The Governess Anne Hegerty’s TV Passions: 'It’s difficult not to say, goodness me, how do none of you know that?'

Anne Hegerty talks gameshows, the Zoom quizzing boom and how she keeps famous faces in line for her new series of Britain's Brightest Celebrity Family.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 24 April 2021 - 2.09pm
Entertainment

Game shows

Bradley Walsh

ITV Anne Hegerty in the presenter's chair on Britain's Brightest Celebrity Family

Anne Hegerty has become one of the country’s most recognisable TV stars after over a decade of quizzing as ‘The Governess’ on ITV smash hit The Chase.

In 2018, Hegerty appeared with Ant and Dec in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity and she’s also turned her hand to presenting on Britain’s Brightest Family.

She is currently presenting the celebrity spinoff of Britain’s Brightest, which includes famous faces including Colin Jackson, Razor Ruddock and Joe Pasquale, competing with their families to win the title of Britain’s Brightest Celebrity Family.

The biggest surprise on Britain’s Brightest Celebrity Family is…

I was impressed by the calibre of celebrities that we got. I’d actually heard of all of them, which was great. It’s quite possible to be introduced to celebrities and think, "Who?", but I didn’t say that once on this show.

Switching from Chaser to host has been…

Anne Hegerty joined by Neil Razor Ruddock and Colin Jackson on Britain's Brightest Celebrity Family ITV

I’ve been watching Brad [Walsh] for such a long time and you’re learning from the best. It’s nice not being on someone else’s timetable. You don’t keep getting told to hurry up. You get asked if you want to take a little bit longer to do something and if you’re ready. It all revolves around me and I think life should revolve around me, so that’s nice.

My dream celebrity contestants would be…

It would be fun to have a show with the Chasers and their families. I know the Chasers have pretty smart families. The Vixen, her quiz team in Bolton is made of her mum and step-dad, so I know that’s a very smart family.

I’ve met Bradley Walsh’s son Barney at various events and he’s a very smart young man. And Barney’s mum Donna is a very smart lady. So I think that trio would be very good. And I’ve met Brad’s sister in the supermarket weirdly enough, she doesn’t seem dumb either. There could be loads of talent in that family.

If I could go on any TV quiz I would pick…

I wouldn’t mind doing Mastermind again. I got asked to do Celebrity Mastermind, but The Chase producers told me I couldn’t. I wouldn’t mind doing Brain of Britain again. But overall, I’d much rather be on The Chase than not on The Chase. I’d rather do that than anything else.

In lockdown, I have been…

In the last few months, I’ve been doing three Zoom quizzes a week with different teams. I’ve been doing tons of quizzes. That’s been good. There has been so much Zoom quizzing going on, I hope the entire population of the country has got a lot smarter in lockdown and we’ll get some real opposition when we return to The Chase.

The challenge of being a quiz master is…

Anne Hegerty presenting Britain's Brightest Celebrity Family ITV

Occasionally it’s difficult not to say, "Goodness me how do none of you know that". But there are loads of things that other people know that I don’t. There always used to be a fair amount of maths in this show because the non-celebrity version is designed for children. And I’m very bad at mental arithmetic. That is The Beast’s strong point. There are loads of things other people know more about than I do.

What makes a really great gameshow is…

For The Chase, it’s a really great format. People can pick it up at moment and know what’s going on and what’s happened. And the Final Chase is just so exciting. Our other secret weapon is Bradley. He’s so, so good. He’s an expert presenter, so hilarious and has great rapport with the Chasers and the audience.

I’m not an expert on gameshow formats, but I do know a lot of people say that the problem with some gameshows is that it dragged. It wasn’t fast enough. That’s what I told the producers of Britain’s Brightest Family. I wanted to get to the gameplay fast with not too much faffing about.

Watch Britain’s Brightest Celebrity Family on Thursdays at 8.30pm on ITV.

Catch up on the series so far on ITV Hub.

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