The Chasers’ secret off-screen lives – from jobs before The Chase to saucy romances

Beastie Boy used to be a supply teacher
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Mark Labbett wasn't always known as The Beast – but imagine him walking into your classroom.

Before going on The Chase, Devonshire-born Mark studied Mathematics at Oxford, obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Exeter University and gained legal CPE and LPC qualifications from the University of Glamorgan.

Mark started out as a PE and Maths supply teacher at a secondary school in Newport, South Wales, which must have been terrifying for his students.

But he first gained an interest in the world of quizzing while working at a Butlins holiday camp and quadrupled his wages by making money on the quiz machines.

"I discovered the quiz machines in the bar ," Mark told The Guardian in 2007. "I really enjoyed playing and it was also lucrative.

"At the beginning of the week I banked my £55 wage, except for £3 or £4 which I played on the machines. By the end of the week, I'd have £200 in coins."

Mark worked as a question writer for a quiz company before joining the big TV quizzing circuit, appearing on Mastermind in 1999 and 2000 with the Olympic Games and The Simpsons as his two specialist subjects.

But his big break came on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in April 2006 where he took home a whopping £32,000 from the famous hot seat.

Mark Labbett with his ex Katie, who he had no idea was his cousin when they met
(Image: S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

He scooped £500 on Channel 5 show BrainTeaser, £1,500 with two friends on BBC One's SUDO-Q and has also appeared on The National Lottery People's Quiz, University Challenge and Are You an Egghead?.

Beastie Boy then joined the UK version of The Chase and was such a hit he was also selected for the American and Australian editions.

As for his personal life, Mark found his wife Katie while speaking on Facebook and found an instant connection despite the 27-year age gap.

The couple got married in 2014 but discovered that they are actually related after their wedding day – Mark's dad and Katie's father are first cousins.

Opening up about the unusual discovery, Mark insisted: "It wasn't something we were aware of at the time – it was one of those things that happened."

The second cousins enjoyed several happy years of marriage and had a son named Lawrence, who is now four.

However, things started going downhill when Katie began having an affair with design engineer Scott Bate behind Mark's back.

Eventually Mark discovered his wife was cheating but despite the heartbreak agreed to have an open marriage in a bid to keep his family together.

Mark and Katie tried to make it work but have now split
(Image: PA)

Speaking to The Sun about their arrangement, Mark explained: "When Katie first came clean to me about her boyfriend, I’d had an inkling. But right from the start, my attitude was quite pragmatic – this was spilled milk, what could we do about the situation to make it OK?

"We had a family. We couldn't just throw that away lightly. There were other considerations."

However, pressure started to build and the Covid-19 pandemic created a "perfect storm" which led to the end of their marriage.

Katie confirmed that the 27-year-age gap between her and Mark became a factor in her seeking a romantic relationship with younger man Scott.

"Scott and I are together now, and Mark knows everything," confirmed Katie, who said her new partner provided a level of romanticism and emotionality that Mark was not giving.

The pair will continue to co-parent their three-year-old son are determined to remain a strong family unit for his sake.

Last year, Mark told The Sun: "There was never any deceit on Katie's part but it's got to the point now where I realise it is better for us to go our separate ways and remain friendly."

Anne Hegerty

Anne Heggarty has vowed to never quit the ITV show
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Anne Hegerty makes the news now but she started her career as a journalist writing the stories.

The Governess worked as a reporter and features writer for the South Wales Argus until she moved to Manchester.

She also had a secret career as a ghost-writer, writing two books under the name of author-illustrator Richard Scarry – with his permission of course.

Soon Anne's passion for quizzing took over and she made appearances on Mastermind, Fifteen to One, Today's the Day, Are you an Egghead? and Brain of Britain.

The two time Brain of Bolton winner also helped pal Lisa win £75,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in 2010 as a 'phone a friend', correctly guessing the right answer to a Twilight question.

In October 2016, Anne was ranked 55th in the World Quizzing Championships, which put her in second place for all women.

Anne joined The Chase in 2010 and took on the role of the fearsome 'Governess', quickly becoming fan favourite and is currently the joint-top record holder with The Sinnerman.

As well as taking down opponents on The Chase, Anne has been scaring and entertaining audiences in pantomimes including Dick Whittington and Sleeping Beauty.

Anne Hegerty has opened up on her sex life before

Anne headed down under for I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in 2018 – finishing in seventh place – showing a very different side to herself and bravely speaking about being diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 45.

The presenter has also hosted her own ITV game show, Britain's Brightest Family.

Surprisingly, Anne has actually been pretty candid about her past relationships and sex life but ruled out settling down in the future

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday in 2019, Anne said that she has tried dating in the past but thinks having Asperger's syndrome would make it "unfair" on her partners.

