The Chase star Anne Hegerty explains why she changed original Governess character

The Chase: Anne Hegerty on 'changing' her Governess character

Anne, 62, plays up to the formidable and intimidating personality of The Governess on The Chase, taking down opponents one-by-one. The former I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! campmate is just one of six quizmasters who star on the programme and five of them now take part in ITV spin-off show, Beat The Chasers, where contestants get to see even more of the ruthless general knowledge gurus. However, it seems Anne’s character could have been a lot more terrifying than the one she portrays on-screen today.

Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of Loose Women, the quizmaster explained the input she had when creating her alter-ego.

Asked if it was “tough” to be The Governess, Anne said: “Originally, the character was going to be more sort of creepy.

“I remember saying I wanted her to be a cross between Caroline Aherne’s Mrs Merton and Daphne Fowler on EggHeads.

“I wanted everyone to think in terms of Dolores Umbridge and how the creepiest thing about her was those damn kittens.

“And then a friend of mine said that’s a bit too different from what I’m like and I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.”

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The Governess star continued: “So, I went and based her more on my grandmother who I did mention earlier and she was formidable.

“Also, one of my aunts and just this generically scary character [formed]. Americans have compared her to Professor McGonagall.

“I would rather be McGonagall than Umbridge any day,” Anne continued to explain as to why the original character changed.

With the second season of Beat The Chasers underway, The Governess star has also spoken out about working with her fellow quizmasters.

Beat the Chasers: Contestant wins £25,000

The character was going to be creepy

Anne Hegerty

Discussing their tactics, Anne said: “We’ve become more used to working together as a team. We’re better at anticipating who is going to know things, when to buzz in and when to leave it.

“We understand each other’s style, better. I’m still very slow on the buzzer, that’s something that hasn’t changed.

“The experience of recording series one, it helped us understand, ‘OK, Anne takes about five years to get to the buzzer.’

“‘But if it’s a question that we don’t know and we know it’s the sort of thing she’ll know, let’s leave it, she may get it eventually.'”

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“We hadn’t been in the habit of quizzing together as a team. And then this was an opportunity to do that,” Anne added.

Talking about trying to beat the amateur quizzers who think they can defeat The Chasers, The Governess star said: “We always want to beat them, we always want to catch them.

“At the same time, if we caught everyone that would be a really boring show.

“A lot of people I think are taking on five Chasers when they should be taking on fewer, just because they want to be able to say they’ve taken on all five Chasers.

“Some are saying, ‘It isn’t the money, they’re not bothered about the money, they came here with nothing, they don’t mind going away with nothing, they just want the experience of playing.’”

During Tuesday night’s instalment of the spin-off show, Anne came face-to-face with a player she had previously beaten on The Chase.

Business Analytics Manager Zeus was sent home from the quiz show 10 years ago empty-handed after crumbling in front of The Governess.

However, he was given the chance to challenge the 62-year-old on Beat The Chasers and it was a tense battle.

In the end, the player walked away with £25,000 after finally defeating The Governess and her fellow teammates.

The Chase airs weekdays at 5pm on ITV. Loose Women airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV.

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