Preston woman receives ‘overwhelming response’ after competing on ITV’s Beat the Chasers

Posted on - 21st September, 2021 - 12:44pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, TV
Samantha Walkden and Grandma Sandra

A Prestonian last weekend appeared on ITV’s Beat the Chasers to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.


Forensic psychology lecturer Samantha Walkden applied for the show to commemorate her Grandma Sandra, who sadly passed away from cancer seven years ago.

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The pair would often play quizzes together, but Sandra did not get the chance to compete on television, so Samantha, who organises events in memory of her grandma each year, decided to apply for Beat the Chasers.

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Samantha Walkden on Beat the Chasers. Pic: ITV Hub

Sam appeared on Series 4, Episode 2, on Saturday 18 September.


She said: “All the crew, Brad and the Chasers were lovely, and I had a great time. It felt surreal to be on the show. I had a little banter with them, particularly with Shaun, about our book sales.

“After filming, it was hard to keep it a secret for over a month, but regardless of the outcome, I’m glad my family and friends got to watch me take on the Chasers, and the overwhelming response has been positive and encouraging.”

“The game was close, but I misheard a question and gave the wrong answer when I knew it, which I was a little annoyed at myself for. But the chasers were on fire and got none of their questions wrong. I tried my best, and that’s all anyone can ask for.”

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In a tweet after the show, the main ITV Chase account said: “Thanks for sharing your journey with us! We’re certain Grandma Sandra would be incredibly proud of how well you did.”

Unfortunately, Sam left the gameshow without a cash win, but she bonded with the Chasers after detailing how she wrote a crime novel during a two-week break from her PhD studies. Chaser Shaun Wallace, a fellow writer, was left looking bemused by the exchange.

In a tweet after the show, Chaser Darragh ‘The Menace’ Ennis said: “Sam picked the right offer, and all she needed was one more answer. Still one of my favourite contestants from this series.”

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Sadly, Sam was subjected to Twitter trolling after the show, but she took it in her stride and forgave the culprit.

She said: “I got trolled about my hair in particular, to which I responded to the accounts by raising awareness about mental health and the #bekind movement.

“Unfortunately, it is to be expected. I lecture forensic psychology, so I’m well aware of the motives behind such behaviour, and I hope they can learn from my response and do better in future.

“Words take a moment to write but can have a lasting impact. The next person they troll might not be able to handle it like I could.”

To donate to Sam’s fundraiser, visit –

To watch the episode, visit –

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