ITV The Chase dealt huge blow as rival show snatches its crown

Pictured: (l-r) Shaun ‘The Barrister’ Wallace, Darragh “The Menace” Ennis, Anne “The Governess” Hegerty, Paul ‘'The Sinnerman'’ Sinha, Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan and Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett
Pictured: (l-r) Shaun ‘The Barrister’ Wallace, Darragh “The Menace” Ennis, Anne “The Governess” Hegerty, Paul ‘'The Sinnerman'’ Sinha, Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan and Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett -Credit:ITV

ITV's The Chase has been dethroned as the most-watched game show on TV by a new programme. Lee Mack's The 1% Club has now claimed the title of the biggest quiz show of 2023, averaging around 5.8 million viewers each week.

In contrast, The Chase, also broadcast on ITV, typically draws an audience of three to five million viewers daily. The show, hosted by former Coronation Street actor Bradley Walsh, was once hailed as the most successful game show on UK television.

However, recent data released by the network indicates that The 1% Club has taken the lead, becoming the largest original game show for the station in over ten years. The programme challenges the contestants' IQs, with questions based not on general knowledge but on common sense.

Get the latest What's On news straight to your phone by joining us on WhatsApp

The first series, which aired in April 2022, attracted an average of 4.39 million viewers. All the questions posed to the contestants have also been presented to members of the public before filming.

One hundred hopefuls are given a stake of £1000 at the start of the game, and host Lee asks 15 questions, ranging in difficulty from 90% to 1%, reports the Mirror.

Lee Mack on The 1% Club
Lee Mack on The 1% Club -Credit:ITV

The popular programme snagged the National Television Award for Best Quiz Game Show just last year. Moreover, the episode aired on April 6, this year, was particularly successful, acquiring the attention of 44% of the 16-34 demographic, becoming the most viewed programme of the night with a staggering 34% audience share.

Nevertheless, it's not just recently that The Chase has been recognised; the quiz show was nominated six times for National Television Awards in the years 2016, 2017 and 2019. It even spawned a successful spin-off, Beat The Chasers, which quickly became a hit among fans.

Notably, the spin-off was up for Best Daytime at the British Academy Television Awards in 2021, securing the win only a year later in 2022.

Since its original inception in 2009, The Chase have seen remarkable international success, with versions airing in countries such as Cyprus, Australia, The Netherlands, Turkey and the United States. Internationally renowned quizzers like Anne Hegerty and Mark Labbett have also made appearances on these overseas editions.

However, host Lee Mack has lately revealed that he will not be returning to his primary show, BBC's 'Not Going Out', in order to devote more time to other projects, including The 1% Club. He recalls, "I was doing a sketch show at the Fringe in Edinburgh with Catherine Tate and Dan Antopolski."

Last year, Lee also featured in a BBC series entitled Freeze the Fear alongside Holly Willoughby. "There was a thought I had that wasn't even a joke. Me looking out of a window with a telescope, my wife walks in and I suddenly look up to the stars. In other words, what the hell was I looking at? At best mildly amusing, not a sketch but an idea, so I parked it. Then I had another and another and the sketch grew into a quarter of the show and then became a pilot."

He continued: "More 1% Club, more Would I Lie to You? and, for the first year in a long time, I won't be doing Not Going Out. If we do bring it back, we're looking at early 2025."