|Presented by||Bradley Walsh|
|Theme music composer||Paul Farrer|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||13|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Picture format||16:9 (HDTV) 1080i|
|Original release||29 June 2009 -|
The Chase is a British television quiz show broadcast on ITV and hosted by Bradley Walsh. Contestants play against a professional quizzer, known as the "chaser", who attempts to prevent them from winning a cash prize. The six chasers are Mark Labbett, Shaun Wallace, Anne Hegerty, Paul Sinha, Jenny Ryan, and Darragh Ennis. Labbett and Wallace have both been chasers since series 1, while Hegerty joined in series 2, Sinha in series 4, Ryan in series 9 and Ennis in series 14. With rare exceptions for special episodes, only one chaser participates in any given episode.
A team of four contestants individually attempt to amass as much money as possible, which is later added to a prize fund if the contestant survives their chase. The chaser must attempt to catch each contestant during their chase, eliminating that person from the game and preventing the money from being added to the collective prize fund. In the individual chase, the player must choose between a higher offer, their earned money, and a lower offer. Later, in the final round, contestants who survived their chases play collectively as a team against the chaser for an equal share of the prize fund.
With a regular audience of three to five million, The Chase is one of ITV's most successful daytime shows ever. It has been nominated six times at the National Television Awards, winning in 2016, 2017, and 2019. It has also become a successful international franchise: regional versions have been made in Australia, China, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, United States and Spain. Labbett, Hegerty and Wallace also feature as chasers on the Australian version. Labbett featured as the sole chaser on the now-defunct American version.
Each contestant individually attempts to accumulate the team's prize fund through two rounds. In the first round, known as the "Cash Builder", the contestant answers as many questions as they can within one minute, with each correct answer worth £1,000. After completing the Cash Builder, the contestant enters the "Head-to-Head" round, attempting to move the money down to the bottom of a seven-step board and into the team bank ("home") without being caught by the chaser. The board had eight steps in the first series.
The contestant chooses one of three starting positions on the board:
Depending on how many correct answers the contestant gave, the smaller amount can be zero or even negative. Once the starting position is chosen, the host asks a series of multiple-choice questions to the contestant and the chaser, both of whom individually select one of the three answer options on keypads. After either person locks in a guess, the other must do so within five seconds or be locked out for that turn. A correct answer moves the person who gave it one step down the board, while a miss or lock-out leaves them where they are.
If the contestant successfully reaches home without being caught, they advance to the Final Chase and their money is added to the team's prize fund (or deducted, if they took a negative amount). If the chaser catches up, the contestant is eliminated and their money is forfeited. If all four contestants are caught by the chaser, they nominate one contestant to play the Final Chase alone.
The contestants who win their head-to-head chases blindly select one of two question sets for themselves, with the other set put aside for the chaser, and then have two minutes to answer as many questions as possible on the buzzer. If a contestant responds without buzzing-in, their answer is not accepted. The buzzer is not used if only one contestant is participating in the Final Chase. Every correct answer moves the team one step ahead of the chaser, and they are given a head start of one step per contestant playing in this round. The contestants may not discuss or confer on any questions during this portion of the round.
Once the team's time has expired, the chaser is given two minutes to answer questions from the unused set and catch the team, moving one step ahead per correct response. If the chaser passes or misses a question, the clock is briefly stopped and the team are given a chance to discuss it and respond; a correct answer pushes the chaser back one step, or (from series 3 onwards) moves the team ahead one step if the chaser is at the starting line.
If the chaser fails to catch up to the team before time runs out, the participating contestants split the prize fund equally; otherwise, they leave with nothing. If all four contestants have lost their head-to-head chases and the contestant they nominate wins the Final Chase, every contestant wins £1,000.
In the celebrity editions, which are played to benefit charitable organisations named by the participants, a consolation £1,000 is donated to each celebrity's chosen charity if they lose the Final Chase.
Three episodes are filmed in a day and each one takes around an hour and a half to film. According to Walsh, "It runs like clockwork." The Final Chase can be stopped and re-started if Walsh stumbles on a question. He told the Radio Times, "If there is a slight misread, I am stopped immediately - bang - by the lawyers. We have the compliance lawyers in the studio all the time. What you have to do is go back to the start of the question, literally on videotape where my mouth opens - or where it's closed from the previous question - and the question is re-asked. It is stopped to the split second."
A spin-off series titled The Chase: Celebrity Special featuring celebrity teams as contestants began airing on ITV in 2011. As many contestants are comedians or actors, there is a much-higher comedic element. The game is played the same way as the regular version. However, if all four celebrities have been caught by the chaser, the prize fund during the Final Chase is £20,000 (originally £4,000). If the team is caught during the Final Chase, a consolation prize of £1,000 is awarded to the charities for each celebrity who advanced to this stage.
