• One of the most successful daytime game shows.
• General knowledge quiz based on a team of four members of the public who
work together against a Chaser
• Aim: generate as large a cash prize as possible while the Chaser attempts to
limit the amount they win. Individual round and final round – contestant
aims to get more questions correct than the Chaser. The Chasers have been
successful on other quiz shows e.g. The Dark Destroyer: Appeared on 15 to
1, Beat the Nation, BrainTeaser, the UK version of Greed, and The Waiting
Game; winner of Mastermind, finalist on Are You an Egghead?
The host and representation
- Bradley Walsh
• Like many other hosts, is a comedian and light entertainer (though
latterly a serious actor). Asks questions about each contestant so the
audience can relate to them. Jokes with them and is self-effacing to put
them at ease and engage the audience. Looks relaxed – no tie – helps
put contestants at ease. Identifies with the contestants – refers to them
as ‘my team’ and talks about the ways ‘we’ can beat the Chaser. This
inclusiveness also engages the audiences because it involves them. He
stands with the contestant during the head to head with the Chaser
and provides encouragement.
The contestants and representation
• Team – often a spread of ages – to help engage the audience.
• Dress in a relaxed manner to create a relaxed mise-en-scene.
• Ages and dress help the audience relate to the team and, therefore, the
• The show is based on team work rather than just individual skills. They
encourage each other – though sometimes to ensure the largest possible
prize. Otherwise, they unite in opposition to the Chasers.
The set and the audience 1
• Broadcast in front of an audience,
though they’re not seen they offer
emotional responses which trigger
involvement from the audience at
• The set is defined by a large
crescent shaped LED screen which
wraps about 260 degrees around
the studio space. Another main
element is a large scenic “C” at the
end of which the ‘Chaser’ sits. It is
dominated by blue lights. The
contestants sit behind an
illuminated desk and the backdrop
consists of moving blue dots and
light. The elliptical nature of the set
creates a feeling of inclusivity for
the home audience, as if they are
The set and the audience 2
• The Chaser sits in front of a red arch
and a wall of red dots – creating
connotations of evil. The Chaser is
placed higher than Bradley and the
contestants, making them seem more
• Set – separates contestants and Chaser.
Contestants sit as a team. Individual
cash-builder round – contestant stands
in front of the team with host, Bradley
Walsh. Individual challenging the
Chaser stands at the foot of a large
sloping table with the Chaser looking
down at them.
• Questions appear on screen in a flash
of light. The fast-moving light is
replicated in the background mise-en-
scene to indicate time counting down.
Narrative, tension and the Chasers
• Chasers depicted as villains who attempt to block the progress of the heroes, but
each is given a nickname and has created a personality that Walsh builds during his
banter. They are depicted as larger than life pantomime villains; some (The Dark
Destroyer especially) are (initially at least) humourless and antagonistic. When the
episode’s Chaser is introduced, Walsh builds up to their entrance by wondering
which one it will be, referring to them by their nick names, but also gently mocking
them – because he is on the contestants’ side, after all.
Narrative, tension and the Chasers
• They are filmed from a low angle to make them seem fearsome to the
contestant (and audience) who look up at them, while the contestant
during this round is sometimes filmed from a high angle to make
them look weak. They appear from a red arch as if they are somehow
demonic and during the final chase the blue wall behind the
contestants turns red to indicate tension. They give the audience
someone to dislike. Without the Chaser, the only barrier to victory
would be the contestants’ knowledge – WITH the Chaser, there is
more tension because they add an additional barrier between the
contestant and victory and that creates suspense and tension.
• Note the red lighting around the Chaser
• The score around the side of the set with the red light of the Chaser catching up the
• The graphic of the score with the time code at the bottom of the screen
• Note the camera angle showing the Chaser in a threatening position looking down on
the contestants and Walsh, who at that distance, is positioned with the team
Narrative, tension, the Chaser, music and the
• Contestants and Chaser – mostly presented in mid-shot with the
occasional close up on reactions. During cash builder and individual
versus Chaser, focus pull is used to show the reactions of the other
members of the team to help create tension. There are occasional
long shots, sometimes from above during the individual round,
seemingly showing the contestant as vulnerable and isolated.
