ITV Beat The Chasers: The Real Life Of Mark Labbett: He Split With His Second Cousin, Dropped 10 Stones And The Reason Behind Nickname ‘The Beast’

Mark Labbett has become one of the most popular faces in the world of game shows and fans of The Chase just can’t seem to get enough of him. One of the most brazen of hunters, the Beast has had an exciting life, including his marriage to his second cousin, an incredible transformation, and a shocking diabetes diagnosis.

In 1965, Mark was the firstborn of Carolyn and Jon Labbett and has two younger brothers, Paul and Philip. The family lived in Tiverton, Devon, before moving to Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1998, which was soon followed by another transition to Newport in 2003.

Education-wise, the TV star has many certificates to go, having received an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Exeter in Oxford and a CPE and LPC legal qualification from the University of South Wales.

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Mark initially started his career at Farnborough as a secondary school physical education teacher before pursuing another teaching opportunity in South Wales.

Mark took a job at the British holiday park Butlins, which is where his love of questions came from. To think that if he had not worked there, he might not be on our screens today.



Mark was a physical education teacher and worked at Butlins

Unfortunately his salary package of £55 each week was not enough to get by. Instead, Mark played with a small amount of change each week, playing the demo machines on the site that paid dividends.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2007, he explained: “I really enjoyed playing and it was lucrative too. At the beginning of the week I deposited my £55 salary, except £3 or £4 which I played on the machines. By the end of the week , I would have £200 in coins.”

After using the machines as a cash injection, he gained extensive knowledge and was able to strike a deal with quiz company Redtooth and wrote trivia questions for them. In 1999, the television icon better known as The Beast made his first screen appearance on Mastermind answering questions related to the Olympics.

Fast-forward a year and he was back, this time tackling the specialty subject: The Simpsons cartoon series. 2000 proved to be a busy year for Mark, who also appeared on Countdown, but narrowly lost his first match during a crucial puzzle.



Mark Labbett The Chase Beats the Hunters
Mark is currently in Beat The Chasers

His television career is endless and includes BrainTeaser, Face Off, SUDO-Q and Millionaire Live, where he won £32,000. As a result of his persistence and determination, Mark was ranked 17th in the UK’s top contestants before finding fame on the ITV game show.

Fans can be forgiven for assuming the nickname has been reduced to his towering 6-foot-7 height. But a Twitter user has posted another explanation for why Mark calls himself ‘The Beast’, and it’s actually because he translates to ‘la bête’ in French, similar to his last name.

He wrote, “I’ve watched almost every episode of The Chase since it started airing in 2009. And I’m just learning TODAY that Mark Labbett is called The Beast because ‘la bête’ is French for ‘the beast.'”

Our minds are officially blown.

After five years in the spotlight, Mark married Katie, who was 27 years his junior. The couple also share a three-year-old son, Lawrence, whom they prefer to keep away from cameras and social media.



The Chase star Mark 'The Beast' Labbett with his ex-wife Katie on Loose Women in 2017
The Chase star Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett with his ex-wife Katie on Loose Women in 2017

Mark and Katie didn’t realize until after they started their relationship that they were actually related to each other. It became apparent to the couple that their parents were first cousins, making them both second cousins.

During an episode of Loose Women, Mark told the panel, “It wasn’t something we knew about at the time, it was one of those things that happened.”

Their marriage eventually came under strain, blaming their 27-year age gap and lockdowns. Mark and Katie tried to try again and decided to try an open marriage. But despite his best attempts to keep her family together, it all became too much and the couple agreed to formally divorce last year, The Sun reported.



Mark Labbett and his wife Katie, who are separating after their open marriage didn't work out
Mark married Katie, who was 27 years his junior.

After the breakdown of his marriage, Mark went on a health journey and the pounds began to fall off. Having lost over 10 stones in weight, fans speculated that his drastic overhaul was due to the stress of his divorce from his wife Katie.

However, Mark has always credited his busy lifestyle and love of walking his Golden Retriever for his massive weight loss. The tracker recently revealed that his lifestyle overhaul was actually prompted after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2017.



Mark Labbett shows off his incredible ten stone weight loss
Mark Labbett showing off his incredible ten stone weight loss

If an eagle-eyed nurse hadn’t taken a quick look at his legs, he might not have been aware of his hidden illness.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mark said: “I’ve never had a diabetes episode. I have skin that doesn’t heal properly on my lower legs. A nurse looked at me and asked, ‘Are you sure? Aren’t you diabetic? They did a test and she said, ‘Yes, you are diabetic.’

It was at this point in 2017 that Mark was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which began his transformation process.

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