13/12/2016 16:46 GMT

'The Chase': Chaser Mark 'The Beast' Labbett Reveals He Brings 'Element Of Confrontation'

Mark recently punched the set after losing a round.

Mark “The Beast” Labbett has revealed he believes he, alone among ‘The Chase’ professional quizzers, “brings that element of confrontation”.

He says: “I don’t mean ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’, but you may notice the quips. In sporting terms, I’d call it sledging. I think sledging is fine, abuse is wrong.”

This “element of confrontation” proved something of an understatement when viewers of a recent episode watched Mark punch the set in his frustration at losing £60,000 to a group of newcomers. Watch him in action above. 

Mark first made his mark on the quizzing world as a contestant on University Challenge back in 1996, appearing as a post-graduate student for Glamorgan. He says now of his early triumph: “Everything that could go right did go right.”

He is one of the featured subjects of BBC Four documentary ‘How Quizzing Got Cool: TV’s Brains Of Britain’, which follows the history of how professional quizzers have gone from nerdy corners of pub saloons to the stars of mainstream telly.

Mark congratulated his rivals, but his dissatisfaction was evident

Mark says: “The standard of quizzing in Britain is much higher than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but there are now quiz shows where you can show off this knowledge. I didn’t expect this to be a career because it didn’t exist up to seven years ago. I’m lucky enough to have fallen into the job I was designed to do.”

Mark joins several professional quizzers as the person to beat by more conventionally-minded contestants on ‘The Chase’, and he goes some way to explaining his extraordinary capacity for retaining information in the documentary. He says:

“When it comes to learning general knowledge, I’m one of these lucky people who’s got what I call a sticky memory. I go through life absorbing facts.”

And walls.

‘How Quizzing Got Cool: TV’s Brains Of Britain’ is available to watch on BBCiPlayer. 

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