In my long running quest to expose every intimate avenue of ITV’s quizzing daytime hit The Chase, I’ve heard from two of its titans: the fearsome ‘Governess’ Anne Hegerty (see HERE) and the monstrous ‘Beast’ aka Mark Labbett (see HERE)
But what is it like to come up against a quizzing genius on a show watched by millions? I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to one of the contestants from the most recently televised episode of the show in which comedian Paul Sinha, affectionately known as ‘The Sinnerman’ took down a team vying for £8000 with only five seconds remaining.
It was a close call, and Charlie Gardner, who had the unenviable ‘Seat 4’ position, has endured hell since her crushing defeat. “It’s been bleak. I’ve hardly eaten anything but spaghetti since,” she told me through hysterical sobs. “And it’s all down to Paul Sinha!”
She jests of course, and it’s clear from Charlie’s infectious enthusiasm from her time on the show, that it’s an experience she would recommend to others. “I wasn’t nervous at all, I loved it!” she enthused.
Charlie, 23 years old, of Manchester, first applied to the show as a fan and explains that she was pushed to fill out the mammoth application form as part of a running joke between herself and her flatmate. After going through an audition which involved team games, Charlie was told that she had won a place on the show.
“I think they took me because they thought ‘she won’t take any money from us’ but it was hilarious; whenever I told anyone I was going on the show, they would just burst into fits of laughter,” she said. “I was super excited but nobody would take me seriously!”
Asked which Chaser she was hoping to come up against, Charlie is quick to answer: “I’m not going to lie, I wanted Anne. A small part because I’ve seen her crumble under pressure a couple of times in the Final Chase but mostly just because she’s a babe. I didn’t want Paul as I never see him get anything wrong and I knew I didn’t stand a chance against him!”
Nevertheless, during her individual Chase with Paul in which she somehow correctly answered a question about onion sizes, Charlie made it through to the final chase. And she has nothing but praise for the man she was up against: “Paul was hilarious, I’m glad we got him,” she states. “I made a few silly comments, which were kindly edited out, and Paul ripped me apart for them. He was a lad.”
Charlie also discusses what things were like on the set; including being thankful to one of the show runners who persuaded the powers that be to allow her to wear her trademark hat. And even needing the toilet was dealt with in a military fashion:
“They were filming Pointless next door and they didn’t want us to see any of The Chasers backstage so that we didn’t know who we were going to get,” she reveals. “So when I needed a wee, they had to get on their walkie talkies and clear the corridors!”
The Sinnerman went on to overcome the team but despite admitting to hating losing, Charlie looks back on the experience fondly.
“I’ve stayed in touch with (fellow contestant) Dave since, we became fist bumping buddies as I would hit him every time he got a question right in the final chase,” she says. “And Bradley Walsh was all about the chat and full of laughs. He kept going on about loving my hair and get up!”
Since the episode aired, Charlie has also gained a fair deal of attention on Twitter and Facebook and, while some of it hasn’t been complimentary, Charlie takes it in her stride and concedes: “Well I did come across as a bit of a dimwit!”
So, the key question is, what’s next for my new favourite contestant?
“I’m thinking Tipping Point,” she ponders. “Although maybe I should stay away from quiz questions altogether as that didn’t go so well for me so maybe I should just go on Deal or No Deal.”
Chaz’s Gameshow Roadshow starts here, you heard it here first folks. Did you catch wor Chaz on The Chase last night? Have you ever been on The Chase? Who is your favourite Chaser on the show? Leave your comments in the usual way below!
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Posted By Our Man In The North