THE Chase's Mark Labbett has furiously denied fan claims that he "threw the game" in last night's celebrity special.
Angry viewers accused the game show of being a fix when the 55-year-old quiz expert – known as The Beast on the programme – got several "easy" questions wrong.
They flocked to Twitter to share their theory that Mark was purposefully losing – but he was having none of it.
Taking to his own social media page last night, Mark wrote: "Never thrown a question, never will #thechase if you think I did, then please unfollow me and never tweet me again :(".
The star was supported by his fans, who admitted that they'd always thought he was one of the "most competitive" Chasers – and had little doubt that he'd never lose intentionally.
However, others were less certain, with one previously tweeting: "Mark pretending not to know a lot of the answers…"
Another agreed: "He threw that game #thechase".
A third echoed: "He's giving them plenty of chances #thechase".
One more sniped: "F**kin’ fix #TheChase".
One skeptic viewer questioned: "😳 The Beast didn't know @valmcdermid wrote 'Wire in the Blood' #TheChase #Shocking".
Last month, fans were stunned when they learned the real meaning behind Mark's nickname The Beast – having originally believed that it referenced his stature.
A viewer tweeted: "I have watched almost every episode of The Chase since it started airing in 2009.
"And I am only TODAY learning that Mark Labbett is called The Beast cos ‘la bête’ is french for ‘the beast’, not just because he is a portly gentleman."
Another fan, who had actually done battle with Mark on The Chase, added: "I was literally up against The Beast in 2010 and only learned this at a later date."
A third raved: "This genuinely thrills me."
In common with his fellow Chasers, who include Jenny 'The Vixen' Ryan and Anne 'Governess' Hegerty, Mark was assigned the nickname when he joined.
The quizzer, who has appeared on Mastermind twice and even taken £32,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, began on The Chase in 2009.
Former supply teacher Mark has travelled the world with the show, shooting versions for the US and Australia.
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