THE Chase fans were left completely baffled as to why contestants weren't adhering to social distancing rules on Monday.
Those tuning into the popular ITV game show were scratching their heads as to why the four contestants – pitting their wits against Chaser Shaun Wallace – weren't standing a metre or more apart.
Prior to the current UK-wide lockdown, and on essential journeys currently, Britons are legally required to wear a face covering and maintain at least a one metre distance from others.
In yesterday's The Chase episode, Lee, Ian, Paula and Louisa were all standing shoulder to shoulder behind the desk as they competed for the cash prize.
Host Bradley Walsh didn't tell them off – which prompted even more confusion.
One viewer took to Twitter to write: "Social distancing hope the Met don't catch em."
Another directly quizzed ITV as they put: "When was this episode filmed? as the question about 2020 was said in the past tense, and there are no screens separating the contestants or social distancing!"
Yet many viewers sussed out the situation and realised the prime time episode was actually a repeat – filmed when social distancing and coronavirus-imposed lockdowns were a mere figment of imagination
One viewer then clarified: "Just tuned in, and it's rather odd now to see the original table, shaking of hands and no perspex glasses in between the contestants. Only just got used to the socially distanced set Rolling on the floor laughing #thechase."
Another warned: "Before the Covid sheep kick off about social distancing …. these are repeats. #TheChase."
One viewer then shared: "I've got so used to social distancing that this just looks proper weird now #TheChase."
A Chase fan then joked: "Cue the twits asking why they aren’t social distancing!!!!"
Last year, The Sun Online exclusively revealed how The Chase was hit with Ofcom complaints as host Bradley failed to adhere to the social distancing rules.
Quizmaster Bradley, 60, shook hands with the players on the episode, aired in October – which also saw the celebrity contestants hugging.
Special celebrity editions of The Chase were filmed across three days in September at Television Centre in London.
The series has been amended to allow contestants to appear further apart – and ITV said "Close Contact Cohort" rules in place on TV shows meant contestants could touch.
But many viewers were upset, with one tweeting: "I actually thought this was an old episode considering all the handshakes and hugs, until Covid was mentioned in one of the charities."
Another viewer said they were "absolutely disgusted", telling Bradley: "You should be ashamed of yourself, shaking hands and hugging celebs.
Ofcom confirmed to The Sun Online that 23 complaints had been received after the October 17 episode due to "alleged lack of social distancing".
An ITV spokesperson said: “Series 11 of The Chase Celebrity Special was filmed using approved Close Contact Cohort protocols.
"As such, host Bradley Walsh and the celebrity contestants were able to physically interact for short intervals.
"The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance.”
Contestants were tested for coronavirus between 48 and 72 hours ahead of filming and had to declare they and their household didn't have symptoms.
The special show saw Anita Rani, Mark Pougatch and comedian Dane Baptiste rack up an impressive £120,000 for charity.
The Chase airs every weekday on ITV at 5pm.
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