Chase star Mark Labbett has revealed he suspected coronavirus and lost nearly five stones during the lockdown.
Although he had never been tested for the virus, Mark explained that he barely ate for two weeks and suffered from “uncontrollable periods” of fever, The Sun reported on Sunday.
After suffering with his health at the start of the lockdown, the 54-year-old quiz genius changed his diet and has now fallen to less than 23 stones.
Shock: Chase star Mark Labbett, 54, revealed he suspected coronavirus and lost nearly five stones during the lockdown (pictured in July)
Mark told The Sun: “I was suspected of Covid at the end of February and was fired from work at home, for the first time in 15 years… ITV was brilliant and took no risk.
“Because the testing capacity was so limited back then, I never officially had a test, but all I can say is that for two weeks I had a total loss of appetite, no smell, high temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life.
“I hardly ate for two weeks, but since then the weight has continued to drop because I have continued to eat sensibly. I knew I had to do it.
At his heaviest in 2016, Mark – who is affectionately known as The Beast on television and is a towering 6ft 6in – weighed 29 stones and earlier this year he was 27.5 stones tall.
Make changes: The quiz star explained that he had “a complete loss of appetite, no smell, a high temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life” for two weeks (pictured in November)
However, he knew that being overweight could put him at a higher risk of contracting a more serious coronavirus and took steps to lose weight.
In addition to being more aware of what he eats, Mark said chasing after his three-year-old son has kept him active.
Mark shared the results of his weight loss on Twitter on Wednesday as he posed in a mirror while pulling on old pants for a selfie.
Lose weight: Mark looked noticeably thinner in an Instagram photo (left) shared in June compared to his heaviest weight (right) in 2016
Illustrating his weight loss by pulling his fullest waist away from his body, Mark appeared to be happy with his progress – but admitted that he still hadn’t crossed the finish line.
Captioning the photo, he wrote: “I’ve lost a bit of my waistline, still a long way to go. “
Fans of the star were quick to congratulate him on his efforts, with the post prompting a series of encouraging responses.
Responding to Mark, one of them wrote, “Well done Mark and fair play with you, keep the sense of doing it myself, but my will is nonexistent.
Well done: Fans of the TV star were quick to congratulate him on his weight loss efforts on Wednesday, with the post prompting a series of encouraging responses
Another impressed fan added, “An amazing workmate! …. I am currently Slimming World and am making many changes to change weight and become much happier and healthier! You are a great friend!
While a third commented, “Wow that’s an amazing achievement. Hope you are really proud of yourself. Carry on, sir, carry on.
It comes after Mark’s The Chase co-star Paul Sinha revealed he believes he also contracted coronavirus.
The quiz champion, 49, took to Twitter in March, where he told followers he thought he had the bug after “starting to socialize days too late.”
Co-stars: Mark has entertained audiences on The Chase since 2009 (pictured with host Bradley Walsh in 2014)
Paul’s revelation comes amid his battle with Parkinson’s disease, which he revealed in May.
The star, known as “The Sinnerman” on the ITV quiz show, however managed to shed some light on the situation, tweeting that he would sneeze on anyone who “bothered” him.
He wrote: “While I cannot be sure and cannot be tested, it seems likely that I have coronavirus.
“I started social distancing a few days too late. Someone is disturbing me; I’ll be there to sneeze at your place.
His post was quickly inundated with messages from fans sharing their support and wishes.
Disease? Chase star Paul Sinha revealed in March he believed he had contracted coronavirus
Infected? The quiz genius, 49, took to Twitter where he told his followers he thought he had the bug after “starting to socialize a few days too late.”