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'The Chase' star Paul Sinha on 'TV Showdown' and the future: 'I’ve no idea what the next 10 years will bring'

Paul Sinha on the set of TV Showdown.
Suits you, sir! Paul Sinha on the set of 'TV Showdown'. (Image credit: ITV)

Do not adjust your sets, The Chase’s Paul Sinha - AKA The Sinnerman - has ditched his white suit and is asking the questions, as he returns with his TV trivia quiz Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown.

The doctor-turned-TV star returns to ITV’s Saturday evening slot on Feb. 19 with the second outing of his fun panel show, accompanied by team captains Fay Ripley and Rob Beckett. 

During the six-part series, Paul puts a who’s who of celebrity guests, from Jonathan Ross to Carol Vorderman, through their paces with hilarious clips from TV past and quickfire question rounds. 

Here, we quiz Paul, 51, about the new series and discover his life-long love of TV…

Paul Sinha interview. Congratulations on this second series…

Paul Sinha: "I couldn't be happier! I was delighted when it was recommissioned. The Chase and TV Showdown are my favourite shows to work on."

Is hosting nerve-wracking?

PS: "It’s more exciting than scary. I’m at a stage in my life where I'm keen to step out of my comfort zone. I think if you’re comfortable, it might be time to move on. Life should be exciting and challenging. 

"There’s a voice in my head that says ‘You actively chose to be here. Enjoy the ride.’ And if it goes wrong the editors will make sure that you're protected!"

Paul Sinha on 'The Chase'.

Thinking inside the box. Paul Sinha on 'The Chase'. (Image credit: ITV)

How far out of your comfort zone would you go? Acting maybe?

PS: [Laughing] "I did panto [Aladdin] in York in 2016 and the reviews weren’t what I'd hoped. Stepping out of the comfort zone is fine, but let’s not get too carried away! I don’t think I’ll be up for a BAFTA anytime soon. But you never know what life is going to bring, and that’s the magic of it."

Guest stars this series include Katherine Ryan, Gregg Wallace, David Baddiel, Stacey Dooley and Anita Rani. Who stands out?

PS: "I don't really want to pick anybody out, but comedian Chris McCausland [episode 2] is absolutely on fire at the moment. He’s enormously impressive. And I was thrilled to meet British Olympic gold medalist Denise Lewis. She’s an absolute hero of mine. My inner fanboy was excited! Getting to meet these people is one of the great things about working in TV."

Denise Lewis with Rob Beckett and Gregg Wallace in 'TV Showdown'.

The inside track. Denise Lewis stars in episode 1 of 'TV Showdown' and is teamed with Rob Beckett and Gregg Wallace. (Image credit: ITV)

How competitive are Fay and Rob?

PS: "If they’re not competitive they’re doing a good job of faking it - they take it very seriously. Fay had a rough first series. There were a lot of questions that weren't in her wheelhouse, so she wants to prove to the world that she knows about a lot of telly."

Do you have a favourite round?

PS: "Absolutely the buzzer round at the end. People fall apart and say the stupidest things. I’ll be honest, not all of the wrong answers are printable. But all of them will be revealed!"

Have you always been a big telly fan?

PS: "Yes, from the age of 13 I had a little TV in my bedroom and watched everything from Scooby Doo to Edge of Darkness. Channel 4’s comedy shows Friday Night Live and Saturday Live inspired me to want to do stand-up. My family love that I’m on TV. Bragging rights are very important in the Bengali community!"

Fay teams up with Katherine Ryan and Big Zuu in 'TV Showdown'.

Fay teams up with Katherine Ryan and Big Zuu in 'TV Showdown'. (Image credit: ITV)

How did you move from medicine to show business?

PS: "I never got rid of that urge to do stand-up, so when I was 25, after I’d qualified as a doctor, I tried it. I got nominated for a big award at the Edinburgh Festival [Paul was nominated for the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2006] and thought - ‘Go for it’. 

"Around 2008 I got involved in the world of quizzing. A few years into that, ITV wanted a fourth Chaser and because of my comedy background the other Chasers, being very nice, recommended me."

Serendipity?

PS: "Exactly! It’s weird how little incidents can totally transform your life. I have no idea what the next 10 years are going to bring. I’m just happy to sit on the rollercoaster and see what happens."

That said, what’s next? 

PS: "More Beat the Chasers and The Chase. I’m working on a show for the Edinburgh Festival this year. That’s the big project. I’ve got one joke so far. I just need another 60!"

And finally, what shows would you like to be a guest on?

PS: "I really like Would I Lie to You although it’s incredibly intimidating. In terms of being a quiz contestant, Only Connect. I’d like another go at University Challenge too. In terms of being a guest, I'd love to be on Graham Norton. Not least because you may end up sharing a sofa with a Hollywood heartthrob!"

Anyone in particular?

PS: "Channing Tatum!"

Paul Sinha the smiling host of 'TV Showdown'.

Chasing his dreams. Can someone please call Graham Norton and make this happen please?  (Image credit: ITV)

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown S2 Episode Guide

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown S2 - Episode 1

Paul and team captains Faye and Rob are joined by comedian Katherine Ryan, Big Zuu, Olympian Denise Lewis and MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace. 

With hilarious innuendo-laden clips from TV past and anecdotes about being rejected from Who Do You Think You Are? this is an entertaining outing with a wisecracking Paul Sinha at the helm.

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown Series 2 starts on ITV on Saturday, Feb. 19 2022 at 9.40pm.

Elaine Reilly
Elaine Reilly

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.

 

As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 


After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.