What The Chase stars looked like before finding fame on the ITV show

As you've never seen them before!

They are the greatest quizzers in the history of TV game shows – but have you ever wondered what The Chase stars looked like when they were younger, before they became famous on the ITV series?

Check out these incredible throwback images from when The Dark Destroyer, The Vixen, The Governess, The Beast and the rest of the gang were just baby-faced quiz contestant hopefuls themselves…

What The Chase stars looked like before joining ITV show

Darragh Ennis as a contestant on The Chase
Darragh Ennis was a contestant on The Chase before he became a Chaser himself! (Credit: ITV)

Darragh Ennis

The Menace is the least tenured regular Chaser, having joined the group in 2020. However, he is the only Chaser to have also appeared on the show as a contestant.

Furthermore, he also beat his now-colleague Paul Sinha – and aggregated a cool nine grand in his Cash Builder round!

Darragh also previously appeared on Rebound in 2015.

Jenny Ryan appears on Only Connect
Jenny Ryan has not only appeared on quiz shows, she’s also written questions for them. Here she is on Only Connect (Credit: YouTube/BBC)

Jenny Ryan

The Vixen signed up as a Chaser in 2015. But her first quiz show appearance came in 2003, as part of the University of Leeds team that reached the semis of University Challenge.

She later popped up on Mastermind in 2006, answering posers about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Jenny Ryan appears on Mastermind
Jenny Ryan’s specialist subject concerned Sarah Michelle Gellar show (Credit: YouTube/BBC)

Jenny also won the 2010 series Only Connect as a member of The Gamblers. And she has also demonstrated how brainy she is on Fifteen to One, The Weakest Link, and a writer on QI.

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Paul Sinha

The Sinnerman has always enjoyed a parallel entertainment career as a stand up comic, before he became a star on The Chase in 2011.

But despite being famous before he became really famous, pics and footage of his pre-Chase quizzing endeavours are surprisingly hard to come by – even though he took part in the likes of Are You an Egghead?, Brain of Britain, Mastermind, University Challenge, and The Weakest Link.

But a clip from his University Challenge stint has appeared on YouTube.

Anne Hegerty

The Governess has been a mainstay of The Chase since 2010. She’s also appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2018.

Once again, however, she was very familiar with the TV quiz circuit as a player before the much-loved personality took on her fearsome The Chase character.

As well as two Mastermind appearances, Anne has also competed on Fifteen to One, and Are You an Egghead?.

Furthermore, Anne also helped a pal bag £75,000 on Who Wants to be A Millionaire? as their Phone A Friend in 2010!

Shaun Wallace on The Weakest Link
Bank! Shaun Wallace racks up the cash on The Weakest Link (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

Shaun Wallace

The Dark Destroyer may not ever have had much hair on his head during his stint on The Chase, which began in 2009. But Shaun certainly had a very different look during a pre-fame showing on The Weakest Link where he was put to the test by Anne Robinson.

Shaun Wallace on The Weakest Link
Shaun Wallace was already a quiz show veteran before he teamed up with Bradley Walsh on ITV (Credit: BBC)

Shaun also previously participated in games on Fifteen to One, Beat the Nation, BrainTeaser, Greed, and The Waiting Game.

Mark Labbett with Chris Tarrant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Mark Labbett with Chris Tarrant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Credit: ITV)

Mark Labbett

The Beast is another The Chase original. He earned his quizzing chops on the box as a captain on University Challenge in 1996, reaching the quarter-finals with the University of Glamorgan.

Mark is another Only Connect winner, too – The Rugby Boys emerged triumphant in 2009, the year before Jenny took part.

He’s also been runner-up on The People’s Quiz, and a runner-up on Brain of Britain, and is another two-time Mastermind contestant, answering questions on the Olympics and The Simpsons.

He took part in Countdown in 2000, losing a crucial conundrum. and won £500 on Channel 5’s BrainTeaser in 2004. Furthermore, across two episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2006, Mark took home £32,000!

Read more: The Chase stars’ day jobs before they found fame – from teacher to barrister

The Chase airs on ITV, weekdays, from 5pm.

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer