Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson to be first female host of Countdown

Anne Robinson questions Weakest Link contestant in old episode

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She will join mathematician Rachel Riley and lexicographer Susie Dent on the Channel 4 daytime show. Anne, 76, who previously hosted game show The Weakest Link, will replace Nick Hewer, who steps down after nearly 10 years in the hot seat.

She said: “I am beyond thrilled to be joining Countdown. The show is almost as old as I am and just as historic. I am particularly excited to be working alongside the show’s two other formidable women.

“Worryingly, Susie and Rachel are not only very smart but younger, prettier and thinner than me.

“I am a crossword nut so the Countdown 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.”

Discussing her curt catchphrase “You are the weakest link, goodbye”, Anne said she is planning to “tone down my nastiness”.

She added: “The catchphrase just came about on the pilot when I got really cheesed off with a contestant and I added the goodbye. These things are best developed just as they happen.”

Discussing working with Susie and Rachel, she said: “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?

“I say just keep watching and please can we have some female contestants?”

The show’s executive producer Peter Gwyn said: “I know viewers will relish Anne’s unique style at the helm of this much-loved institution.”

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