The Chase delays filming as star Andrew O’Keefe takes time off for mental health

The Chase delays filming as star Andrew O’Keefe takes time off for mental health

Production for the 2020 season of Channel 7’s quiz show The Chase has been put on hold again as host Andrew O’Keefe needs more time to manage his mental health issues.

Filming of the latest season was due to start in Melbourne this week, but Seven confirmed that filming would be delayed by months.

“Production on The Chase is to be held over for a couple of months,” Seven said in a statement to the Herald Sun.

“Andrew O’Keefe is taking time to manage and recover from a health issue.

“The Chase continues 5 pm weekdays on Seven unaffected by this delay.”

It’s not the first time that the filming schedule has been moved to help O’Keefe deal with his health challenges, as production of the show last year finished three weeks earlier than expected to give the host a break.

2019 was tough for O’Keefe as he took an eight-week break in April to reset his life and seek out mental health treatment.

“I was surprised to discover perhaps I was not as resilient as I imagined I was and that …. I was exhausted, I was a bit lost,” O’Keefe told the Sunday Herald Sun in October.

“We all use different methods to escape from the most uncomfortable parts of our existence and I certainly was not using the most healthy ones.

“I mean sleep would have been handy, I think maybe spending some time doing things that I enjoyed rather than spending all of my time dealing with the micro details of the more painful parts of my life would have been wise.

“The diet could have been better, fluids that had no decimal points in them would have been good.

“(It was) an accumulation of sorrows and stresses and poor choices about health, really, and I just could not see that I had the time or the strength to change that without removing myself entirely from the world for a bit.”

However, O’Keefe is still committed to filming The Chase as his current contract is believed to run through to the end of 2020.

“It is the best show on television. I will host it for as long as it is there to be hosted and as long as (Seven) wants me to,’’ O’Keefe said last year.