"It took years of psychotherapy before I even considered dating. I lost weight, replaced my glasses with contact lenses and felt a lot more confident. But I find it really hard to hold down a relationship," she said.

Opening up about her past, Anne says her longest relationship lasted several months but said the sex failed to match up to her expectations.

"The longest was with a man I met at the Mastermind Club. I’d fancied him for years and we were together for four months,” she said.

"And sex was always better in my head, I felt like I was somewhere else while it was happening… It made me realise I needed space both mentally and physically in life, and I can’t make it work," she explained.

Anne doesn't think she will embark on a future romance
(Image: ITV)

During The Chaser's Road Trip, which aired on ITV earlier this year, Anne opened up about being single and her previous relationships.

"One of the things that really goes along with autism, I really can't hold down relationships. I've tried," she explained.

"My longest relationship ever was four months and that only lasted that long because he lived in Brighton and I lived in Manchester.

"He was a lovely bloke but I'm just not good with the sort of amount of attention that people need."

Anne has now fully given up on relationships as being single is "brilliant" and advises friends in bad ones to just be on their own.

"I still get attracted to people, but there’s no point in pursuing it," she said.

"Quite apart from the fact that I’m probably not his type… I’m going to leave him very baffled and wondering what he’s done wrong. I love being isolated.

"It’s brilliant. I really don’t feel I’m missing out on relationships. I’m doing fine."

Paul Sinha

Paul Sinha is a trained GP
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Paul Sinha is used to helping people get better, which is funny because he usually makes contestants feel ill on The Chase.

The Sinnerman is a fully qualified doctor, training at St George's Hospital medical school before becoming a GP in 1995.

While there he discovered a new passion for performing on stage as a comedian, promoting himself as "the world's only gay Anglo-Bengali GP turned stand up comedian".

While he was a junior doctor Paul took part in St George's annual revue and used his comedic talents as co-editor of the medical school newsletter known as the 'Slag Mag'.

In his early material he would use his sexuality and ethnicity as material and his big breakthrough came with his second solo Edinburgh Fringe festival show 'Saint or Sinha?'.

Paul has fronted a whopping nine different shows from 2004 to 2018, most recently in 2008 show The Two Ages of Man.

Paul was spotted by TV bosses and was given appearances on Comedy Central's The Alternative Comedy Experience in 2013 and on BBC Radio 4 in his own show The Sinha Games, as well as his own series, Paul Sinha's History Revision in 2014.

Alongside the comedy, the quizzing expert has shown off his brain power on a number of TV gameshows including The Weakest Link, Are You an Egghead?, Brain of Britain and Mastermind.

Paul Sinha on his wedding day with husband Olly
(Image: Internet Unknown)

Also known as 'The Smiling Assassin', Paul was the first person to join the original line-up of Chasers in 2011 and has the joint-highest record on the show alongside The Governess.

Paul married his partner Olly Levy back in December 2019 after popping the question the January before, having previously stated they were in an open relationship.

Their wedding was the "greatest day" of Paul's life and he entertained his 75 guests with a self-written song and dance number at the reception.

"Halfway through the song, I was thinking, "I am having the f***ing time of my life," said Paul. "My clan were meeting his clan, and everything was wonderful in the world."

Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2019 and has been supported by Olly through his tough journey.

"When we got engaged I don't think he knew how traumatic the year was going to be," Paul said, who referred ti his husband as his "rock".

"But we coped, and it's better being married, there is a more solid bond, and we have needed it, because of what's happened."

Shaun Wallace

Shaun Wallace is better known as 'The Dark Destroyer'
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

One of the original Chasers, Shaun Wallace started his career in the courtroom and was called to the Bar in 1984.

'The Dark Destroyer' completed his pupilage two years late and the barrister has been part of hearings at the Old Bailey and several magistrates' courts across the country.

Shaun has been part of the Jamaican Bar since 1999 and is also a member of the southeastern circuit of the Criminal Bar Association.

The talented competitor won Mastermind with the chosen specialist subject of FA Cup Finals in 2004 narrowly lost out in the final of the first series of Are You an Egghead? and has also appeared on Fifteen to One and The Weakest Link.

Shaun started on The Chase in 2009, becoming famous for his catchphrase: "Just another day at the office."

As well as being a Chaser in the UK, Shaun was invited to take part in the Australian version of the show and been in Countdown's Dictionary Corner.

It's not all been quiz shows as Shaun took part in rowing competition Don't Rock The Boat last year and released his aptly named autobiography – Chasing The Dream – in 2018.

Shaun hasn't revealed much about his private life

Shaun also became a reporter for Good Morning Britain in October last year during Black history month.

