The Chase is known for its dramatic final rounds, as contestants take on a Chaser to try to win themselves a pot of cash – but the latest heated final in the UK has sparked fury among viewers who have accused the show of being “fixed”.
In one of the most tense rounds in the show’s history, famous Chaser Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett managed to claw himself a win in the final seconds. However, viewers of the UK’s ITV show don’t believe his answer should have been allowed, as it came just as time ran out.
Many Australians are familiar with Labbett as he often makes his appearance as the infamous ‘Beast’ on the Aussie version of the show; he is known to be one of the toughest chasers to beat. However, his latest controversy came about on the UK version of the popular show.
Contestants Patricia, Marian, and Graham lost £30,000 (AU$54,000) as Labbett answered the very last question correctly in the nick of time. According to The Sun, he had two questions left when the clock hit six seconds.
As UK host Bradley Walsh began asking the final question with mere seconds to spare, Labbett cut him off and appeared to enter his answer as the clock hit zero.
Appearing just as shocked as his opponents, he reportedly told them: “You didn’t deserve to lose… I’m really sorry guys, you were superb.”
It sparked an angry response from viewers, with many accusing the show of being fixed. One wrote on Twitter: “100% CHASER LOST!!!! #thechase what a fix!!!! £30k !!!!! WENT ZERO before the answer.”
Another added: “Boycott the chase, f***ing fix,” while one wrote: “@ITVChase I was so disappointed today watching the chase the 3 contestants deserved to win the 30 thousand it was on 0.00 when the beast said the last answer Switzerland day light robbery will not watch this program again it’s all a fix.”
Meanwhile, one called for ITV to intervene, writing: “ITV – congratulations for landing yourselves in hot water by not awarding 30K to the team for beating the chaser at the wire. Clock had run done before answer given. Trust you will do the decent thing and review the decision!”
Seeing the furious tweets, Labbett himself took to the social media site to defend himself, claiming it took incredible talent to pull off such a last minute win.
When one viewer wrote: “@ITVChase I’m sorry but @MarkLabbett answered on zero! They should’ve won!” Labbett replied: “No I started my answer before the whistle went.”
No I started my answer before the whistle went
— Mark Labbett (@MarkLabbett) October 28, 2018
He then claimed the unedited footage made the win much clearer, adding: “On the UNEDITED original footage I won it.”
When another fan asked: “Just watched it a few mins ago – #CloseCall @MarkLabbett – How long did it take to make the decision ?” He replied: “About three minutes if I remembered correctly, according to @beyonddispute my lips were moving in the two frames before time expired so I was 0.08 seconds from defeat :).”
He then tweeted all of his followers saying: “@ITVChase some people may dispute the result but 1) @beyonddispute are the referees and made the call and 2) it was magnificent technique by me :).”
When a final fan called him “lucky”, Labbett joked: “I prefer to call it magnificent technique at the death :).”
It’s not the first time the UK version of the show has been accused of being rigged, and many were left angered by the result of a “nail-biting” finale in January as The Beast quickly crushed the dreams of contestants in the last round, according to an article in the Express.
The Chase is a favourite among Australians and as of yet there have been no claims that the show is rigged in this country. The format of both shows are very similar with many of the UK chasers making an appearance on the Aussie version.