The Chase is on: an interview with contestant Libby Morrell

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Quiz shows. A true British, teatime staple. Whether it is Eggheads or Tipping Point, there is always a classic game show ready to be watched at 5 p.m. on Channel 4 or ITV. 

One unbeatable and one unforgettable show is of course, The Chase. The cash builder, the head to head round and the final round all perfectly compliment each other and different abilities of the players – the final touch being the banter provided by Bradley Walsh and The Chasers. 

So when my good friend and fellow Hatfielder, Libby Morrell, appeared on this week’s episode of The Chase, I knew I had to ask her all the questions that needed to be answered about appearing on one of Britain’s best loved quiz shows. 

Libby, tell me, why did you apply for The Chase to begin with? 

I applied on Christmas day 2017 after joking about it with my family. I’d turned 18 the week before and we were listing all the things I could legally do now I was an adult. I wasn’t a massive Chase fan but I had watched the programme quite a few times and thought it was something I was capable of.

Did you prepare for your time on the show?

Not really, the whole point is you can’t really prepare. I did however watch every night for the month running up to filming so I was confident with the format.

What was it like being in the actual studio, seeing The Chasers and talking to the national treasure that is Bradley Walsh? 

Really, really weird. The studio is actually a little bit of an anti-climax – there’s no live audience and in real life looks a bit cheaply built. You don’t know who you’re up against until the Chaser walks out, so that reaction is genuine. This means they can keep up the scary persona. However, after the show, Shaun came down and gave me a hug (this was pre-Covid-19 days) and told me I’d played well. He’s actually a really lovely guy. Bradley Walsh is also a lovely lovely man. He’s exactly as he is on TV which really helps settle the nerves. He was genuinely interested in chatting to us all.

How did you feel your game play went?

Well I’m still in my overdraft so maybe not that well! I was really happy with how the cashbuilder went and scored £6k which was amazing given I guessed two questions and relied on GCSE English knowledge for another. It all fell to pieces in the Chase though and I got a string of really hard questions (not that I’m making excuses). I’m so glad I didn’t go for the high option which was a whopping £50k or I’d have looked an idiot. I’m still happy though, I think I gave it my best shot and just the experience and clout made it worth it.

Was it surreal watching yourself on TV after?

So surreal! I was meant to get a phone call giving me two weeks’ warning but that never happened. Instead my mum rang me at work in the Hatfield café and told me I was on TV right then. Thankfully it was quiet so I was able to watch myself but it was weird sitting there alone. Afterwards I ended up trending number four in the UK on twitter and got an article written about me by the Daily Star for ‘stealing the show’ which is ridiculous. A lot of the attention I got was focussed on my appearance and even my lisp rather than my actual performance – which a more sensitive person might have been upset by.

What do you think the appeal is of quiz shows like The Chase?

I think people like them because you can usually answer a few of the questions and the people on them are just normal people. There’s something very comforting about a show that’s on everyday at a time when you’re usually on your way in from work or uni. I’d definitely recommend applying for a quiz show if you can, it is going to be my biggest flex for a long time yet.

How are you dealing with your fame?

Milking all the attention while I can. It won’t last long.

You can watch Durham’s newest TV celebrity on ITV Hub using this lovely link https://www.itv.com/hub/the-chase/1a7842a1622

Image: Libby Morrell

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