TV & Movies

Lawyer bans kids from watching The Chase because of Shaun Wallace's 'racist' nickname The Dark Destroyer

A LONDON lawyer won't let her kids watch the beginning of each episode of The Chase because of one Chaser's nickname.

Shaun Wallace, formidable star of telly quiz favourite The Chase, has been nicknamed 'The Dark Destroyer' on ITV's cult quiz show.

Lawyer Paula Rhone-Adrien appeared on today's Lorraine to discuss Megan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah and in particular the couple's claim around concerns over their son Archie's skin tones.

The couple revealed there had been conversations with Prince Harry and a "family" member about their unborn son and what colour his skin would be – and "what that would mean or look like".

Rhone-Adrien revealed she was not surprised that discussion had taken place and was conscious of not letting her children see negative representations of the black community in media.

"25 years on, we have a fantastic game show. A quiz show which is on but the only person who is black is named 'The Dark Destroyer'," she told Lorraine.

"Now I do not let my children to watch the first 10 minutes of this amazing quiz show because I do not want my kids to hear this amazing Mastermind champion described purely down to the colour of his skin."

The debate around Shaun's nickname is nothing new and he was at the centre of an unlikely race storm last year after TV execs in charge of the show Down Under dropped the prefix Dark over fears of racial undertones.

Yet with ITV now under pressure to follow suit, the 60-year-old barrister says he is proud of his nickname — one coined by his good mate, host Bradley Walsh — and requested that it remained unchanged for the start of the new series this year.

Shaun told The Sun on Sunday in July: “It was actually Bradley who started to call me the Dark Destroyer, and there was absolutely no side or sinister reason behind it.

“So no, Britain may be less PC, but guess what? I am proud to be black. 

“And because of my intellect — and I destroy people because of my intellect — then so be it. That’s the way I use the term the Dark Destroyer, and I am not offended. And I hope other people aren’t offended either.”

In the wake of Black Lives Matter, Shaun admits he has been stopped by the police “countless times”.

The Wembley-born brain box, whose mum Millicent, 89, was a nurse and whose late dad Linford worked at Heinz for more than 30 years, recently revealed he has twice been pulled off a train by cops after being mistaken for a criminal. 

“I don’t see myself as a poster boy for race relations because I don’t see myself as any different to anyone else of my colour who has been stopped and racially profiled," he said.

“It’s happened to me in the past, and although it hasn’t happened in 20 years, it’s important to bring it to the fore so we can help to eradicate those forms of discrimination. Otherwise, we will never move forward.”

Shaun admitted to experiencing “many a dark day” as a struggling barrister, before getting his big telly break after winning Mastermind in 2004. From there he embarked upon the TV quizzing circuit with gusto, appearing on series including Fifteen To One, The Weakest Link and Eggheads.

After being spotted by talent producers, he auditioned for The Chase, joining the show in 2009. It marks quite a turnaround. He says: “In 2003 I was in a bit of a rut. I had fractured my ankle and was confined to my house, practising law by myself with cases few and far between and my career on the road to nowhere.

“So I decided to try my luck in quiz shows. I just wanted to try something different. I never got into them to be famous, it was purely to test myself. Twenty years ago people were like, ‘Shaun who?’ and now I am one of the most recognisable faces in England," he said.

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