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Bradley Walsh and The Chase celebrities under scrutiny for 'breaking' social distancing rules

The contestants were pictured hugging and shaking hands on the show

Ainhoa Barcelona

Bradley Walsh and the celebrity contestants who appeared on The Chase last weekend have come under fire for appearing to break social distancing rules.

Throughout the episode, the TV host shook hands with contestants, while the stars themselves – including Anita Rani, Mark Pougatch and Dane Baptist who were taking part for a charity special – were also seen celebrating their wins with hugs.

MORE: Oops! 9 TV stars who broke social distancing rules

Viewers took to Twitter to quickly question their actions, with one writing: "If that edition of Celebrity #thechase was supposed to be socially distanced it was anything but and Bradley shaking hands and celebrities hugging, I love The Chase but please follow the rules."

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WATCH: Anita Rani and Mark Pougatch hug on The Chase

Another tweeted: "@ITV Bit confused by this celebrity #thechase episode. There's a longer desk to allow for social distancing and there appears to be no audience for obvious reasons but Bradley is still shaking hands with the contestants?"

MORE: The Chase's Mark Labbett shares secret behind four-stone weight loss

MORE: Bradley Walsh breaks down over families separated in lockdown

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The celebrity contestants were pictured hugging during the charity special of The Chase

A third quipped: "IMO #TheChase can only justify their lax social distancing if contestants had actually moved in with Bradley Walsh for two weeks before filming. And what a great spin off show that would be."

"What happened to social distancing in #thechase if Anita didn't mention it I would of none it was filmed recently," another viewer asked.

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They managed to scoop £120,000 for their charities

Saturday's episode saw Anita, Mark and Dane win a staggering £120,000 for their chosen charities after beating Anne Hegerty, also known as 'The Governess', in the final round.

MORE: Anne Hegerty defends Bradley Walsh from Twitter trolls

An ITV spokesperson has since confirmed that the new series of The Chase, including this episode, was filmed "using approved Close Contact Cohort protocols".

The spokesperson told the Mail Online: "As such, host Bradley Walsh and the celebrity contestants were able to physically interact for short intervals. The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance." They also added that additional off-screen measures were taken, such as taking temperature checks, keeping two metres apart, wearing mandatory face coverings, encouraging handwashing and providing sanitiser stations.

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