The Chase viewers ‘confused’ as Bradley Walsh hugs guests during first post-lockdown show

Viewers of Bradley Walsh gameshow The Chase were left “bemused” after the lack of social distancing during last night’s Celebrity Special (October 18).

The episode was the first to be filmed after lockdown.

Contestants on The Chase were seen sitting one metre apart throughout the episode.

However, there was an apparent lack of social distancing as things progressed.

The Chase
Chase contestants got close to each other and host Bradley Walsh (Credit: ITV)

What happened on The Chase?

Comedian Dane Baptiste, rugby referee Nigel Owens, TV presenter Anita Rani and sports broadcaster Mark Pougatch made up the panel.

And viewers noticed that contestants were hugging and high-fiving host Bradley Walsh.

Read more: The Chase star Paul Sinha tells fans how to improve their quizzing skills

One tweeted: “So I’m catching up on #TheChase on @ITV and I’m totally bemused that Anita said it was recorded post lockdown yet Bradley was hugging everyone on the show.

“If they bubbled up like #gbbo2020 that’s fine. But does give mixed messages when the country is having a surge in cases.”

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Another said: “Bit confused by this celebrity #thechase episode. There’s a longer desk to allow for social distancing and there appears to be no audience for obvious reasons, but Bradley is still shaking hands with the contestants?”

What did a spokesperson for The Chase say?

However, ITV was quick to respond to the comments.

The broadcaster reassured fans that both Bradley and the celebrity guests were safe. It added they had indeed been following the government’s coronavirus guidelines.

The response stated that all crew and guests were tested for the virus and, if negative results come back, they can work closely with each other as part of a Close Contact Cohort.

So I’m catching up on #TheChase on @ITV and I’m totally bemused that Anita said it was recorded post lockdown yet Bradley was hugging everyone on the show.

“Series 11 of The Chase Celebrity Special was filmed using approved Close Contact Cohort protocols,” the spokesperson said.

“As such, host Bradley Walsh and the celebrity contestants were able to physically interact for short intervals.

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance.”

Did they win the Final Chase?

Despite the online controversy, it was a winning show for the celebrities’ charities.

They banked £120,000 for their chosen charities during the Final Chase.

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