'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.

<strong>Mark congratulated his rivals, but his dissatisfaction was evident</strong>
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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