WITH his encyclopaedic knowledge and piercing glare, The Chase star Mark Labbett routinely leaves contestants on the Television set quiz display shaken and stirred.
But Mark, styled as James Bond for our photoshoot with girlfriend Hayley Palmer, is so bowled around by his glamorous lover that he is generally the just one still left in awe.
Oxford maths graduate Mark, 58, admitted: “I mean, seem at her.
“I maintain discovering myself heading, ‘Hang on, we’re actually likely out?’.
“I really don’t want to make her blush, but 15 yrs in the past I was a maths teacher, I was 29st.
“I’m a incredibly, extremely lucky gentleman.
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“I’ve received the job I was born to do and, in Hayley, anyone to share it all with.”
His romance with GB News enjoyment reporter Hayley, 42, a statuesque 6ft 1in in heels, has long gone from strength to energy considering that they started courting nine months in the past.
The 6ft 7in colossus of the crew of quiz professional Chasers on the ITV demonstrate, who contestants need to defeat to win revenue, states of lifetime with Hayley: “The most essential rule of all is we get on genuinely effectively.
“But our golden rule is we never share chips.
“There could possibly be the odd celebration with a sharing platter, but we’ve experienced the argument.
“I’m a large believer in truffle and Parmesan fries whereas Hayley’s a chunky chips female.”
Mark — nicknamed The Beast for his surname and towering stature — a short while ago frequented Portsmouth to fulfill Hayley’s mom and dad.
And she has received the seal of acceptance from Mark’s fellow Chasers, which includes fearsome Anne Hegerty, known to viewers as The Governess.
Mark claims: “We a short while ago used 3 evenings in Southampton shut to her mom and dad in Portsmouth, so we went to meet up with mummy and daddy Palmer and saw Suki the pet.
“It was the 1st time I’d fulfilled them and they were extremely excellent about it.
“There was none of this, ‘Are you superior adequate for my daughter?’
“They were just very, incredibly great.
“They can see where by I am, what I do for a dwelling, and we’re both just definitely pleased with each other, which all people can see.”
Hayley adds: “The response from my close friends and family members has been attractive.
“They’re all just pleased I’m content.
“It’s the similar with my mothers and fathers.
“I’ve met the other Chasers — Anne definitely has designed me experience so welcome.
“We’ve been out with each other and get on so properly.”
Mark is now decided not to enable any adverse response spoil the party.
He claims: “Inevitably you get issues the place men and women give views.
“But it is normally based on their lives.
“Forgive me, but persons that have been as a result of a divorce or separation are likely to be a little bit extra detrimental.”
Mark is based in Rotherham, shut to the five-calendar year-old son he shares with ex-wife Katie, although Hayley lives in London.
With their do the job getting them all above the state, the pair have to get their diaries out to make programs to see every other.
But they have previously mentioned moving in collectively.
Mark states: “I would unashamedly say that if I was to move to London it would be with a strong see to Hayley moving in with me.
“There’s no way I would check out out a flat without the need of her currently being there with me.”
But Hayley chips in: “If we did go in with each other, there would be two bathrooms!”
For now, though, they are joyful to journey to see every single other.
Hayley claims: “Mark will be like, ‘These are the dates I’m free’, and I’m like, ‘Great, me way too — see you in a pair of weeks’.
“It functions for the reason that we can look forward to looking at just about every other, and when we do it is so wonderful. It’s good quality time.”
She adds of their operate-lifestyle juggle: “We’re both equally grafters and, apart from my dad and mom, he is my major cheerleader.”
Mark suggests: “We have a very similar perception of humour and, contact wood, rarely a cross phrase, though Hayley usually states she’s the funnier 1.”
But the pair insist their way of life is not flashy.
Mark adds: “We do not do showbizzy-style things.
“We have had a few of journeys to the Oxo Tower restaurant in London.
“But a pair of weeks in the past we were meant to go out in city and made the decision we just preferred to go to the nearby pub and have an early night.
“Sometimes you just want a night time viewing negative Tv and a cuddle in advance of slipping asleep.”
Mark will be a part of his Chase colleagues, and clearly show host Bradley Walsh later on this month to film the impending 16th sequence of the hit teatime quiz, which launched in 2009.
Spin-off display Defeat The Chasers is also set to air shortly.
‘Such a gentleman’
He says: “I do appreciate it that a ton of folks refer to me as ‘The Chaser’ alternatively than ‘a Chaser’.
“I adore my colleagues to pieces but I’m The Chaser, and never you fellas fail to remember it!
“I say we advantage from being the finest display no person experienced read of for several decades.
“But we received phrase of mouth and family members began looking at.
“You just can’t go completely wrong with a good quiz at tea time, and it’s progressively crafted up.”
Bradley has bagged a new job web hosting the Gladiators reboot with son Barney, 25, on BBC Just one, sparking fears he could give up The Chase.
Mark says: “I stress Bradley could prevent 1 working day.
“Anne is terrified, the some others are concerned.
“In the similar way Holly Willoughby resigned from This Morning, ITV would be inundated with persons wanting to do it if, God forbid, Bradley retired.”
But Mark is eager to explore new options — and do Strictly Come Dancing.
He suggests: “I’d appreciate to study a new ability.
“Speaking to Russell Grant, he claims he was the fittest he’s ever been when he did Strictly.
“I would not want to earn but I’d give it a go.”
Mark is now in far better form than at any time, acquiring shed 9st due to the fact starting up a “complete diet overhaul” in 2020.
He states with a snicker: “My lungs value it.
“I’ve dropped 8 inches off my upper body.
“Hayley is obtaining me to the fitness center. I enjoy weights.”
But Hayley insists her fella is nonetheless a massive softie, and phone calls him her “cuddly teddy bear”.
He states: “There are worse items to be named.”
Hayley adds: “He does small items that necessarily mean a large amount.
“The other early morning, when I experienced to get up at 4am for a Television visual appearance, he acquired up as properly and took my baggage to the vehicle.
“Even the driver was like, ‘He’s this sort of a gentleman’.
“He does little points that go a very long way, caring items.”
Mark is smitten way too.
He states: “It’s no shock, but a guy who is 6ft 7in likes a lady with seriously long legs — and a person who is prepared to display them off.”