable and calm. Good addition to a strong team”.
His curly hair was a focus for many: “Loving Ennis the Menace. He’s making me feel all nostalgic for the 70’s perm #TheChase”.
He even sparked a limerick, appropriately.
They've got a new chaser called Darragh
Whose musical taste is quite narrer
His science is shit hot
Though his dress sense is not
But he'll fit in quite nicely, begarrah #TheChase
— Dai Lowe ???? (@dailowe) November 19, 2020
Ennis inevitably drew comparisons to the other Chasers: “Not a surprise the new chaser is a bit nervous, big shoes/expectations to fill, I’m sure he’ll find his groove. Though nobody will ever compare to Anne… wish she could be the only chaser!”
The new Chaser is basically “Irish Kevin Keegan, in cowboy get up”.
The new chaser is basically Irish Kevin Keegan, in cowboy get up.#TheChase
— Sophie (@sophiebiddulph) November 19, 2020
The lookalike theme quickly became a meme with The Chase fans. But Stan Boardman? Really?
— Smarter than your average beer (@onlyher08591011) November 19, 2020
Fans had waited patiently for The Menace to begin his career after ITV teased his debut for weeks. It felt like years for some.
— ???????????? Jay Bell Rock ???????????? (@Jamesy_c1) November 18, 2020
Other variations on the theme included Lovejoy star Ian McShane, ’70s disco star Leo Sayer and comedian Mickey Flanagan.
Even current Chaser Jenny “The Vixen” Ryan realised the ITV schedulers had pushed fans far with his delayed debut.
The schedulers are truly torturing the viewership at the moment! Two 'me' episodes in three days, and STILL no New Chaser… #TheChase
— Jenny Ryan (@jenlion) November 18, 2020
The Menace managed to catch two of the players in the knockout round, but he showed some nerves in the two-minute final chase making five mistakes until he pulled himself together and a run of correct answers in the final 40 seconds meant to caught the two-person team with a few seconds left.
Ennis admitted he was “relieved” to catch them. But overall it was a dream start and a welcome fresh face for The Chase team.
A fan of The Chase commented at the end of his debut: “Darragh Ennis- the new chaser on ITV’s the Chase. I love seeing a new face amongst the chasers! Quite a subdued, relaxed personality but I’m sure he’ll become a firm favourite! I was rooting for him to win! ”
Earlier, host Bradley Walsh labelled him the “Dublin Dynamo” and “D Ennis The Menace” and added: “Another Chaser? ANOTHER CHASER? That’s another person cleverer than me on The Chase. I must have words with the producers. But I can’t wait to educate Darragh on the important things in life; custard creams, cowboy films and real ale.”