The Chase star Shaun Wallace has defended his nickname on the show, ‘The Dark Destroyer’, after Australia and New Zealand TV networks changed it due to racial undertones.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, the 60-year-old quiz-show favourite and barrister, from London, insisted he isn’t offended by the title, explaining that it was coined by his good friend and host Bradley Walsh.
TV bosses Down Under dropped Dark from the TV personality’s name, instead labelling him just ‘The Destroyer’ over fears of racial implications, according to the publication.
But while ITV may follow suit amid mounting pressure to appear more politically correct, Shaun himself has suggested it remains unchanged in the next series.
‘It was actually Bradley who started to call me the Dark Destroyer, and there was absolutely no side or sinister reason behind it,’ the talented Chaser revealed.
‘So no, Britain may be less PC, but guess what? I am proud to be black. If ITV were to ask me, or consider changing it, then I would tell them this, “I am proud to be black, I am proud to be dark. I want the name to stay as it is”.
‘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.’
Other Chaser nicknames on the show – including Anne Hegerty’s ‘The Governess’, Mark Labbett’s ‘The Beast’, Paul Sinha’s ‘The Sinnerman’ and Jenny Ryan’s ‘The Vixen’ all remain the same in both Australia and New Zealand.
But Shaun is simply referred to as The Destroyer – and while ITV is thought to have briefly considered following the move, it has decided against such action, the publication reported.
The news comes after Shaun revealed he’s been stopped and searched twice by police near courts where he was acting as a barrister.
He was stopped on his way to Liverpool Crown Court and while leaving Kingston Crown Court, on both occasions because he ‘fit the profile’ of a man who committed a robbery nearby.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain last month, he explained that he was ‘astonished’ by the searches – but insisted that he makes a point of remaining ‘dignified’, because he will ‘never give a police officer an excuse to arrest him’.
He said: ‘I was coming out of Kingston crown court with a solicitor who happened to be white, and I was approached by two plain clothes police officers. They said “You fit the profile of someone who just took place in a robbery”.
‘I was simply taken aback and startled, he said “Where were you?” and I said “Kingston Crown Court”. He said, “What were you doing?”.
‘I said, “If you look in my bag you’ll see my robes”, and they were completely astonished.’
He explained that on another occasion he was stopped leaving a train in Liverpool, once again by plain clothed officers who said he was stopped because he fitted the profile of a suspect.
The quizzer, who is a part-time lecturer and visits schools, colleges and other institutions to educate students on law, explained that while advising young black men on unlawful searches, he reminds them to ‘respond in a dignified manner’.