The Chase’s Mark Labbett gets candid about ‘tough’ romantic life

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The Chase’s Mark Labbett has admitted that being away almost half the year due to his intensive filming schedule makes it a struggle to keep a meaningful relationship going. After his split from wife Katie, he’s mainly focusing on “me time” and bonding with his young son.

The 57-year-old quiz show host split from glamorous wife Katie in 2020, saying that pressures in lockdown made him aware of the challenges of their 27-year age gap.

Mark has now confessed his working lifestyle makes him too “busy” to effectively date.

Speaking at the Dirty Dancing Gala in London, he elaborated: “I’m away from home 150 days a year filming, so it would be tough to have a relationship even if I wanted to.”

He continued to The Sun: “Right now I’m really appreciating me time.

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“I’ve just had two weeks off in the glamourous resort of Rotherham, where I’ve been staying in my flat and I can just put the sport on, watch the films I wanted to watch, play computer games, had a go even on FIFA and I just loved it.”

The star, who is known on TV as the Beast, added jokingly that he is “married to” his work – and so it’s his child he rushes to see when he has leisure time, not a girlfriend.

He added that son Lawrence, who turns five this year, has just discovered Harry Potter, which adds a bit of excitement to the bedtime stories he’s keen to read to him.

The family side of his life is something Mark’s keen to keep out of the public eye, in a bid to protect his son’s privacy.

On account of that, he’s vowed not to post his photo on social media or do anything to potentially embarrass him, until his little one is old enough to reciprocate.

In fact, he admonished “scary” godmother Anne Hegerty for blurting out the name of his son on TV, when he would have preferred to keep it private.

Meanwhile, Mark has been improving his fitness over recent years and has even boasted a 10 stone weight loss.

However, even prior to his transformation, he reported that he’d been a hit with the ladies – even women as young as 19 or 20.

He previously revealed that he gets unwelcome attention when he gives talks at universities and has even recruited a security guard for events, to prevent anyone grabbing or groping him.

On a previous episode of Loose Women, Mark opened up about the relationship he had shared with Katie during their seven year marriage.

Astonishingly, he revealed that he had no idea that they were second cousins until after the pair were married.

“It wasn’t something we were aware of at the time – it was one of those things that happened,” he explained on the ITV show.

He added: “I had been a single man for a long while [when I met Katie] so I was getting used to the idea of being on my own.

“Especially as a bachelor, we can get pretty selfish, you get used to doing what you want to do all of the time.

“As a couple of my friends pointed out, the big challenge for me is learning to adapt to being with someone else!”

The Chase airs weekdays at 5pm on ITV.

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