Watch out, the game is about to get beasty. Consider yourself warned: The Beast is coming!
Oh yes, Chaser Mark Labbett aka ‘The Beast’ is all set to crack America after being signed up for the US remake of the smash show, The Chase.
The 55-year-old Mark has signed a lucrative six-figure deal with ABC to be the head Chaser for the US remake of the much-loved ITV game show, soon to be aired in America.
The popular brainbox was recently unveiled in a teaser on ABC as the fourth chaser on the show, joining returning Chasers (and Jeopardy! GOAT contestants) Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter. Known for his beast-like temper and even storming off the set twice when outsmarted by contestants, the fiery quizzer has been introduced to the American audience in the teaser as the new titan of trivia entering the arena.
While you might assume Mark Labbett was entitled ‘The Beast’ because of his towering 6ft 6in height and demeanour, one of his fellow British Chasers revealed that he’s a different person once he steps into the studio and transforms into his character for the show. “The way he scares the bejesus out of the contestants is the reason we call him The Beast!”
Also, in French, “La Bête” means “The Beast”, which is quite close to his surname Labbett. Co-incidence?
A source told The Sun newspaper, “Mark secretly relocated to LA last month – and has been having the time of his life. ABC poached him earlier this year because they felt the current Chaser panel was missing a bit of spark.”
According to the source, Mark was offered the show on the spot after a screen test, as he polled amazingly well among the US audiences.
The source said that Mark “could become one of the biggest UK exports in recent times.” They also added that TV execs think Mark has a ‘Clark Kent’ look about him, which can become a real hit with the ladies in America.
Well-known for his astounding trivia knowledge, Mark Labbett was one of the first Chasers in the show when it premiered in 2009. Also, he’s the only Chaser to be a part of the UK, the Australian as well as the U.S. versions of the ITV game show.
Mark was previously seen on GSN’s previous U.S. incarnation of The Chase as the sole Chaser between 2013 and 2015. Having played 600-plus quiz games, Mark has contested on popular shows like Brain Teaser, Mastermind, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Season 2 of the US version of the game show will be premiered on Sunday, June 6. The View’s Sara Haines hosts the show.
Mark Labbett, who is Oxford-educated and boasts an IQ of 151, will still be part of the UK series alongside host Bradley Walsh and his fellow British Chasers: Anne Hegerty, Shaun Wallace, Jenny Ryan, and Paul Sinha. Ahead of his move to States, the channel gave their blessing for his American adventure. He is expected to return in the summer to film more episodes of the hit quiz.
The Chase airs on weekdays at 5 pm on ITV and is also available on ITV Player.
The confident quizzer has also been snapped up by a ‘top agent’ in LA who hopes to broker him lucrative TV deals and even a Hollywood shot if things fall in place.