Culture

Bradley Walsh: "I want to apologise to Fanny Chmelar"

Presenter of The Chase, Bradley Walsh, talks comedy, acting and appearing in a YouTube classic

Do you describe yourself as an actor or a comedian?

I wouldn’t describe myself as a comedian, that’s for sure. I’ve done stand-up comedy and some people on the odd occasion have found me mildly amusing but I’d describe myself as more of an actor.

Did you always want to become an actor?

Growing up it was always going to be football until my mum, Margaret, took me to the London Palladium to see Tommy Steele in Hans Christian Andersen. I said if I don’t play football for a living, that is what I want to do. After I was injured I drifted into showbiz.

You were a Bluecoat at Pontins, which used to be every entertainer’s route to the big time.

Everyone’s path is different. It’s not always about money, sometimes it’s about the journey. It’s taken me 53 years to get here, so maybe there’ll be more twists and turns, who knows? There is only one thing around the corner, and that’s more corners. Sometimes life is up, Steven, sometimes it’s down but always it’s around.

How do you balance a serious show like Law and Order with presenting The Chase?

When I’m doing The Chase I can be me and have a laugh, but we make 150 of those shows a year and sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Variety is great for the soul, so for four months of the year I’m a detective.

Have you played the board game version of The Chase?

I haven’t no, is it any good?

I spent Christmas Day playing it, and gained new respect for how difficult presenting must be. How do you deal with the more stupid contestants?

I never look at it like that, I’m on their side. Sometimes people’s perceptions of intelligence are way off the mark. Knowing answers to questions is about having a good memory, not being clever, and I am certainly not the brightest person on the planet.

But what about the ones who take money away from the team so they get to the final?

That’s a brilliant piece of game play. You need as many as you can for the final chase.

The Chase is also made in Russia and Germany. When The Weakest Link went abroad they’d find someone like Anne Robinson to present. Think they’ve done the same for you?

That would be cool. A Russian version of Bradley Walsh – Bradley Walshski.

That can’t stop laughing when they have to say rude names.

That’s just my juvenile sense of humour unfortunately.

What’s so funny about Fanny Chmelar?

Crikey. I was just caught totally blind by what I said. Once I realised I just totally lost it. I see the questions at the same time as the contestants and when it comes up I read it, and I know that the question setters are on the floor of the gallery. They find it hysterical.

Over six million people have watched the clip on YouTube. Do you think the question setters did it on purpose?

What do you think? That is just their sick sense of humour. I want to meet Fanny Chmelar to say hi, apologise for laughing and maybe have a glass of Glühwein with her.

Law and Order UK is on ITV, Sundays at 9pm

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