Outside of the show, Shaun is a part-time lecturer and visits schools and colleges to educate students on aspects of law.

Not much is known about his relationship status but The Chase star was left fuming last August when a 'lie' about his married life was allowed to remain on Wikipedia.

It was claimed he had been married to a woman named Matilda Bray since 1990 on the site, something which Shaun insists is not true.

The Sun on Sunday claimed he had been sending strongly worded letters to Wikipedia to insist they stop claiming he is married to a woman named Matilda, with a source saying: "There is no Matilda, never was."

On the recent series of The Chaser's Road Trip, it was revealed that Shaun loves walking round without many clothes on.

Mark constantly moaned about Shaun repeatedly flashing his behind while they were forced to live alongside each other for the spin-off series.

Shaun's naked exploits are certainly something that any potential future partner would need to get used to.

Jenny Ryan

Jenny is The Vixen on The Chase
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Jenny is no stranger to a TV quiz show and was actually working on The Chase before getting her big role.

The 'Bolton Braniac' helped Leeds University make it to the semi-finals on University Challenge in 2003 and has also appeared on Only Connect, The Weakest Link and Fifteen to One.

In 2006 she went on Mastermind with the chosen subject of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and tried to get on a rival show on both series of BBC show Are You an Egghead? in 2008 and 2009, but didn't get a place in their ranks.

Their loss was The Chase's gain as she joined the show in 2015, but it wasn't The Vixen's first involvement in the programme as she was previously a question writer.

"I actually worked on the pilot of The Chase and wrote the questions on it," she told RadioTimes.

"All the questions I wrote have long since been used. If I could remember every question I ever wrote I’d be the world quiz champion."

It was actually fellow Chaser Anne Hegerty who recommended Jenny for the role as the close friends are part of the same weekly quiz team.

Jenny was sensational on The Celebrity X Factor
(Image: Dymond/Thames/Syco/REX/Shutterstock)

After a hectic nine months of screen tests, The Vixen became a Chaser and was given her nickname by host Bradley Walsh because "vixens are notoriously clever and cunning".

Outside of the quizzing world, Jenny is actually an incredible singer and made it to the live shows on Celebrity X Factor in 2019.

She was controversially booted out of the competition at the judges' houses stage but was eventually given a place after a public backlash and finished in third place.

Jenny could certainly woo a partner with her incredible singing voice, but it is not currently known whether Jenny is in a relationship with anyone.

Although she did previously mention a "boyfriend" on social media but remained fiercely private about his identity.

Mentioning her significant other in 2016, Jenny wrote: "My boyfriend is shark phobic but dog-obsessed so I am showing him all #BarkWeek pics to help him get over his fear. Cheers x."

So far it has not been established who this mystery man is and whether they are still or ever were together.

Darragh Ennis

Darragh Ennis is the newest Chaser
(Image: ITV)

Darragh 'The Menace' Ennis only started as a Chaser at the end of last year but has already cemented his position.

The neuroscientist has worked at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in the country of his birth and at Concordia University in Montreal.

Alongside his duties on The Chase, Darragh is currently studying the brains of insects as a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University.

The Chase bosses wanted to call him 'The Professor' due to his university background, but Darragh blocked the idea as he felt he had not earned the prestigious title and was given 'The Menace' instead.

When he first appeared as a Chaser in November it wasn't the first time that Darragh had made an appearance on the show as he was previously a contestant in 2017.

Darragh led his team to victory against one of his new co-workers, The Sinnerman, and was so impressive he was invited to an audition by producers.

"A couple of days after recording I got a phone call from one of the producers – which I originally thought was a joke, and then it turned out it was real – and they were asking me to come in for auditions so I just went in," he revealed on This Morning.

Darragh appeared on The Chase as a contestant back in 2017
(Image: ITV)

"I spent a very long time – that was four years ago. So I spent a very long time doing auditions and trials and training before they trusted me on the show."

Now he's a show favourite, Darragh has been getting a lot of attention and been inundated with people offering their hands in marriage.

"Since I started on The Chase I've had many marriage proposals," he told The Daily Star, "I must have had about 40 people asking if I'm married or would I marry them and would I meet up with them."

Unfortunately for his many admirers, Darragh is happily married and has had to turn down all those attempting to win his heart.

"I find it funny rather than flattering," he laughed.

Presenter Bradley Walsh has already branded him "Mr Smooth" and "Mr Suave" but Darragh isn't confident he will be in the running for the next James Bond.

Admitting he "would be terrible at it", Darragh joked that he would "jump" at the chance to play the secret agent once Daniel Craig hangs up his gun.

*Beat The Chasers airs all this week on ITV at 9pm and The Chase airs weekdays on ITV at 5pm