Mark, 54, who is best known for his role on The Chase, spoke about his health in a conversation with the Loose Women panel on Tuesday afternoon. The Beast star is currently residing at home with his wife and young son as production on the ITV quiz show was ground to a halt in light of the coronavirus pandemic. During the nationwide lockdown, the quizmaster has continued to lose weight after coming down with what he thought to be “a typical virus” back in February. With more information about COVID-19 having been discovered since then, the general knowledge guru now believes this to be the real reason behind the change in his appearance.
Speaking to the presenters about the symptoms he had at the time, Mark explained: “The major one was a complete loss of taste and smell and no appetite.
“And I had the cough and the fever and bouts of exhaustion but because I didn’t have problems breathing – and this was back in February where that was the number one symptom, I thought I’ve just got some type of virus.
“For two weeks, I barely ate so at the time I was thinking, ‘Result!’” the quizmaster went on to add.
Asked what else he might have done to help him shed the pounds, The Beast star said: “People are going to hate me because I haven’t tried to lose weight.
“What’s happened is I had the brush with this virus or whatever it was and since then, I haven’t been going out.”
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“So, I haven’t been having restaurant meals and my wife is a shift worker full-time so I’ve been a primary carer for our son,” Mark continued.
“As many of our viewers will know, if you’re looking after an active toddler 14 hours a day, seven days a week, you haven’t got time to eat.”
Following his diagnosis of type two diabetes in 2016, Mark took part in ITV reality show Sugar-Free Farm.
On the programme, he explained he had turned down the opportunity to take part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! due to the lack of food contestants eat.
In view of his 4,787 followers, he wrote: “Gradually losing the waistline 🙂 #skinnybeast #doubletwoshirts.”
Responding to the image, one fan commented: “Just seen this excellent work keep going, Guess there will be an exercise DVD soon.”
“Well done mark looking good. Keep it up. Losing weight is hard, but being overweight is even harder. I lost 9.5stone in 20 months. Keep going your doing great. Awesome,” a second posted. (sic)
A third remarked: “Well done, massive achievement, looking amazing,” with a fourth adding: “Hardest thing to do ever…well done you!”
In another interview published at the weekend, The Chaser also explained some of the other coronavirus-like symptoms he experienced.
“Apparently one of the symptoms they’re discovering now is rapid attacks. One morning I woke up at 1:30am shivering uncontrollably.
“I had to go downstairs to alter the central heating, and I couldn’t hold a pint of water in one hand because I was shaking so much.
“As a self-proclaimed fatty, of course, I was aware that having COVID wasn’t good, and clearly increased the severity of my risk,” he told The Sun.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV.