Mark 'The Beast' Labbett lived up to his nickname last night on The Chase as he easily tore apart the challenge of quizzers Martin, Lucy, Haroon and Karen.
But not all of the ITV hit game show’s fans were impressed by Mark’s display - with viewers labelling him 'arrogant' for the attitude he displayed after one contestant tried to boost the confidence of another.
Lucy from Harlow in Essex was the second player to step up to face 'The Beast' one-on-one, following Martin who managed to bank £5,000 in his Cash Builder round.
But even though Lucy managed to raise a tally of £6,000 herself, she seemed to have her confidence knocked by a run of wrong answers which stopped her from accumulating a greater total.
"I think I should have got more," she admitted after host Bradley Walsh suggested she had 'hit the post' on a couple of occasions.
Nonetheless, her fellow team mates did their best to buoy her confidence, with Haroon suggesting she had enjoyed an "amazing" round and "could have got nine thousand".
She’s probably not the best player here today.
Karen went even further and declared that Karen was the "best player she’d ever seen" on the show - and that was greeted with considerable scorn by Mark.
"She’s probably not the best player here today," he exclaimed with a mocking tone.
Mark continued: "Good players get 10, not six."
Despite his outburst, Lucy kept her nerve and made it through to the final round.
Karen also performed well ahead of her clash with 'The Beast', racking up £7,000.
But Mark did not allow her earlier cheerleading pass without comment - and threw down a considerable gauntlet worth £79,000.
"Well Lucy – the best player you’ve ever seen – has scored six, and you scored seven, so what does that make you?" he scoffed.
Karen, however, like Haroon fell to Mark, leaving only Martin and Lucy to face him for a jackpot of £11,000.
The quizzing pair tried, getting questions about drizzle, spiders, Polish spirits, bagpipes, polar bears and US sport correct - but Mark still wiped the floor with them both in the final.
Adding insult to injury, Mark taunted them again over the 'best player' remark even though Bradley suggested he thought the contestants’ questions had been difficult.
"No they weren’t," Mark fumed. "You had to listen to the questions for the clues in there."
He later continued: "I blame Karen. She gave you a false sense of confidence. Then when you got a few wrong, you could see the self-confidence drain from you. Plus it riled me up and I wanted to destroy you."
Shrugging, Bradley concluded: "And that’s why he’s called 'The Beast'! He’s a beast of a player."
But for some fans of the show, Mark had gone too far, leaving them really wound up.
"@ITVChase The Beast can be a right arrogant [blank] at times," sighed one social media user.
"The Beast is being a bit of a [blank] today. #TheChase," tweeted another.
Another observed: "'I'm really good on military history' - arrogant [blank]! #TheChase."
Similarly, another Twitter user contributed: "Someone needs a word in The Beast's ear about his arrogance.
"The contestants had a lot of tough questions and he just blatantly said 'no they weren't'. Those two were cut to the bone there. No need! #TheChase."
And yet another person wrote: "What a [blank] @MarkLabbett is! Pouting face No humour with him, whatsoever. Least the rest of the chasers have a bit of a laugh, bit of banter & a bit of respect with the contestants.
"This guy is just horrible, smug, obnoxious & ignorant. No wonder he became a teacher. Perfect! #TheChase."
However, another viewer observed: "Think @MarkLabbett only got 2 questions wrong from a possible 32. Impressive."
Other onlookers claimed those getting annoyed at Mark's approach were missing a vital point and claimed 'The Beast' is a role he is performing.
"Gotta love how many people can't see that @MarkLabbett is playing a character," someone tweeted. "The Chaser is meant to be the bad guy I've met him - he is a really nice, polite, friendly guy #Thechase."
And another person summed it up: "He is playing a character."
- The Chase returns to ITV tomorrow, Friday March 6, at 5pm
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