The Chase’s ‘Beast’ Mark Labbett shares key role of retriever in him shedding 10-stone

The Pet Show: Mark Labbett opens up on relationship with his dog

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The 6ft 6ins giant lost a lot of weight after being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. And the quizzing genius, whose real name is Mark Labbett, has credited his “personal trainer” dog, called Baloo, for his role in getting him active. Mark spoke about his relationship with the fluffy dog on an appearance on ITV’s new programme called The Pet Show. The show celebrates the UK’s animal obsession and saw hosts Dermot O’Leary and Joanna Page talk with the Beast about how getting out with Baloo helped in his weight loss mission.

He said: “I was walking him round the fields, taking me places… I think he’s helped a lot, simply because I’m doing more activity.” At one time, Mark tipped the scales at 29 stone, but weighed in at just 19 stone back in May of this year, marking a tremendous weight loss achievement.

The quiz show star and his fluffy companion clearly love each other very much, with Mark barely able to hold a conversation for a few seconds without reaching down to pet his dog, reminding the goldie how loved he is. The Beast and Baloo aren’t the only celebrity and dog pairing to have appeared on the show, with previous episodes featuring chef James Martin, supermodel Jodie Kidd and soap star Michelle Collins alongside their canines.

According to the Kennel Club, golden retrievers as a breed are ‘biddable’, ‘intelligent’ and have a natural working ability. The dogs also possess a kind, friendly and confident temperament, making them perfect for the role of personal trainer. Mark was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in 2017 which is when he changed his lifestyle around.

Captioning an Instagram photo, Mark said: “Since then I have prioritised my overall health and fitness and have been on a real-life weight loss journey losing nearly 10 stones since my diagnosis.” Mark started on the British favourite show The Chase in 2009. He is fondly known as The Beast, both for his statue and surname (la bête means “the beast” in French).

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