The Chase’s Mark Labbett credits five stone weight loss to secret suspected coronavirus battle

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The Chase star Mark Labbett has opened up on his secret battle with the coronavirus, revealing it helped him lose five stone in weight.

Mark, who is also known by his quiz nickname The Beast on the popular ITV quiz show, revealed he “didn’t eat for two weeks” after being sent home by ITV with suspected covid-19 symptoms in February this year.

Quizmaster Mark, who split from his wife last year before reuniting, was given a “red light” warning by doctors over his 27 stone weight in March.

Speaking to The Sun On Sunday about his health scare Mark, who is the second The Chase star to have been affected by covid-19, said: “I got suspected covid at the end of February, and got sent home from work, for the first time in 15 years, on Wednesday 27th. ITV were brilliant, and took no chances.

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“Because the testing capacity was so limited then, I never formally got a test but all I can say is that for two weeks I had complete loss of appetite, no sense of smell, a temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life.”

Mark described having “rapid attacks” which he said is one of the symptoms of the potentially fatal virus.

He added: “Apparently one of the symptoms they’re discovering now is rapid attacks. One morning I woke up at 1.30am shivering uncontrollably. I had to go downstairs to alter the central heating, and I couldn’t hold a pint of water in one hand because I was shaking so much.

“For these brief spells you thought you’d need to be hospitalised but ten minutes later, you’d be fine. It felt like going one particularly brutal round with Mike Tyson.

“As a self-proclaimed fatty, of course I was aware that having covid wasn’t good, and clearly increased the severity of my risk. At my last medical, the tests were based around a Christmas tree system — red, amber and green.

“Although I am fat I’ve always been quite fit, so everything else was in the amber zone except my weight which was firmly in the red.”

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Explaining how he lost five stone and has continued to lose weight after his battle with the virus, he said: “I basically didn’t eat for two weeks but since then the weight has continued to drop off because I have continued to eat sensibly. I knew I had to.

“I am still losing weight and beginning to notice the difference in photos which, I can assure you, are not ­Photoshopped!”

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