How to Beat the Chasers – according to the Chasers themselves
Thinking of applying for Beat the Chasers? Here are some top tips on how to win the show from the stars themselves.
ITV's Beat the Chasers returns to our screens on Monday, with contestants getting the chance to take on up to five Chasers in the ultimate quizzing challenge.
A spin-off to The Chase, this prime time gameshow is entering its fifth season and, if you've ever wanted to take on the panel of Chasers yourself, then we've got some useful advice for you.
In a series of exclusive interviews, RadioTimes.com spoke to stars Mark 'The Beast' Labbett, Shaun 'The Dark Destroyer' Wallace, Darragh 'The Menace' Ennis and Anne Hegerty's replacement Issa 'The Supernerd' Schultz as well as host Bradley Walsh ahead of the new series to get their top tips on how to win the show.
With thousands of pounds to win, here's your complete guide on how to beat the Chasers – with advice from the Chasers themselves.
If you don't know the question, just guess
The most common piece of advice that the Chasers had to give was for contestants to guess the answer to a question if they didn't know it.
"Any answer is better than pass," Labbett says. "If in doubt, go for the obvious one. 'Which playwright...' Say Shakespeare even if you don't have a clue. What fruit? Apple. What flower? Rose. What kind of creature? Bird is generally a pretty good one or fish."
Even the Chasers have to rely on educated guesses sometimes, with Labbett adding: "That's what we do and when they come good we're like, 'Ah – okay.'"
"In one game, a question was, 'Which American medical show...' and I was about to buzz Grey's Anatomy when someone else buzzed in Grey's Anatomy. It was just picking an American medical show, anything is better than a pass and as it happens, it was the right answer."
Meanwhile, Issa Schultz advises contestants not to waste too much time trying to guess an answer.
"One contestant, she was asked, 'Such and such is a moon of which planet?', and I think she was so overwhelmed by the question, she just went, 'Oh, oh.'
"Just move on. Move on. A guess is better than a pass. Just guess something if you can. Some people don't like to guess, they worry, 'Oh they'll think I'm an idiot because I said that instead of that,' but a guess is always better than a pass and do it quickly. Put it behind you."
If you get a question wrong, just move on
With it being so hard to get all the answers correct on Beat the Chasers, it's very likely that you might guess the wrong answer for at least one question. If that happens, forget about it and move on.
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"If you get one wrong, don't think, 'Oh I got it wrong.' Forget about it," Labbett says. "Dump it and concentrate on the next question [Bradley is] asking."
It's not uncommon for contestants to start panicking and find themselves spiralling when they get a question wrong, Darragh Ennis says.
"A lady who played, one of the questions started with 'What sport...' and she stopped listening to the question because she didn't know sport," he says. "And her answer was: 'Sport'. She'd stopped listening to the question and just panicked. It's so hard."
"Ultimately, just remember to have fun," Schultz advises. "Just put every question behind you and immediately focus on the next one."
Don't look at the clock
There's nothing more daunting than having to answer quick-fire questions with a panel of Chasers staring down at you with a limited amount of time to work with – so don't focus on the timer, Labbett says.
"Do not look around, do not look at the clock," he advises. "Keep concentrating on Bradley Walsh and the sound of his voice."
Don't get distracted by the big sums of money
Aside from the timer, the Chasers and the hot studio lights, there's also the prize money to think about when going on Beat the Chasers – but the key piece of advice host Bradley Walsh has is not to be dazzled by the Chasers' big offers and to carefully consider whether the time advance you'll get is worth it.
"One thing's for sure, if you're going to take on five Chasers and you've only got an eight second time advance, if they run out of time before you, you go home with the money. But if they get all their questions right, you can only afford to get two questions wrong under pressure and that is really tricky.
"Each question answer is around about four seconds, so you've got to gauge that and a lot of people come to the show not armed with that information. They don't really work that out. And consequently, what they'll do, they'll take on five chasers with an eight second time advantage because the Chasers have quite cleverly offered them big money."
He adds that if all you need is £15,000 or £20,000, choose a smaller number of Chasers to go up against for a bigger time advantage.
"You could take on three Chasers and get a 16 second time advantage then that's manageable but as soon as one of the Chasers goes, 'You know what, we'll give you £120,000,' all their strategy goes out of the window and they just look at the money."
Work out the Chasers' strongest and weakest topics
When it comes to Beat the Chasers homework, it's always worth figuring out which Chasers you want to avoid if you're weaker at certain topics and vice versa.
"The strategy lies in the choices that you make. If I'm not very good on sport, I don't want to play a team with The Dark Destroyer in it because he knows everything about sport," Walsh says. "If you don't know anything about art, then you're thinking if art questions come up, Paul Sinner is going to know everything about art."
He adds: "It's quite a tricky, tricky thing to do. You know, it's not easy and anyone coming on the show has my complete admiration, because I couldn't do it."
As for each of the Chasers' strengths and weaknesses, we've got that covered for you.
Shaun Wallace admits that he's fair game for any questions "except for soaps", while Mark Labbett says that while he's "fairly good" at sport questions, anything to do with art and culture isn't ideal for him.
"It's fair to say when the question starts, 'Which literature...' or 'Which author...' I'm already taking my hand away from the buzzer," he says.
For Darragh Ennis, modern music is where his general knowledge lets him down. "I stopped listening to music 20 years so anything pre-2000s I'm fine. Anything after that I'm very sketchy."
He adds: "A lot of the sort of pop culture things I'm no good on, you know, reality TV, soaps, things like that because I just don't watch them so that's Jenny's thing, I leave that to Jenny [Ryan]."
Meanwhile, Issa Schultz says while he can tackle history, geography, literature and science, he's "not very good" at sports or UK-related trivia. "I think there was a question about TOWIE on this series and I just tuned out. I know what TOWIE is but I'm not going to know the answer."
Take your own ability into consideration when choosing how many Chasers to face
As much as we'd all like to say we've taken on all six Chasers, sometimes you have to assess whether that's actually a wise option for you.
"You've got to take your own ability into consideration as well, players," Walsh says. "Because if you're not good under pressure and you're just having questions fired at you, you've got to think how many can I afford to get wrong.
"If I'm gonna get all of them right, it's fine. But if I miss a question or I panic, then I start getting one wrong and then you're bang in trouble."
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