• Dramatic, tense theme music to represent the chase itself.
• Use of music – builds as time runs out and a klaxon indicates the end
of the round. Ominous music and a change from blue to red lighting
indicate the appearance of the Chaser.
• First round of questions (cash builder) – relatively easy and start with an
easier question to put the contestant at ease.
• Contestant will stand in front of the team, next to Walsh and answer as
many questions as possible within a limited time, in order to build cash so
the team can take it into the next round. The timecode allows the audience
to see that time is running out and, therefore, increases tension.
• Second round - against The Chaser, more difficult. The contesant attempts
to bring the money that he or she earned to the bottom of a seven-step
money board (referred to as "home"). Before the round begins, the money
is placed three steps down from the top of the board, and the contestant is
given the choice of either starting at that position, beginning one step
closer to home or being one step closer to the chaser.
• Final round:
• The round is divided into two phases–in the first, the contestants answer questions
in order to earn themselves steps to keep them ahead of the Chaser, while the
second phase sees the Chaser trying to match these steps, in order to "catch" the
team and prevent them winning the prize fund.
• The contestants are given a head-start of one step per contestant participating in
the round. The team (or sole remaining contestant) is then given two minutes to
answer as many questions as they can correctly, with each correct answer earning
them one more step from the chaser. Only the first person to buzz in can give an
answer, as any attempt by the other contestants to respond will lead to the question
being thrown out. If only one contestant is present in the Final Chase, no buzzer is
• The second phase - the chaser has two minutes to catch the contestants. The Chaser
must match the number of the steps that the contestants earned in the first phase,
by correctly answering as many questions as possible within the time limit.
However, should the Chaser give an incorrect answer or pass, the clock is stopped
and the question is thrown over to the contestants, who can push the chaser back a
step if they can give a correct answer..
• If the Chaser achieves the same number of steps that the contestants got before
time is up, then the contestants leave empty-handed. If the contestants are not
"caught", they win the prize fund to be split equally; if only one contestant remains
for the Final Chase, he/she wins the entire prize.
• The schedule is intense, recording three shows a day in batches of
five days, and it has a daily broadcast slot on ITV 1 between 5 and 6
p.m. Like many other quiz shows, they have recorded ‘celebrity
specials’ where money is won for charity. It has been running since
2009. It attracts a daily audience of over 2 million, is in direct
competition to BBC 1’s Pointless and usually attracts a slightly higher
audience, although research has shown that viewers will quite happily
switch allegiance from one show to the other.
• It is produced by an independent company, Potato, for ITV.
• It is a financially important show because of its success because a
popular show attracts advertisers and sponsors; however, on top of this,
TV have sold the format to several countries in Europe, Australia, China,
Russia and the USA. For the Australian and American versions at least,
one of the original Chasers shot several episodes to lend continuity for
viewers who had seen imported broadcasts of the British show. It also
makes money for ITV in terms of repeat fees on the gameshow channel,
• The Chase is moving to Saturday nights with later this year with its new
• The family edition will feature four contestants who are all related,
instead of being complete strangers.
Spin-offs and promotion
• There’s a board game based on the show and a version for iOS app for
Android and Apple phones and tablets.
• If you miss episodes, you can watch them on ITV hub or the show’s own
YouTube channel or Facebook, which allows the audience to comment.
• To engage the audience the YouTube channel includes episodes but
prominently features – jokes and chases
• The YouTube and ITV hub are examples of synergy because they also
promote I’m a Celebrity…, Potato, This Morning, Ninja Warrior and other
• There is a Twitter page giving updates of the episodes and allowing
• This kind of interactivity gives the audience a sense of involvement so they
will be more likely to watch the show