CELEBRITY

The Chase’s Beast Mark Labbett meets his beauty Hayley Palmer

Mark Labbett didn't need to chase his partner Hayley!
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Mark Labbett is a foreboding presence as his The Chase alter ego ‘The Beast’, but in reality, he is more like a soft teddy bear, says his girlfriend, Hayley Palmer.

“Mark gives the best cuddles and it’s the best medicine,” Hayley, a popular TV presenter in the couple’s native Britain, tells us.

Mark and Hayley are speaking to New Idea in the first joint Australian interview. During our chat they both gush about how excited they are to visit in the not-too-distant future.

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“We really, really want to come to Australia,” says Hayley. “I am obsessed with Home and Away and Neighbours. Big fan.”

Mark has been here many times thanks to his role on The Chase Australia, and would love to show Hayley the sights.

“Hayley is definitely a warm-weather person,” he shares. “If Sydney is in the 30s or 40s she’ll be loving it. Me being the pale Brit I am, I’ll be hiding indoors in the air conditioning.”

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Mark had Hayley style him for a recent awards show in London. “I don’t have any taste whatsoever,” he confesses. (Credit: Getty)

Mark and Hayley started dating earlier this year. Mark, 58, says he was immediately attracted to Hayley as she stood out from the crowd – literally!

“I remember vividly the first time I saw Hayley, if only for the fact that she is about 180cm tall,” Mark says. “And I thought, who is this striking blonde who is chatting next to my manager?”

It transpires that the conversation Mark had spied had a specific purpose, too.

“[My manager] was basically trying to set us up on a date – and succeeded!” he reveals.

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Anne Hegerty, Hayley Palmer and Mark Labbett seen attending the National Reality TV Awards at Porchester Hall on July 31, 2023 in London, England. (Credit: Getty)

The pair are currently doing long distance, as they live 200km away from each other. Mark – who is dad to six-year-old son Lawrence with ex-wife Katie – is based in South Yorkshire, while Hayley calls London home. However, they aren’t letting it get in the way of their growing love.

“We do check out each other’s diaries extensively,” Mark explains. “When we get a couple of days together, we try to do something special … [and] try to make the most of the time we’ve got.

“So far, we have managed to avoid a typical date night,” he adds. “We just meet up and try different things. There is a lot of holding hands and walking around, which
is quite nice.”

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“We had such a lovely day! Swipe to see @markthebeastlabbett loving the boat ride! (I suffer from sea sickness.)” (Credit: Instagram)

He also hints they might move in together soon!

“I’ve got my current place secured for a few months to come but at the end of that lease I think wemay have a chat and see how things are going,” Mark confesses.

For Hayley, her favourite thing about Mark is his “calm temperament”, as it balances out her self-described “diva” ways.

She says the most romantic thing he does for her is “all the little things” that he doesn’t even notice he is doing.

“He is also so funny,” Hayley adds. “He cracks me up without realising it!”

The Chase Australia airs weekdays at 5pm on Channel 7 and 7plus

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