Bradley Walsh leaves The Chase viewers fuming as he playfully slaps contestant

Bradley Walsh has been slammed by The Chase viewers for hitting a contestant during the show.

Wednesday's episode of the ITV quiz series saw 21-year-old insurance consultant Tom from Swansea take on Paul 'The Sinnerman' Sinha as the second contestant of the day.

With the show's first contestant Louise already caught, the pressure was well and truly on and sticking to his middle offer of £4000, Tom was one question away from getting back safely when he incurred an open-handed slap from Bradley for pressing his buzzer too fast.

For the question, Bradley asked the youngster and The Sinnerman: "What does a spider use its spinnerets for?"

The pair were then asked to choose between choices including: "echolocation" and "feeding its young", with Tom pushing his buzzer before Bradley had even read out the final answer option "making webs".

'"I could penalise you for that," Bradley said immediately afterwards.

"Going in too early when we haven't finished the question… You can't do that."

While Tom laughed, Bradley added: "Don't stand there laughing, it's not funny."

As Tom continued to laugh, Bradley slapped him playfully around the back of the neck.

"That's what you get," he said, and later teased: "If I was your dad…"

Despite the slap, both Tom and The Sinnerman answered "making webs" correctly, with Tom then making it back for the final chase.

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While he seemed pleased with the results, viewers were mildly taken aback and took to Twitter to give Bradley a ticking off for his conduct.

One viewer wrote: "Don't hit the contestants please Brad!"

Another commented: "Naughty boy!"

Meanwhile, another concluded: "Pressed too early klaxon!!!!"

The Chase airs at 5pm on weekdays on ITV

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