My Celebrity Life

The Chase: What were the Chasers’ day jobs before joining the show?

My Celebrity Life –
The Chasers had some pretty diverse careers before TV stardom came beckoning (Picture: ITV)

The Chase wouldn’t be the same without its line-up of hard-to-beat general knowledge experts – or as we know them, The Chasers.

The six of them have certainly made their mark on the show since it first took to the airwaves in 2009, seeing off challenges from countless contestants aiming to beat them at their home game and head home with as much prize money as possible – not that they’re entirely unbeatable, mind.

And thanks to their time on the show, the Chasers have become celebrities in their own right – but just what did they all do for a living before game show stardom came beckoning?

Here’s what you need to know about the Chasers’ past professions…

What were The Chasers’ day jobs before joining The Chase?

Mark Labbett

My Celebrity Life –
Mark Labbett honed his love of quizzes while working at Butlins (Picture: ITV)

He might have become a household name as The Beast on The Chase, but before the small screen came beckoning Mark Labbett worked as a PE and maths supply teacher in Newport, South Wales.

He’s also worked as a question writer for pub quiz company Redtooth, as well as at Butlins holiday camp – which is where he first began his forays into quizzing, supplementing his income with his winnings from the quiz machines on site.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2007 Mark explained: ‘I discovered the quiz machines in the bar.’

‘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.’

Anne Hegerty

My Celebrity Life –
Anne Hegerty has a journalistic background (Picture: ITV)

Prior to becoming known as The Governess, Anne Hegerty was a journalist, beginning her reporting career in 1980 at the South Wales Argus in Newport before she moved to Manchester.

She has also worked as a ghostwriter, penning two books under the name of children’s author-illustrator Richard Scarry.

Anne explained this on Twitter in 2019: ‘I actually once wrote two books under the name Richard Scarry. (With his permission, I should add. He couldn’t do EVERYTHING himself.) They were a bit rubbish and nobody bought them.

 ‘They were sticker books. The publishing firm I was working for had a licence to cannibalise Scarry books and use the art in other books (provided we cleared the new text and storylines with his son Huck).’

Shaun Wallace

My Celebrity Life –
You wouldn’t want to face Shaun Wallace in court (Picture: ITV)

He might be a fearsome quiz opponent, but you might not want to come up against Shaun Wallace – aka The Dark Destroyer – in a courtoom either, since he is a qualified barrister.

Shaun – one of the original Chasers – was called to the Bar in 1984 and completed his pupilage in 1986.

His career has seen him take part in hearings at the Old Bailey as well as magistrates courts across Britain.

Elsewhere, Shaun has appeared in the Australian version of The Chase and as the Dictionary Corner guest in Countdown, as well as contributing to Good Morning Britain during Black History Month in 2020 – and becoming the first black winner of Mastermind in 2004.

Away from the TV, he’s a part-time lecturer, delivering talks on aspects of law in schools, colleges and other educational institutions.

Paul Sinha

My Celebrity Life –
Paul Sinha is both a doctor and a comedian (Picture: ITV)

As well as being a quiz whiz Paul Sinha – aka the Sinnerman – is also a qualified doctor, who went to St George’s Hospital medical school in the early to mid-90s.

He became a GP in 1995, but while training he took part in the medical school’s annual revue, developing a taste for stand-up comedy.

Paul continued to perform while working as a doctor, billing himself as ‘the world’s only gay Anglo-Bengali GP turned stand-up comedian’.

He’s performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival nine times, as well as appearing on Comedy Central’s show The Alternative Comedy Experience, and in two shows for BBC Radio 4 – The Sinha Games, an Olympics-themed show which aired around the time of London 2012, and 2014’s Paul Sinha’s History Revision.

Jenny Ryan

My Celebrity Life –
Jenny Ryan has a background in question writing (Picture: ITV)

Jenny Ryan – The Vixen – is one of the newer arrivals on The Chase, having been a part of the series since 2015.

But her association with the show dates back further than that – prior to appearing on The Chase, she worked as a quiz show question writer, and even penned questions for the series.

Speaking to the Radio Times Jenny explained: ‘I actually worked on the pilot of The Chase and wrote the questions on it.

‘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.’

Darragh Ennis

My Celebrity Life –
Darragh Ennis has a scientific mind (Picture: ITV)

The show’s newest arrival, Darragh Ennis – The Menace – is a qualified neuroscientist and entomologist.

The Irish-born Chaser has worked as a biomedical scientist, as well as completing postdoctoral research at university in Montreal, Canada.

Currently, when he’s not putting the fear up Chase contestants, he is a lab manager and research technician at Oxford University – where he specialises in researching the brains of insects.

The Chase airs weekdays on ITV at 5pm.


Credit: Original article published here.

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