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The Chase’s Anne Hegerty sheds light on her autism and insists it makes her a better quizzer

EXCLUSIVE: The Chase’s Anne Hegerty sheds light on her autism and insists it makes her a better quizzer as she embarks on a Chasers road trip for new series

Anne Hegerty has opened up about her autism – crediting it for making her a better quizzer.

Star of The Chase Anne, 62, is taking part in The Chaser’s Road Trip: Trains, Brains And Automobiles which sees her and co-stars Mark Labbett and Shaun Wallace pit their wits against extraordinary competition as they try to answer the age old question ‘Are we really as smart as we think we are?’

In first-look clips from the show, Anne shed light on her own intelligence, and links it to the developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour. 

‘Intelligence is being able to figure stuff out, and being able to get my head around a new situation,’ she says in one clip. ‘It might well be argued that is something I have trouble with.

‘I think I’m a better quizzer because I’m autistic. I think autism makes it easier for me to remember stuff.’

In another clip, she is seen at a barn dance, with music blaring. But Anne takes herself off to sit on her own for a while.

She explains: ‘One of the things that goes along with autism is certain sensory issues.

Shedding light: Anne Hegerty has opened up about her autism – crediting it for making her a better quizzer

‘It’s about not really liking noise to come out at me – especially if I am feeling a bit tired or stressed.

‘Sometimes I need to just take myself away, have a bit of quiet,  jump on the WiFi, do a bit of online quizzing and I’m fine…’

In the brand-new three part series the brainboxes travel the globe to take on child geniuses, great apes, and the latest AI and robot technology.

They journey to America to pit their wits against Kanzi, a Bonobo ape who is able to communicate with humans by using a series of pictures and symbols on a Lexigram, and in addition to this is also thought to be one of the first Apes to show an understanding of spoken English.

They also meet a chimpanzee memory wizard, a 25 year old gamer orang-utan called Katie and that well-known genius of the ocean, the dolphin.

The Chaser trio confront the moral challenge: that if humanity fully understood animal intelligence, would we treat them differently?

Travelling the UK, they go head-to-head with child geniuses in order to weigh up to what degree intelligence is innate or can be developed.

But, while some of the UK’s brightest kids impress Anne, Mark and Shaun, they are shocked to learn that they themselves have something surprising in common, which could unlock the mystery to the trio’s amazing memories.

And finally, in Japan, they encounter some of the world’s cleverest computers and the very latest in artificial intelligence in an attempt to find out if humans are heading for a Utopian future… or are destined to be taken over by robots.

The Chaser’s Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles Thursday 21st January 2021 at 9PM on ITV. 

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