There aren’t many questions that leave Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett stumped – but the super-intelligent star of ITV’s The Chase seemed a bit lost for words when Andrea McLean quizzed him about his marriage on today’s Loose Women.
The 52-year-old appeared on the show with his wife, Katie, 26, and things got a little awkward when McLean mentioned that the couple are, in fact, related.
Their fathers are first cousins, making Mark and Katie second cousins.
The familial connection is no secret – it was first made public when the pair got hitched back in October 2014 – but that didn’t stop Mark from quickly changing the subject when it was brought up.
McLean introduced the topic by saying: “What people might not realise is that you didn’t realise when you first met that you’re actually second cousins.”
Nodding sheepishly, the 6ft 7in Chaser replied: “Yeah, it wasn’t something we were aware of at the time, and it was just one of those things that happened.”
But then he seemed to tail off, speaking instead about how his life had changed since he got married.
“I’d been a single man for a long while, so I was getting used to the idea of being on my own,” he explained.
“When you’re a bachelor, you can get pretty selfish – you get used to doing what you want all the time.
“And, as a couple of my friends pointed out, the big challenge for me was learning to adapt to being with someone else.”
And viewers were quick to spot the convenient diversion, taking to Twitter to have their say.
“Her face when Andrea said they were 2nd cousins! He also totally swerved that question!” wrote one.
“Well, that was awkward – second cousins,” said another.
And a third commented: “Lol… they definitely didn’t want Andrea to bring that up.”
But not everyone was mocking the couple, and one fan stuck up for the Oxford University-educated brainbox and his wife: “Why did they find it appropriate to bring up that they were second cousins? Unnecessary.”
Mark and Katie reportedly tied the knot at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel, West Sussex.
Prior to the ceremony, Katie told her followers on Twitter: “So… I’m getting married… TOMORROW!!! Feeling in love.”
And in an earlier post, she wrote: “He’s my cousin and the Chaser on ‘The Chase’.”