The Chase star Mark Labbett has revealed that he’s had suspected coronavirus and lost almost five-stone during lockdown.
Although he never got a test for the virus, Mark explained that he hardly ate for two weeks and suffered ‘uncontrollable spells’ of fevers, reports The Sun on Sunday.
After suffering with his health at the start of lockdown, the 54-year-old quizzing genius changed his diet and has now gone down to weighing less than 23-stone.
Shock: The Chase star Mark Labbett, 54, has revealed that he had suspected coronavirus and has lost almost five-stone during lockdown (pictured in July)
Mark told the Sun: ‘I got suspected Covid at the end of February, and got sent home from work, for the first time in 15 years… ITV were brilliant, and took no chances.
‘Because the testing capacity was so limited then, I never formally got a test but all I can say is that for two weeks I had complete loss of appetite, no sense of smell, a temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life.
‘I basically didn’t eat for two weeks but since then the weight has continued to drop off because I have continued to eat sensibly. I knew I had to.’
At his heaviest in 2016 Mark – who is affectionately known as The Beast on TV and is an imposing 6ft 6ins- weighed 29-stone and earlier this year he was 27.5-stone.
Making changes: The quiz star explained he ‘had complete loss of appetite, no sense of smell, a temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life’ for two weeks (pictured in November)
However he knew being overweight could put him at a higher risk of a contracting a more serious coronavirus and took steps to lose the weight.
As well as being more conscious about what he eats, Mark said that running around after his three-year-old son has kept him active.
Mark shared the results of his weight loss on Twitter on Wednesday as he posed in a mirror while pulling on a pair of old trousers for a selfie.
Losing weight: Mark looked noticeably thinner in an Instagram snap (left) shared in June compared to when he was at his heaviest weight (right) in 2016
Illustrating his weight loss by pulling the larger waistline away from his body, Mark appeared to be pleased with his progress – but conceded he still hadn’t crossed the finish line.
Captioning the shot, he wrote: ‘Lost a bit of waistline, still a long way to go.’
Fans of the star were quick to congratulate him on his efforts, with the post prompting a string of encouraging responses.
Responding to Mark, one wrote: ‘Well done Mark and fair play to you, keep meaning to do do it myself but my will power is non existent.’
Well done pal: Fans of the TV star were quick to congratulate him on his weight loss efforts on Wednesday, with the post prompting a string of encouraging responses
Another impressed fan added: ‘Incredible work mate!…. I’m currently following Slimming World and making loads of changes to shift the weight and become alot happier and healthier! You look great pal!’
While a third commented: ‘Wow that is an amazing achievement. I hope you are really proud of yourself. Keep going Sir, keep going.’
It comes after Mark’s The Chase co-star Paul Sinha revealed he believes he has also contracted coronavirus.
The quiz champ, 49, took to Twitter back in March where he told his followers that he thinks he has the bug after ‘starting social distancing a few days too late.’
Co-stars: Mark has entertained audiences on The Chase since 2009 (he is pictured with the show’s host Bradley Walsh in 2014)
Paul’s revelation comes amidst his battle with Parkinson’s disease, of which he revealed in May.
The star, known as ‘The Sinnerman’ on the ITV quiz show managed to make light of the situation however, tweeting that he’ll sneeze on anyone who ‘upsets’ him.
He penned: ‘Although I cant be sure and i cant be tested it seems likely i have Coronavirus.
‘Started social distancing a few days too late. Anyone upsets me; I’ll be around to sneeze in your home.’
He post was soon flooded with messages from fans sharing their support and well-wishes.
Illness? The Chase star Paul Sinha revealed in March that he believed he had contracted coronavirus
Infected? The quiz genius, 49, took to Twitter where he told his followers that he thinks he has the bug after ‘starting social distancing a few days too late’