In February 2017, ITV commissioned The Family Chase, a spin-off featuring a team of four family members. The six-episode spin-off debuted on 2 September 2017. The second series of 8 episodes was commissioned and commenced airing on 24 March 2019. The Family Chase works the same way like the Regular and Celebrity versions, but the winning system is different; if the Family wins, they do not share money, but they keep the whole win in the family since they knew each other.
In November 2019, ITV commissioned another spin-off called Beat The Chasers. It began airing in prime-time on 27 April 2020 and features contestants attempting to beat up to five chasers to win big cash prizes. A single contestant plays the Cash Builder round, answering a series of multiple-choice questions worth £1,000 each; the round ends once they either miss a question or get five right. They must then decide how many chasers (from two to all five) to face in a timed head-to-head round, with the chasers specifying a time limit for themselves and offering larger cash prizes as an incentive to face more of them.
The contestant's clock is set to 60 seconds, while the chasers' clock is set to their agreed-on time. Only one clock runs at any given moment, starting with the contestant; the side in control must answer a question correctly to stop their clock and turn control over to the opposing side. The chasers must buzz-in to respond and may not confer on any questions. The contestant wins the money on offer if the chasers' clock runs out first, or nothing if their clock runs out. Anne Hegerty has confirmed the spin-off will return for a second series.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Notes||References|
|1||29 June 2009||10 July 2009||10||Aired as one of three summer replacements for Golden Balls, with the other two being Divided and The Fuse.|||
|2||24 May 2010||19 July 2010||40||No episode aired on 29 June due to The World Cup match between Paraguay and Japan.|||
|3||3 January 2011||25 February 2011||40||Series 3 had no breaks and neither had Series 1 and 2.|||
|4||5 September 2011||30 January 2012||60||Series 4 took a break from 31 October - 2 January.|||
|5||31 January 2012||26 October 2012||120||Series 5 took breaks from 13-17 February, 2-6 April, 4 June - 31 August & 17 October.|||
|6||29 October 2012||21 November 2014||150||Series 6 took breaks from 24 December - 1 January, 11-15 February, 25 March - 5 April 27-31 May & 1 July 2013 - 20 November 2014.|||
|7||2 September 2013||17 November 2014||150||Series 7 took breaks from 28 October - 1 November 11 November - 19 December, 17-21 February, 7-18 April, 6 June & 15 June - 4 July.|||
|8||1 September 2014||3 July 2015||150||Series 8 took breaks from 22 December - 2 January & 20 April - 29 May.|||
|9||22 June 2015||6 September 2016||190||Series 9 took breaks from 3-28 August, 23 September - 7 October & 21 December - 1 January.|||
|10||15 April 2016||24 October 2017||190||Series 10 took breaks from 13 June - 26 August 19 December - 1 January 20 January & 22 March.|||
|11||25 April 2017||3 September 2018||170||Series 11 took breaks from 1-26 May, 19 June - 1 September & 25 December - 1 January.|||
|12||2 March 2018||25 October 2019||170||Series 12 took breaks from 28 May - 31 August, 10-31 December 2018, 11-15 March, 1-5 April and 17 May - 24 October 2019.|||
|13||7 March 2019||2020||210||Series 13 took breaks from 20 May - 30 August 11 November - 31 December 2019, 9-13 March, 23 March - present|
All five chasers (as of the date of production) took part in the 1,000th episode on 29 September 2016, with a different chaser selected at random for each head-to-head round and the fifth participating in the Final Chase. This format has also been used for the Christmas edition of the Celebrity Specials.
