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Anne Robinson is new Countdown host: Why did The Weakest Link end?

She'll be back on our screens soon!

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Anne Robinson has just been announced as the new host of Countdown.

But what happened with The Weakest Link? Why did she leave the show?

And is she single? Get the answer to these questions and more below…

When was The Weakest Link on television?

The Weakest Link was a BBC show that ran from 2000 to 2012.

However, it returned for a charity special in 2017.

Read more: Why Dancing on Ice is axed this weekend

With Anne Robinson at the helm the series became popular with viewers and critics alike.

anne robinson joins countdown
Anne has joined Countdown (Credit: Channel 4)

It was so popular that is was syndicated abroad.

Read more: Gemma Collins admits she lied to Piers Morgan on her Life Stories

America, France and The Netherlands created their own versions.

Anne co-hosted the US version until it was cancelled after two seasons.

Why did The Weakest Link end?

The Weakest Link ended in 2012, and was on air for twelve years.

She told The Guardian at the time: “If there’s anything about longevity in television, it’s about knowing what to take and what to turn down, and what to stop. It’s often about what not to do any more.”

anne on the weakest link
Anne on The Weakest Link (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

She also dismissed rumours that her exit was over a pay dispute.

Anne insisted: “My fee wasn’t cut. I said I’d do 10 years and then, because we went to [BBC] Scotland and they were brilliant, I did a year more than I intended to do.”

Meanwhile, the BBC said it would be impossible to find an adequate replacement for Anne.

Liam Keelan, controller of BBC Daytime, said: “The Weakest Link has been a hugely important and much-loved part of the BBC’s schedules for well over a decade.

“But without Anne’s iconic persona and acerbic wit, we have decided that we won’t be recommissioning any new episodes following her departure.”

How did Anne Robinson become famous?

Anne Robinson is a television host and presenter who first became well-known when she hosted Point of View for a decade.

She went on to become a regular host on Watchdog and then most famously hosted The Weakest Link for over a decade.

Anne was beloved for her sarcasm on The Weakest Link (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

Prior to her television work, Anne was a journalist on Fleet Street. She worked for The Sunday Times and The Daily Mirror.

At The Mirror she worked directly with Robert Maxwell, and even contributed to his obituaries with gushing anecdotes.

How many children does Anne have?

Anne has one child, a daughter called Emma, conceived with her first husband Charles Wilson.

She lost custody of Emma when she was just two as Anne was struggling with alcoholism at the time.

anne robinson with her daughter emma
Anne with her daughter Emma (Credit: SplashNews)

Is Anne married?

Anne is not currently married. And is believed to be single.

She was married to Fleet Street editor Charles Wilson from 1968 to 1973.

She then married journalist John Penrose in 1980. They divorced in 2007.

He served as her manager for many years, and Anne once said that her newfound fame with The Weakest Link took a toll on their marriage.

Is Anne dating?

In 2017, Anne said she tried Tinder, but deleted the dating app after just one hour.

She told The Sun Online: “I don’t want to date someone bald and with a moustache.

“It is slim pickings out there! I would rename Tinder ‘desperate’.”

anne robinson
Anne without her famous glasses (Credit: SplashNews)

Anne’s battle with alcoholism

Anne has openly spoken and written about her battle with alcoholism.

She lost custody of her only child as a result of her addiction.

Anne says she stopped drinking in 1978 and subsequently joined Alcoholics Anonymous.

In her memoir, Memoirs of an Unfit Mother, she details her struggles.

And in 2016 she told The Mail: “I am very glad to be alive, I nearly killed myself with alcohol and have had 40 years of unadulterated pleasure since then.”

Today Anne and Emma get on well, and even spent lockdown together – along with Emma’s husband and two children.

What is Anne’s net worth?

Anne is a very wealthy lady indeed.

Mostly thanks to the phenomenal success of The Weakest Link.

As of 2021, her estimated net worth is £32 million.

Anne Robinson arriving at BBC Radio Two studios to appear on Chris Evans Breakfast show - London
Are you excited about Anne’s comeback? (Credit: SplashNews)

Is she joining Countdown?

Yes! Channel 4 has confirmed that Anne Robinson will be joining the iconic game show Countdown.

She will be replacing Nick Hewer as the host of the series.

Nick previously said that lockdown had made him reconsider his career path.

And it ultimately led him to depart from the show after a decade as its host.

Anne, now 76, will be the first ever woman to front the show.

As she officially announced her new role, she took a swipe at speculation over rumoured cosmetic surgeries.

She said: “Worryingly, Susie [Dent] and Rachel [Riley] are not only very smart but younger, prettier and thinner than me.

“Sadly, there’s no time for another facelift so I’ll have to make do with this old one.

“I am a crossword nut so the Countdown’s conundrums I can make sense of. But the adding up and taking away – I can’t go much further than working out the fee once my agent takes his cut.

“I’m slightly scared of those brains but I think the three of us will transform things, it will be Countdown goes chic, won’t it?”

When will she back on TV?

It remains unclear exactly when Anne will make her debut on Countdown.

However, Nick has said on Twitter that he will be hosting the show up until June of this year.

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