Bradley Walsh, 59, has been welcomed into viewers homes on The Chase since the ITV quiz show first aired in 2009. Back in 2016, however, the host revealed how he originally landed the job. Appearing on Good Morning Britain to mark the 1000th episode, he announced: “1000 episodes is extraordinary considering I went up to the office for a cup of tea – that’s all I did – and a chat.”
The Chase favourite went on to recall how he had been with former Head of Factual and Daytime and ITV Ali Sharman when she had handed him the pitch for the programme.
“She said, ‘Tell me what you think of that,’” he said, going on to explain how he took the pitch home to check it out.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I think that may work.’”
When the ITV boss told Bradley she wanted to set up a run-through to test out the concept, he offered to play the part of the presenter.
“I did the office run-through,” he said. “That office run-through, Shaun Wallace, the barrister, was there and I took the mickey out of him relentlessly.
“They loved all that and they said, ‘We’re going to do a pilot.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it for you.’”
The Chase host proceeded to explain how he had been acting in Law & Order UK at the time and wasn’t doing any presenting.
“It was pure luck,” he said. “I was outside the building and I rang the Head of Daytime at the time and said, ‘Can I have a meeting and a cup of tea?’
“She said, ‘Yeah, any time you like. Where are you?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m here right now.’
“That was it. That’s exactly where it started,” he concluded.
“I just happened to be there, right place right time.”
Former Coronation Street actor Bradley has fronted The Chase since it first began and, to date, has hosted over 1,400 episodes.
The quiz show sees teams of four members of the public pit their general knowledge wits against those of the Chasers: Anne Hegerty, 60, Mark Labbett, 54, Jenny Ryan, 37, Shaun Wallace, 59, and Paul Sinha, 49.
Bradley also presents The Chase Celebrity Specials.
Tonight, four more hopefuls will take on one of the Chasers in a bid to take home the prize money.
The Chase airs tonight at 6pm on ITV.