In this special isolation version of the show, broadcast on The Chase's YouTube channel and shown at 6:00 p.m. weekdays, all five Chasers are presenters and viewers at home can play along, for they are the contestants. Each series has five episodes; the first series was hosted by Jenny "The Vixen" Ryan, and the current series is presented by Shaun "The Dark Destroyer" Wallace.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Presenter||Broadcast|
|1||18 May 2020||22 May 2020||5||Jenny Ryan||From Monday to Friday|
|2||26 May 2020||2020||TBA||Shaun Wallace||On Tuesday and Thursday|
|3||2020||2020||Yet to broadcast|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Notes|
|1||29 October 2011||10 December 2011||6||Series 1 had no breaks.|
|2||19 August 2012||7 October 2012||6||Series 2 had no breaks and neither had series 1.|
|3||5 October 2013||28 December 2013||15||Series 3 had no breaks and neither had Series 1 and 2.|
|4||30 August 2014||8 March 2015||18||The last two episodes of the series aired in March 2015.|
|5||24 October 2015||15 May 2016||16||This series aired in two parts; series took a break from 19 December 2015 - 20 March 2016.|
|6||11 September 2016||26 November 2017||16||Episodes 1-8 aired in Autumn 2016. Episodes 9 - 14 aired in Summer 2017. Episodes 15 and 16 aired in November 2017. Series 6 took breaks from 6 November 2016 - 2 July 2017 and 27 August 2017 - 29 October 2017. No episode was broadcast on 30 July 2017.|
|7||14 October 2017||21 October 2018||10||The first eight episodes aired in Autumn 2017, with the remaining episode broadcast in October 2018. The Christmas Special aired on 24 December 2017. The first two episodes were broadcast on Saturdays in October 2017, but the next six episodes aired on Sundays in November and December 2017. The series took breaks on 5 and 26 November 2017 when Series 6 episodes were broadcast.|
|8||14 October 2018||2020||8||The first four episodes aired on Sundays in Autumn 2018, alternating with Series 9 episodes. The Christmas special aired on 16 December 2018. Episode Five aired on 19 October 2019. The remaining three episodes of the series have not yet been broadcast. Series 8 took breaks on 21 and 28 October 11 and 25 November, and 2 and 9 December 2018.|
|9||8 June 2018||12 October 2019||8||The first episode of the series was entitled The Chase for Soccer Aid and aired on 8 June 2018. The next four episodes aired on Sundays from 28 October 2018, alternating with Series 8 episodes. The final three episodes were broadcast on Saturdays in Autumn 2019, alternating with Series 10 episodes. Series 9 took breaks on 4 and 18 November 2 and 16 December 2018, and 21 and 28 September 2019.|
|10||14 June 2019||2020||12||The first episode of the series was entitled The Chase for Soccer Aid and aired on 14 June 2019. Episodes resumed on Saturdays in Autumn 2019, alternating with Series 9 episodes. Series 10 took breaks on 14 September and 5-12 October 2019.|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||2 September 2017||7 October 2017||6|
|2||24 March 2019||24 May 2020||16|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||27 April 2020||1 May 2020||5|
The Chase is highly popular with critics and viewers. Despite early criticism, opinion has improved over time. Some critics, as well as the chasers, put the show's success down to Walsh as host and his many memorable moments, some of which come from questions or answers which often leave him in hysterics. Labbett also said that the sense of fun and the variety of chasers is a major factor. Sinha said, "The format has been brilliantly thought out. No matter the relative strengths of the players, it is resolutely a team game, with a dramatic climax."
The Chase has also been at the centre of controversy on several occasions, in which viewers have complained that, during the Final Chase, Walsh asks the chasers' questions more quickly than those of the contestants. In an interview with the Radio Times, however, Walsh repudiated those claims: "We have lawyers on the floor to watch all of this. I read [the questions] at the same speed for both." He went on to say, "Don't forget, if I've got Mark Labbett answering questions for two minutes and I've got a team answering for two minutes, the team aren't going to be quicker. Simple as that, because they have to press the button [before answering], which is why they get a head start based on how many people are in the final. If you've got three people in the final chase that's a three-step head start-that's about a twelve-second advantage."
There have also been a number of occasions in which the chaser has won with (almost) no time remaining on the clock, but spokespeople have insisted that an independent adjudicator - a representative from Beyond Dispute Ltd - always checks each show.
On 6 April 2016, in an episode in which Labbett was the chaser, a glitch occurred whereby the clock struck 10 seconds and then increased to 11 seconds, giving Labbett an extra second. Although the contestants were far ahead and there was no chance of their being caught, a spokesperson for the show told OK! Online the following day: "There was an error on the clock on last night's episode of the Chase. This error happened during the editing process and not in the studio when the show was being recorded so could not have affected the outcome in any way."
On 4 March 2019, in an episode in which Hegerty was the chaser, Walsh asked a question about which band had the fewest members - with the possible answers being the Proclaimers, the Pretenders or the Prodigy. Many viewers criticised ITV for deciding to air the episode hours after the news had publicly broken about the death of the Prodigy's frontman Keith Flint.
During its first two series, the show averaged 1-2 million viewers, but in the third series, ratings rose to over 2 million. By December 2012, The Chase had become ITV's most popular "teatime" programme since The Paul O'Grady Show in 2005, with over 3 million viewers an episode. On 21 January 2013, The Chase managed a peak audience of 5.1 million, a new all-time high. Almost every episode is now in ITV's Top 30 weekly broadcasts.
