Vicar’s heavenly showing on The Chase scoops £8,000 prize

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Mike Powis (far right) with his fellow contestants on the ITV show

A FORMER Dibden vicar gave a divine performance on ITV quiz show The Chase to take home £8,000 – and has spent a chunk of it on his cat.

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Mike Powis faced off alone against The Beast on the hit programme, hosted by actor and singer Bradley Walsh, after his three team-mates were eliminated.

In the final chase he answered a highly creditable 18 questions correctly, which proved beyond the chaser, to take home £8,000.

“I had no idea how I would perform on the day but Bradley kept asking questions and I kept answering them!” Mike told the A&T. “The Beast was a tough opponent.”

The Chase involves four contestants who are strangers each answering questions while up against a chaser – a brainbox who is one of the top quizzers across the UK. However, if the chaser gets more answers correct to ‘catch’ them, they are eliminated.

The programme climaxes with the remaining contestants teaming up to answer as many questions as they can in two minutes. In reply the chaser tries to get as many questions right to catch them and stop them getting the prizemoney.

Mike Labbett, AKA The Beast

After the other three contestants were eliminated Mike faced the daunting prospect of a standalone face-off with The Beast – whose real name is Mark Labbett.

Topics among the questions which Mike (56) conquered were: Greek mythology, the chemical sign of hydrogen sulphate, the DVLA and an octahedron being an eight-faced shape.

Tasked with catching Mike, it seemed The Beast would do so comfortably when he got 14 answers right in the first 80 seconds of his reply.

However, the chaser then ran into difficulty with questions Mike was able to answer, causing a nail-biting climax that culminated with him ending one short.

Mike said he is a keen quizzer who had applied for many television programmes in the past but this was his first appearance on TV. He appeared on the show having made it through a mock version of the programme in an audition at a Southampton hotel.

“When I was the only team member left for the final chase, all the pressure was off,” he said. “I scored a really high total for a single player so whatever happened after that I could hold my head up.

“I had almost lost with 40 seconds of the two minutes remaining but got a couple of gifts and managed to win.”

Mike, who did all of his training at Dibden Purlieu and is now the vicar of All Saints Church, Southbourne, explained he had already spent some of the winnings on the cat he and wife Julie after it was injured when hit by a car.

He added: “The rest has been put away ready to buy a house to live in on retirement.

“On the show I said we’d be going to the Melbourne Cricket Ground [in Australia] for a Boxing Day test and we might one day – but not until we’ve got a house!”

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