The Chase is one of the most popular gameshows on TV, but how is it made, and what goes on behind the scenes?
We caught up with host Bradley Walsh and Jenny ‘the vixen’ Ryan to find out.
How many episodes of The Chase are filmed in a day?
Three episodes of the show are filmed in a day, which means it only takes a day and half to film a whole week’s worth of The Chase!
How long does it take to film an episode of The Chase?
Obviously the episodes aren’t recorded completely “as live” throughout, but there not far from it! It only takes about an hour and a half to film each episode, which runs on ITV as an hour with adverts. “It runs like clockwork,” said Walsh.
Does Bradley Walsh know which chaser is going to play in each episode?
Walsh genuinely doesn’t know which chaser is going to appear on each episode. New chaser Jenny ‘the vixen’ Ryan told us she tiptoes into the studio so Walsh can’t hear her heels clicking on the floor!
Do the chasers really walk to their desk for every new episode?
Yes! The chasers film their walk to the desk fresh each time, it’s not a pre-record – they really are earning their money in each episode!
How do the chasers come up with the offers for contestants?
It may look like chasers pluck the figures they offer the contestants out of thin air, but producers tell them what they can offer before they sit at the desk. So the chasers don’t have to take a calculator to their desk too, it seems.
Does Bradley Walsh see the questions before he asks them?
No. Bradley Walsh doesn’t see the questions beforehand: “The second the contestant sees the question, that’s when I see the question.”
Do the question writers try to make Bradley Walsh slip up?
The question writers do try and make Walsh laugh, to re-create that Fanny Chmelar moment. “Of course they do!” Walsh told RadioTimes.com. “That’s their bent. That is exactly what they do. They deliberately go out of their way to find questions that will trip me up.”
Who writes the questions for The Chase?
It’s not just anyone writing the questions either: world quizzing champion, Olav Bjortomt, is actually one of the question writers on the show.
Is the final chase edited or filmed in one go?
The final chase is almost always filmed in one go. “98% in one hit,” said Walsh.
When does the final chase get stopped or restarted by producers?
The final chase can be stopped and re-started if Walsh stumbles on a question. “If there is a slight misread, I am stopped immediately – bang – by the lawyers. We have the compliance lawyers in the studio all the time. What you have to do is go back to the start of the question, literally on video tape where my mouth opens – or where it’s closed from the previous question – and the question is re-asked. It is stopped to the split second. ”
“It means no time is lost for either the contestant or the chaser,” he added.
Does Bradley Walsh have a time limit on his questions?
Walsh is aware of the speed at which he asks the questions: “You have to be at such a speed: if you’re a contestant and I go ‘what’s… the capital… of France… ‘ they’d be dead and buried in thirty seconds. I have to make sure they get up to speed and they’re getting about 18 or 19 questions answered correctly. That’s the real banana skin score [that will trip the chasers up]. Once the chasers get in a rhythm there’s no stopping them. They can answer 24, 25 questions in two minutes. We’ve even almost reached thirty.”
What’s the average time it takes Bradley Walsh to ask a question on The Chase?
It’s about 3.6-4 seconds on average to ask and answer a question.
Do the chasers care if they lose?
The chasers are genuinely miffed if they don’t win. “Have you seen Mark [Mark Labbett aka ‘The Beast’] thump the desk? It’s their reputation on the line,” Walsh explained.
Are the chasers all friends?
The chasers know each other pretty well. In fact, Anne Hegerty is a member of Jenny’s own quiz team – and the latter quite enjoys bossing her about.
Who is Bradley Walsh’s favourite chaser?
Walsh won’t be drawn on a favourite chaser: “Anne and I get on so great, we have such a laugh, I love ‘The Beast’ because he gives me plenty of stick and he takes it, he’s a great lad. Shaun [Wallace] and I are actually twins, but we were born two days apart. We’re exactly the same age, although I do look a lot older than him and he’s always telling me that. We’re big football fans, I’m Arsenal and he’s Chelsea. It’s great to have Jenny on board and Paul [Sinha] was a stand up, as was I. They’re so brilliant, they’ve all got their own thing, it’s great. They’ve got their own characters and they’re own way of working.”