Anne Robinson: New The Weakest Link host would need entirely different approach
Anne Robinson has said The Weakest Link would need a host with an “entirely different approach” to her if it returned because “woke has happened” since she stopped presenting the show.
The television presenter, who became known for her spikey interactions with contestants on the BBC programme, will take over as the new host of Channel 4 quiz show Countdown next week.
Robinson, 76, said she would not be able to say many of the things today that she previously said when she used to host The Weakest Link.
When asked who would be a good host for the discontinued programme today, Robinson said: “Well, I’m not in charge of light entertainment at the BBC, but I’d probably suggest somebody completely different, with a different approach.
“I also think it’s worth mentioning that I finished in 2011, and woke has happened since then – I imagine there’s a great many things that I said that you couldn’t say now, and maybe that’s one of the reasons that you’d need a host with an entirely different approach.”
Robinson said she disagrees with some of the ways language is used today.
“I have a chiropodist, a gay chiropodist – that’s not funny, I’m just telling you – lives with a gay partner, and they have adopted twins, and they have in the process, they have learned what I would call a lot of ‘woke’ language,” she said.
“Presumably it’s from all the vetting that they’ve had to do, and every time I have my feet done I learn something new that I’ve got to say or not say, and I’m beginning to say, ‘Who’s the arbiter of this?'”
She added: “In fact, a contestant this week on Countdown said he taught English to non-English speaking people, and I said, ‘You mean you teach English to foreigners?’
“And he said, ‘We never say that’. Is that woke? Does anyone know?
“So I am fed up with it, I’m fed up with people telling me I’ve got to say ‘mixed heritage’ and not ‘mixed race’ – I just think… we’re being told what to do by people who aren’t in a position to tell us what to do.
“I don’t want my language mangled – I don’t want to lose the English language. I don’t want to offend anyone but we’re well past whether we offend people.”
Robinson added that accepting the offer to host Countdown “looked to me like an opportunity to interview contestants, to interview the guest, to be a bit waspish”.
“I tend to do The Times crossword so I’m not completely hopeless at anagrams, and less good at mental arithmetic, and I have been surprised how many of the contestants say to you, ‘I started doing this with my granny when I was give watching Countdown, that’s how I got so good at doing anagrams’,” she said.
“And how clever if you’re now, say, in your sixties and your brain has been practising that, I mean it’s brilliant.”
Countdown airs on Channel 4 from June 28.