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The Vixen Jenny Ryan had crucial job on The Chase before becoming a Chaser

By Grace Hoffman

Jenny Ryan has become a household name for families across the country while starring as a Chaser.

However, that wasn't the first vital role that she played on award-winning show The Chase - as she was secretly working away from the cameras.

Jenny, 40, always leaves viewers stunned with her incredible quizzing expertise in her alter ego role as The Vixen.

The red-head was labelled The Vixen thanks to host Bradley Walsh, who said, "vixens are notoriously clever and cunning".

"When I first started I had a test run, a bit of a screen test in the studio with Brad hosting," she told Lorraine Kelly.

Jenny Ryan is best recognised as 'The Vixen' (ITV)
Jenny ahead of the show's win at 2022's TV BAFTA Awards (Ash Knotek/REX/Shutterstock for BAFTA)

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"Just as a chemistry kind of test really. And I had my hair in this big ponytail.

"The producers had been trying to work out what my nickname should be, and they wanted something animal-y because I like a lot of animal print.

"And they suggested 'The Cougar', and I said, 'no, because I'm too young to be a cougar'."

Aside from having jaw-dropping knowledge, the talented star has several other talents under her belt that she's debuted over the years.

'The Vixen' is one of six chasers (ITV)

Jenny is no stranger to a quiz show - the 'Bolton Braniac' helped Leeds University make it to the semi-finals on University Challenge in 2003 and has also appeared on Only Connect, The Weakest Link and Fifteen to One.

In 2006, she went on Mastermind with the chosen subject of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and tried to get on a rival show on both series of BBC show Are You an Egghead? in 2008 and 2009, but didn't get a place in their ranks.

Their loss was The Chase's gain as she joined the show in 2015 and is currently celebrating her seventh year.

Ahead of her esteemed role on-screen, Jenny had a different career on the show itself - her first involvement in the programme played a vital role on the show - a question writer.

She told RadioTimes: "I actually worked on the pilot of The Chase and wrote the questions on it."

A few of the Chasers recently gushed over their BAFTA win (PA)

"All the questions I wrote have long since been used. If I could remember every question I ever wrote I’d be the world quiz champion."

It was thanks to her very own The Chase co-star and Jenny's weekly quiz team friend Anne Hegerty who recommended Jenny for the role.

Jenny landed the role after a hectic nine months of screen tests and is now recognised across the country as one of Britain's best quizzers alongside Anne, Paul Sinha, Mark Labbett, Shaun Wallace, and Darragh Ennis.

Outside of the quizzing world, Jenny is actually an incredible singer and made it to the live shows on Celebrity X Factor in 2019.

Jenny finished third place on Celebrity X Factor (PA Wire)
She has an incredible voice (Getty Images)

She was controversially booted out of the competition at the judges' houses stage but was eventually given a place after a public backlash and finished in third place.

Jenny came short of the win by reaching runner-up to winner and reality star Megan McKenna.

The TV star debuted her breath-taking voice on the show's celebrity addition and looked world's apart of what's recognised today as her alter ego of The Vixen.

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Dive Deeper:
Chaser The Beast says he made £1m in a month - and female fans can't resist him
Mark Labbett says beauties love The Beast and his female fans can't resist grabbing him and touching him up whenever…
The Chase host Bradley Walsh has 'huge six figure salary' leaked in cheeky Richard Osman tweet
Richard, 51, made a cheeky jibe at at Bradley's wage while tweeting about Manchester City’s new signing of Norwegian football…
ITV The Chase's Beast says he made £1m in a month - and female fans can't resist him
Overly enthusiastic fans do not leave him alone
ITV's The Chase contestant "sulks" as he has disagreement with Darragh Ennis
The player started on the wrong foot by pronouncing Darragh's name wrong
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Chase star says he made £1m in a month - but spends his time fending off fans
Mark Labbett, known as The Beast, says one woman even grabbed his 'meat and two veg' at one event
Anne Hegerty wants to take on Prince Harry and Meghan on The Chase after royal discovery
A month on from discovering she is a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, The Chase star Anne Hegerty has…
Get all your news in one place