Television game show host, Anne Robinson, came back into the spotlight this week when it was announced she would be the newest host for the game show, Countdown, where two contestants compete to create the most words from a random selection of letters.
The show dates back to 1982 and features 69 seasons on British TV. Robinson will be the first female to host.
Not so impressive was the reminder to all television viewers of Robinson's behavior in her earlier hosting career on the show, The Weakest Link, a British game show where 9 contestants worked together to answer general trivia questions to earn the greatest amount of prize money. The twist was the contestants also had to vote one person out at the end of each round, labeling them as the weakest contributor, or "Weakest Link," in the game.
Robinson was well-known for her catchphrase:
"You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye."
But, as Twitter reminded us this week, Robinson was also well-known for her banter and, frankly, bullying of some of her contestants.
A video of her interactions with one contestant, a single mom named Ann, went viral.
You can watch the video here:
A warm welcome back to daytime TV to Anne Robinson, one of life’s good guys https://t.co/QWDrsH6ZOS
In the video, Robinson prodded for personal details in Ann's life, inevitably to get inside her head and get her mind off the game, increasing her chances of being a Weakest Link. This was a common tactic on the show, to keep the contestants on their toes.
Robinson started slow, asking Ann what she did for a living.
To this, Ann replied:
"I'm a single mom to three boys... Three great boys."
Robinson immediately came back with:
"So how many ASBOs?"
Ann asked for clarification to the question, to which Robinson shrewdly replied:
"How many of your three boys... have got tags... on their ankles?
Ann quietly replied:
"Well, none so far."
Robinson abruptly asked:
"So you're doing benefits, are you?"
Ann took a noticeable breath and nervously laughed, replying:
"I knew, I was waiting for this."
"I'm doing a 24/7 job, really."
"Are you on benefits?"
When the Weakest Link contestant said she was, Robinson asked:
"What happened to the husband?"
Ann stated she had two previous marriages, Robinson changed her focus:
"You didn't go gay, did you?"
Ann answered honestly:
"No, but sometimes, living with three boys, I have thought there's a lot to be said about going lesbian, quite frankly."
This interested Robinson:
"Is there? Well, you don't have to say a lot about going lesbian. Just tell us a little about going lesbian."
Twitter was outraged by the video.
@A_Hess Hopefully this was a one off...
[spends 2 seconds to see if there are any other similar incidents]
There's no news there's been much pushback to see someone else selected to host Countdown, but it's clear many people are not happy about it. Maybe with this video circulating, Robinson will more carefully consider what she asks of her future contestants.