The ITV game show, The Chase which has been airing since 2009 has given us one of the best chasers in the game history. He is the English television personality, Mark Labbett. Popularly known as The Beast, his imposing size and glaring intelligence, as well as his quick wit, make him a perfect foil for the contestants on the show.
Since he first discovered his interest in quizzing in the 1990s – after several winnings from the quiz machines, the teacher-turned-quizzer has not looked back. He has appeared in several television quiz shows and is a regular in quizzing competitions such as the U.S. and Australian version of The Chase.
Mark Labbett Bio
The Chase star and genius quizzer was born on August 15, 1965, in Tiverton, Devon as Mark Andrew Labbett. Labbett was nicknamed “The Beast” as a result of his last name which sounds like the French word for beast, La Bete.
He attended Exeter College, Oxford where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in mathematics. He also obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in secondary education and legal CPE (Common Professional Examination) and LPC (Legal Practice Course) qualifications from the University of Exeter and the University of South Wales (then the University of Glamorgan) respectively.
Prior to his participation in The Chase as a star quizzer, he was a teacher in secondary schools. He taught in South Wales’ Caldicot Comprehensive and worked as a supply teacher in Maths and physical education at Cove School in Farnborough.
He worked at Butlins holiday camp and supplemented his income with winnings from the quiz machines. With regular wins from the machine, Mark became interested in quizzing and decided to take a plunge at it. He started appearing in TV game and quiz shows in the late 1990s, becoming a regular in quizzing competitions and TV quiz shows. In 1999 and 2000, he was on the British game show, Mastermind where his special subjects were the Olympics and The Simpsons respectively.
Since then, he has appeared and contested in numerous shows including Countdown (2000), Grand Slam (2003), the Channel 5 show Brain Teaser where he won $500 in 2004. In 2005, he won a whopping $1,500 on BBC One’s SUDO-Q and has not slowed down a bit. On to a live version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Millionaire Live and a prize of £32,000 in 2005; other appearances include The National Lottery People’s Quiz (2007) where he finished in the second place, University Challenge, Are You an Egghead? (2008), Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (2016), and Celebrity Juice (2017).
Other than individual performances and victories on the numerous shows he has contested in, he has also racked in wins with others either as part of a team or a leader. In April 2001, he competed and won a weekend in Paris along with his pub team in Jumbo Quiz, led the Welsh quiz team in 2006 to the European Quizzing Championships where they finished in the fifth place, and in 2009, his team, the Rugby Boys won Only Connect, a BBC Four’s game show.
Mark Labbett has garnered wide prominence by simply being a genius and as such was nicknamed the Brain Box. He has also received several mentions and accolades such as being ranked as the 17th top quizzer in the country in 2007 and five years later, the 81st in the World Quizzing Championships.
For the avid quizzer, fame came calling in 2009 when he first appeared on the ITV game show The Chase hosted by Bradley Walsh as a Chaser (a quiz show master). He has since appeared on the U.S. version of the show from 2013 to 2015 and is one of the five chasers on the Australian version of the show since 2016.
Viewers see him as a beast on the show at quizzers with a keen mind and quick wit as he tries to keep them away from the prize. But that is why he is on the show as a chaser in the first place: to prevent contestants from winning a cash prize. He was a teacher for 15 years and knows how to treat a badly behaved student thus, his display on the show could be alluding to his teaching experience.
Besides the show, Labbett also took part in another ITV series known as Sugar Free Farm in 2016. On the show which sees celebrities take on a sugar-free diet, he revealed he has false top teeth resulting from consuming too much sugar. A big fan of pro wrestling, Mark Labbett became a producer for Hull-based wrestling promotion known as New Generation Wrestling (NGW) in 2016.
Backdating to the days when he had to supplement his income with winnings from quiz machine, he has risen beyond then to a celebrity status. He has amassed a net worth of $2 million through the years.
Mark Labbett Family, Wife, Children
The grumpy but gameshow favorite Chaser was born alongside two younger brothers, Paul and Philip to Carolyn and Jon Labbett.
He is married to Katie, who described him as a big softie. She is also his second cousin, a fact the duo said they were unaware of when they first met. They tied the knot at Arundel Cathedral, West Sussex, England in October 2014. Katie who is 27 years his junior works as an artist and illustrator. She helped her husband trim down by eliminating sugar from his diet after he was diagnosed with Type-II diabetes.
They are parents to a son whose identity they are yet to reveal and live together in Moorgate, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Mark Labbett Height, Weight
One thing Labbett became conscious of was his diet after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2017. With the help of his wife, he made wise choices about his diet and in six months, he lost four inches from his chest and six inches off his belly. The Beast was elated at the result that he took to Twitter to gush about his impressive weight loss in February 2018.
Height: 6′ 6″ (1.98 m)
Weight: 380 lb (172 kg)