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Meet the Co Down dad who won record-breaking £60k on ITV's Beat the Chasers show

Co Down dad-of-two buying first family home with wife after record-breaking quiz show victory


Brendan Burns and Bradley Walsh on Beat the Chasers

Brendan Burns and Bradley Walsh on Beat the Chasers


Brendan Burns and Bradley Walsh on Friday's show

Brendan Burns and Bradley Walsh on Friday's show



Brendan Burns and Bradley Walsh on Beat the Chasers

Meet the Co Down quiz maestro who took on television’s biggest brainiacs to win a record-breaking £60,000 in the ITV gameshow Beat the Chasers.

Dad-of-two Brendan Burns lit up screens on Friday as he blazed to victory, scooping the largest cash jackpot ever won on the show by a contestant from Northern Ireland.

Realising they had met their match, the chasers rose to their feet to give Brendan a standing ovation, while host Bradley Walsh hailed the teacher turned tax adviser as a “local hero”.

Still stunned from his epic win, the Saintfield man described the experience as “life-changing”.

The 43-year-old told Walsh he had hoped to win enough money to take his country music-loving wife Rebecca to Nashville for a spot of line dancing. He added later: “She says we’re not doing that and she’s raging at me for telling people she likes line dancing.”

Now the couple, who live in a rented property with their seven-year-old twins Cora and Caelan, hope to use the cash for a deposit to buy their first family home together.

“We had money saved but not enough for a deposit, so buying something was off the table until this happened. It’s a life-changing amount of money,” Brendan explained.

Top of their list for the new family home is a garden for the children to play in.

They also hope there might be enough left in the pot for a trip to Disneyland in a year.

It was quiz fan Caelan who persuaded his dad to apply for Beat the Chasers, a spin-off of the daytime gameshow The Chase.

Brendan said: “Caelan loves watching The Chase, and when Beat the Chasers came on, he said, ‘Daddy, you could go on that’.”

More than three million people regularly tune in to watch the weeknight show.

Friday’s episode was a proper nail-biter, with Brendan making a last-minute decision to take on all five chasers, Darragh ‘The Menace’ Ennis, Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan, Paul ‘The Sinnerman’ Sinha, Issa ‘The Supernerd’ Schultz’ — a new addition to the panel — and Mark ‘the Beast’ Labbett.

Brendan said he had initially planned to cash out for the £30,000 offered by facing four chasers until Labbett offered him another “£30,000 to face me”.

“The Beast changed everything,” he added. 

While his mum and sister were able to enjoy his TV appearance, there was sorrow that his dad, who died in February 2020, was not there to see it.

“Dad watched The Chase and he would have loved it,” said Brendan.

“He was very much in my mind before I went on. I remember asking him to give me a hand.”

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