FANS of The Chase were excited to hear the popular ITV quiz show would be welcoming a brand new chaser to the team.
He also complained he doesn’t get offered as much work on other shows, claiming that being a middle-aged white man makes him the wrong demographic for diversity-obsessed TV execs.
Quiz host Bradley Walsh confirmed that a new egghead would be joining chasers Mark, Jenny Ryan, Anne Hegerty, Paul Sinha and Shaun Wallace.
Former school teacher Mark said: “I’m gutted about it, to be honest. We only get paid for when we work so a new chaser means less work.
“There will be a point where I can’t afford to do it any more. I’ll have to go back to teaching.
“Last year we only filmed half as Bradley Walsh was on Doctor Who and if I didn’t have other work it would be really tough.”
But Mark is finding his side hustle challenging too, adding: “I’ve got a slight disadvantage because TV has too many white middle-aged quiz presenters.
“I haven’t had as many offers as Anne Hegerty and we have the same agent.
“My dream would be to host University Challenge.”
I don’t think Jeremy Paxman is going anywhere just yet, Mark.
Greatest gig for Diversity
BRITAIN’S Got Talent Winners Diversity will join founding member Jordan Banjo in an extravagant performance tomorrow – for the first live show of The Greatest Dancer’s new series.
The street dance troupe, who triumphed on BGT in 2009, will perform with show presenter Jordan, his co-host Alesha Dixon, and coaches Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison and Cheryl Tweedy.
Last year Jordan had to sit out the big opening routine of the BBC show’s first series, due to a knee injury.
But now he has choreographed Diversity’s upcoming routine – which will also feature Ashley Banjo and Dancing On Ice’s Perri Kiely – to ensure it is bigger and better than before.
A source said: “Jordan’s going all out to make sure it will be one to remember.
“He was gutted he couldn’t dance with Alesha, Oti, Matthew and Cheryl during the first season so he’s putting his all into this.”
See the show on BBC1 from 6.30pm tomorrow.
THE trailer for the second series of Narcos: Mexico has been released ahead of its launch on Netflix on February 13.
In less than three minutes, it features a kidnap, coke snorting, three-in-a-bed sex, pole dancing and a gun duel. Phew!
Amor the merrier
THE debut series of Winter Love Island hasn’t been the ratings success that ITV2 producers had hoped for.
Show bosses intend to spice things up by introducing second villa, Casa Amor on Sunday night.
The controversial challenge will see the lads shipped off to a separate luxury bolthole in South Africa, filled with a crop of new female contestants.
Meanwhile, the girls will stay in the main villa to see if their head can be turned by a fresh batch of male Islanders.
A telly source said: “Bosses are determined to cause a real stir this year with Casa Amor and have drafted in the sexiest singles yet.
“The new Cape Town Casa Amor is a short distance away from the main villa and, as the girls and boys will be split up, there will be tons of temptation in the form of gorgeous bombshells hoping to turn heads.
“The decor will feature phrases from this year’s series such as ‘Shoot your shot’ and ‘Trust in your sauce’ written on the walls.”
Well, the show definitely needs something fresh if it is to get a second series . .
WHAT? Deadwater Fell, Channel 4, 9pm.
WHY? The psychological drama, starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, comes to an end as the Scottish town tries to unlock the mysteries of the night of the fire.
Imelda’s ‘new me’
IMELDA Staunton was attracted to her role in new ITV drama Flesh And Blood because she believes she has never played a character like it before.
The four-part thriller follows widow Vivien (Francesca Annis) as she moves on with a new partner, Mark (Stephen Rea) to the fury of her three children and over-protective neighbour Mary (Staunton).
Imelda said: “I thought she was a bit odd and then I felt sorry for her. It kept my interest. I didn’t think I’d done anything quite like this.”