In its timeslot, The Chase airs at the same time as BBC One's Pointless, a game show launched in August 2009, two months after The Chases debut. The two programmes usually receive similar ratings (for example in September 2012, The Chase had 2.44 million viewers versus 2.27 million for Pointless). However, between October 2012 and January 2013, The Chase beat Pointless in the ratings each week. For two weeks in February 2013, Pointless received a higher share than The Chase (3.53 million viewers to 3.41 million, and again 3.58 million viewers to 3.30 million).
|2013||National Television Awards||Best Daytime Programme||Nominated|||
|TV Guide Awards||Nominated|||
|2014||National Television Awards||Nominated|||
|2019||Best Quiz Show||Won|||
|2020||The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award||Nominated|||
No longer airing
|Country||Local title||Channel(s)||Presenter(s)||Chaser(s)||Premiere date||End date|
|Australia||The Chase Australia||Seven Network||Andrew O'Keefe||Brydon Coverdale
Mark Labbett (2016-)
Shaun Wallace (Guest Chaser; 2018)
Cheryl Toh (Guest Chaser; 2019 and 2020)
|2013-1014 September 2015|
Ti?ozh?n wénhuà míngrén
(Challenge the Culture Masters)
|Jiangxi Television||Liú Wèi||Meng Man
|2014-0720 July 2014||4 October 2014|
|HRT||Tarik Filipovi? (2013-2019)
Jo?ko Lokas (2019-)
|Dean Kotiga (2013-)
Mirko Mio?i? (2013-2016)
Morana Zibar (2013-)
Kre?imir Me?eral-Su?evi? (2016-)
Mladen Vukorepa (2017-)
|3 November 2013|
|MTV3||Mikko Leppilampi||Eero Ylitalo
"Mr. Archive" ("Herra Arkisto")
"The Sharp" ("Terävä")
"The Know-all" ("Besserwisser")
|30 August 2018|
|Germany||Gefragt - Gejagt
|NDR Fernsehen (2012-2015)
Das Erste (2015-)
|Alexander Bommes||Holger Waldenberger (2012, 2015-2017)
"The Giant" ("Der Gigant")
Sebastian Jacoby (2013-)
"The Quiz God" ("Der Quizgott")
Sebastian Klussmann (2013-)
"The Know-all" ("Der Besserwisser")
Klaus Otto Nagorsnik (2014-)
"The Librarian" ("Der Bibliothekar")
Gra?yna Werner (2017)
"The Governess" ("Die Gouvernante")
Manuel Hobiger (2018-)
"The Quiz Volcano" ("Der Quizvulkan")
Thomas Kinne (2018-)
"The Quiz Doctor" ("Der Quizdoktor") 2012-08
|8 July 2012|
|KAN 11||Ido Rosenblum||Itai Hermann
Ron Kofman (Guest Chaser; 2017 and 2018)
Nadav Jacobi (Guest Chaser; 2018)
Michal Sharon (2018-)
|2017-0518 May 2017|
HaMirdaf ad HaBait
(The Chase To Home)
|Dudu Erez||Itai Hermann||26 March 2020|
|TV 2||Sturla Berg-Johansen||Trine Aalborg
Jan Arild Breistein
|2014-097 September 2014||11 May 2016|
|Russia 1||Alexander Gurevich||Alexander Ediger
|2012-1117 November 2012||14 September 2013|
||RTS||Jovan Memedovi?||Milorad Milinkovi? (Series 1-)
Uro? ?uri? (Series 1-5)
Milica Jokanovi? (Series 2-)
?arko Stevanovi? (Series 5-)
Slobodan Ne?ovi? (Series 1)
Maja Lali? (Series 1)
|2013-1028 October 2013|
|La 1||Ion Aramendi||Erundino Alonso
"The Executioner" ("El Justiciero")
"The Professor" ("La Profesora")
Ruth de Andrés
"The Governess" ("La Gobernanta")
"The Spy" ("La Espía")
|10 February 2020|
|Kanal D||Uraz Kaygilaro?lu||Muhsin Divan||2014-049 April 2014||19 January 2015|
|United States||The Chase||GSN||Brooke Burns||Mark Labbett||2013-086 August 2013||11 December 2015|
On 12 December 2012, a version for iOS was released by Barnstorm Games. The app features four chasers (excluding Jenny "The Vixen" Ryan, who had not yet appeared on the programme at the time of release) and can be played by up to four people, as in the actual show. The only differences between the app and the show are that four choices are presented for questions in the Cash Builder and the Final Chase rounds and that no Final Chase is played if all players are caught in their chases. The app is designed for both iPhones and iPads. An updated version, The Chase: Ultimate Edition, was released in 2017 and features all five chasers and host Walsh.