Mark Labbett (born 15 August 1965) is an English television personality best known for his role as a "Chaser" on the ITV game show The Chase in the United Kingdom. He took up this role in 2009 and has since appeared on the American version as their sole Chaser in 2013 and as one of five Chasers on the Australian version since 2016. He has also appeared in several television quiz shows and is a regular in quizzing competitions.
Life and career
Labbett was born in Tiverton, Devon, to Carolyn and John Labbett. He moved to Caldicot, Monmouthshire, in 1998 and then to nearby Newport, in 2003 before moving to Moorgate, Rotherham, in 2013. He now lives in Herefordshire.
Labbett obtained a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from Exeter College, Oxford, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in secondary education from the University of Exeter and legal CPE and LPC qualifications from the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales). He taught in secondary schools, and worked as a supply teacher in maths and physical education.
Labbett became interested in quizzing when working at Butlins holiday camp, where he supplemented his income with winnings from the quiz machines. His pub quiz team won a weekend in Paris in April 2001 after competing in the national competition, Jumbo Quiz.
Labbett works as a question writer for Redtooth, a quiz company from Barlborough near Chesterfield in Derbyshire. After two years of part-time work as a promoter for them, he moved to South Yorkshire in 2013 in order to work more often with them, but he no longer lives there. He now lives in Herefordshire.
In 2012, Labbett was ranked 81st in the World Quizzing Championships.
Labbett appeared on Mastermind in 1999, where his specialist subject was the Olympic Games. He appeared again on Mastermind in 2000, with the animated television show The Simpsons as his specialist subject. Also in 2000, he competed on Countdown, narrowly losing his first game on a crucial conundrum.
In 2004 he won £500 on the Channel 5 show BrainTeaser, and a year later he won £1,500 on BBC One's SUDO-Q. In 2005, he won £32,000 on Millionaire Live, a live version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? that toured seaside resorts throughout the summer. As captain, he led the Welsh quiz team to fifth place in the 2006 European Quizzing Championships. In 2007, he was ranked as the 17th top quizzer in the country.
Labbett's team, the Rugby Boys, won BBC Four's Only Connect in 2009. Other television appearances include The National Lottery People's Quiz (2007) where he came second in the grand final, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, where he won £32,000, and University Challenge.
Labbett is one of the "Chasers" in the ITV teatime quiz The Chase, first broadcast in 2009 and hosted by Bradley Walsh. In the show, his nickname is "The Beast", a two-pronged nickname referencing both his stature and his surname (Labbett sounds like the French la bête, meaning "the beast").
Since August 2013, Labbett has appeared as the only Chaser on the U.S. version of The Chase on Game Show Network. He also appears as one of five Chasers on the Australian version of The Chase on the Seven Network, alongside fellow UK Chaser Anne Hegerty.
Quiz show appearances
- Mastermind (1999, 2000) – contestant
- Countdown (2000) – contestant
- BrainTeaser (2004) – contestant
- SUDO-Q (2005) – contestant
- University Challenge – contestant
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – contestant
- The National Lottery People's Quiz (2007) – contestant
- Only Connect (2009) – Contestant
- The Chase (2009–present) – Chaser
- The Chase USA (2013–2015) – Chaser
- Sugar Free Farm (2016) – participant
- The Chase Australia (2016–present) – Chaser
Labbett married his wife and second cousin, Katie, in October 2014 at Arundel Cathedral. He has two younger brothers, Paul and Philip.