The Chase Australia star Mark Labbett’s marriage has been thrust into the spotlight after explosive cheating allegations were levelled at his wife Katie.
However, fans of the show appear more interested in the fact that at 26, Katie is 27 years Mark’s junior, and also happens to be his second cousin.
The pair have been married for five years, but reports are now circulating that Katie has moved on with someone a generation younger than her 53-year-old husband.
The man, who The Sun named as 28-year-old Scott Bate, has been busy plastering holiday photos with Katie across his social media for the past year – however, a representative for Mark has said that all is well between the husband and wife.
The allegations are scandalous, yes, but they’re far from the most interesting aspect of the Labbetts’ marriage.
Mark and Katie did not know they were related when they first met through mutual friends (not at a steamy family reunion as some may have imagined).
To explain their connection in definite terms, Mark and Katie’s fathers are first cousins, and they did not find this out until they were already months into their relationship.
“It wasn’t something we were aware of (when we first started dating) – it was one of those things that happened,” Mark told Loose Women in 2017.
“So…I’m getting married…TOMORROW!!! Feeling in love,” she wrote on Facebook at the time, before telling another friend, “(Mark’s) my cousin and The Chaser on The Chase.”
Undeterred by this, this Labbetts wed in a lavish ceremony at Arundel Castle, West Sussex, in 2014 – before welcoming a son two years later.
A new man?
Despite their apparent marital bliss, reports began to emerge last week that Katie had struck up a relationship with Scott Bate, who is 25 years her husband’s junior.
The pair reportedly met on a night out in 2017 with a source telling The Sun they’d been ‘seeing each other’ for well over a year.
Apparently, Scott’s friends didn’t realise Katie was married until her and Mark’s appearance on Loose Women – the interview that led to much of the public first knowing she and Mark were related.
“It took a while for people to realise who she was and that she was married. Then one of Scott’s friends confronted her and she got angry about it,” the source said.
But her high-profile husband didn’t deter Scott from posting pictures with Katie across his Facebook.
The happy snaps, which have since been deleted, include a shot of the pair cuddled up against a brick wall, while another shows Katie’s arm wrapped around Scott neck.
Others on Scott’s profile included a clifftop selfie taken during a getaway to the Italian island of Capri – but they are said to have been taken down soon after news of the relationship broke.
Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Katie Labbett for comment.
Making it work
While the alleged twists and turns of the Labbetts’ love life have been far from smooth, the couple are wanting to appear more committed than ever.
“Mark and Katie are not splitting up,” a spokesman for The Chase star revealed, adding: “Everything is fine between them and they have been at home together this week.”
In fact, it’s been reported Mark’s notably-large, black training shoes were spotted outside the home the family share just after the scandal broke.
The same day, Katie’s father insisted to The Sun his daughter was “not in another relationship” and everything was fine with the Labbetts.
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