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Inside The Chase's Beast's 'open marriage' with his own cousin


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The Chase star Mark Labbett is one of the most almighty quizzers on TV – best known for being The Beast.

The mighty quizzer swiftly rose up to become one of the hardest chasers to beat on the ITV programme.

He is best known for his stint alongside Bradley Walsh and the other chasers, but Mark even went on to take part in other TV quiz shows all around the world.

The 55-year-old genius has tried to keep his love life and family struggles under wraps over the years, but his open marriage with ex-wife and cousin Katie Labbett has been splashed across many newspapers and websites regardless.

When the couple first began doing joint interviews, they appeared very much loved-up despite the huge age difference between them, the Daily Star reports.

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Mark has kept most of his private life out of the spotlight, but his relationship has faced controversy

Unfortunately, Mark announced he was splitting up with Katie, 28, in August last year, after five years of marriage.

The duo first met in 2010 after meeting on Facebook, and in a bizarre twist of fate, only discovered that they were actually related after they tied the knot.

It turned out Mark and Katie’s dads are first cousins, making the former couple second cousins.

Mark discussed the realisation in numerous interviews, explaining he and Katie had had no idea they were related before they fell for each other.

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“It wasn’t something we were aware of at the time – it was one of those things that happened,” he said.

For a while the couple lived happily ever after – Katie gave birth to their son Lawrence, now four, and they were regularly spotted grinning and holding hands on the red carpet.

Yet when Mark discovered that Katie had embarked on a secret relationship with design engineer Scott Bate, instead of breaking up with his cheating wife he agreed to try an open marriage.

“When Katie first came clean to me about her boyfriend, I’d had an inkling,” the quizzer told The Sun at the time.

“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,” Mark shared.

Despite his desperate attempts to keep their family together, the couple agreed to divorce last year, with Mark stating that the coronavirus pandemic had created a “perfect storm” to end their relationship.

Mark and his wife Katie
Mark and his ex wife Katie

Fans of the ITV entertainment show don’t get to hear much about the chaser’s private life, but they can’t avoid his sometimes explosive temper on-set.

The Beast is a supremely competitive quizzer and when he loses to contestants, his rage is palpable.

But given the events of recent years behind-the-scenes with his family, it could all be a way to escape the truth of his life outside of work, as he even stormed off the set in one instalment of the programme.

Two contestants won a whopping jackpot of £30,000 with just two points between their money and the chaser, causing a meltdown from The Beast.

The quizmaster managed to congratulate the teammates’ valiant efforts before he left the studio, even hitting a wall on his way in pure rage at his defeat.

“Oops, I think he’s upset,” Bradley commented. “Wow, he is furious.

The Chase star has lost five stone since last year
The Chase star has lost five stone since last year

“For those of you who think it’s all part of the show, it’s not. He actually is furious and has stormed off.”

Despite his marriage breakdown, Mark put his focus into losing weight and shed over five stone following a scary bout of coronavirus last year.

Managing to get his weight down to 22 stone, Mark cites his others reasons as a stark warning from his doctors after he tipped the scales at 27 stone.

Speaking about his transformation and health battles, the chaser shared: “I had a complete loss of appetite, no sense of smell, a temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life.

“I basically didn’t eat for two weeks but since then the weight has continued to drop off because I have continued to eat sensibly. I knew I had to,” he told The Sun.

2020 was a hurricane for everyone, but despite suffering from deadly COVID-19, the quizzer is looking to the future and working on his body and his health even further.

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

Author: [email protected] (Roxanne Hughes, Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV


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