‘There are too many snowflakes’: Anne Robinson criticises ‘unnecessary censorship’

She’s a British TV legend and this week made her debut as the new host of Countdown on Channel 4 after succeeding Nick Hewer.

But Anne Robinson has suggested that the industry now faces ‘unnecessary censorship’ and claimed The Weakest Link ‘couldn’t be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants’ mental health’.

Adding that there are ‘too many snowflakes’, the outspoken television icon, 76, continued: ‘In the 1970s it was the tougher women who adapted to a male world. 

‘Now, thankfully, clever women of all shapes and sizes are in the workplace, but it means they don’t have steel armour and are more easily upset.’

New Countdown host: Anne Robinson has suggested that the industry now faces 'unnecessary censorship'

New Countdown host: Anne Robinson has suggested that the industry now faces 'unnecessary censorship'

New Countdown host: Anne Robinson has suggested that the industry now faces ‘unnecessary censorship’

Couldn't be made: Anne claimed The Weakest Link 'couldn't be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants' mental health'

Couldn't be made: Anne claimed The Weakest Link 'couldn't be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants' mental health'

Couldn’t be made: Anne claimed The Weakest Link ‘couldn’t be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants’ mental health’

Anne’s comments come as it was announced that The Weakest Link would return after nine years – featuring Romesh Ranganathan as host with celebrity contestants. 

Speaking to The Radio Times, Anne added: ‘I wish there was a course [women] had to do, instead of useless Masters degrees, that teaches them the game of office life, and how to win at it.’

Of her new role, she said: ‘I won’t be telling any of the Countdown contestants that they’re stupid. I created that character for the Weakest Link.’

The mother-of-one also revealed that while she doesn’t know whether she’s ‘shedding’ her ‘queen of mean’ persona once and for all, she has no intentions of making any Countdown contestants cry.

Anne touched upon the fact that prior to recordings, she is able to spend a few moments with Countdown contestants, putting them at ease, whereas she made a point of never talking to participants during her Weakest Link days.

Censorship: Adding that there are 'too many snowflakes', the outspoken television icon, 76, continued: 'In the 1970s it was the tougher women who adapted to a male world

Censorship: Adding that there are 'too many snowflakes', the outspoken television icon, 76, continued: 'In the 1970s it was the tougher women who adapted to a male world

Censorship: Adding that there are ‘too many snowflakes’, the outspoken television icon, 76, continued: ‘In the 1970s it was the tougher women who adapted to a male world

Elsewhere in her interview, Anne told the magazine that she is a ‘terrible worrier’ and was ‘nervous’ when she started recording Countdown – which was the first programme ever broadcast on Channel 4 in November 1982, with over 7,500 episodes having aired since – this month, as she wants to be liked by the long-running show’s audience.

Anne was approached about taking over the Countdown helm after a Channel 5 show about English kings and queens she had been scheduled to host was cancelled in the wake of the pandemic.

However, Anne – who is thought to be worth £50 million – admitted her salary is ‘nothing’ like the Weakest Link.

Sweet:  Describing her co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent as 'fantastic', Anne told the magazine that they trio had yet to get together outside of filming due to Covid constraints

Sweet:  Describing her co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent as 'fantastic', Anne told the magazine that they trio had yet to get together outside of filming due to Covid constraints

Sweet:  Describing her co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent as ‘fantastic’, Anne told the magazine that they trio had yet to get together outside of filming due to Covid constraints

Describing her co-hosts Rachel Riley and Susie Dent as ‘fantastic’, Anne told the magazine that they trio had yet to get together outside of filming due to Covid constraints, but said she ‘admires’ them both.

As for where she sees herself in ten years, Anne admitted she is not sure – adding that it only feels ‘like yesterday’ that she was the youngest – and only female – reporter in The Sunday Times’ newsroom, despite that period in her life having taken place 53 years ago.

The broadcasting icon also shared that she spent the UK’s lockdown period at her home in the Cotswolds with her 49-year-old daughter Emma, her son-in-law Liam and their sons Hudson, 12, and Parker, 11.

No longer OK: Anne agreed that 'The Weakest Link couldn't be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants' mental health'

No longer OK: Anne agreed that 'The Weakest Link couldn't be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants' mental health'

No longer OK: Anne agreed that ‘The Weakest Link couldn’t be made now as it would be deemed detrimental to contestants’ mental health’

Emma is Anne’s one and only child, and the TV host shares her with her first husband, newspaper editor Charles Wilson.

It has been 14 years since Anne split from her second husband, journalist John Penrose, and while Anne declined to tell the paper whether she is currently in a relationship, she suggested she was single and commented that although she misses having a ‘playmate’, she would only want a potential partner to be around for two nights a week.

Concluding that she has no regrets and is grateful that no one in her family hates her, Anne quipped that her one hope for the future is that she’ll be ‘a proper size 8.’

Anne made her debut as the new host of Countdown on Monday to a warm reception from fans of the show.

The presenter admitted ahead of the episode that she had been ‘nervous’.

And Anne won round any naysayers at the end of the episode when she closed the show with her trademark wink while saying ‘goodbye’.

Made famous during her stint as the ‘queen of mean’ on The Weakest Link, Anne’s wink appeared to be the only quirk she was bringing with her to Countdown, exuding a notably softer side for the tea-time quiz.

'I was very nervous, you always are if you're doing a new show!' Anne appeared on Lorraine on Monday and admitted she had felt anxious filming the first few episodes of the show

'I was very nervous, you always are if you're doing a new show!' Anne appeared on Lorraine on Monday and admitted she had felt anxious filming the first few episodes of the show

‘I was very nervous, you always are if you’re doing a new show!’ Anne appeared on Lorraine on Monday and admitted she had felt anxious filming the first few episodes of the show

Anne has made history as the first female main host of the show, taking over from Nick Hewer, who served as the presenter for 10 years.

Anne appeared on Lorraine on Monday and admitted she had felt anxious filming the first few episodes of the show.

She said: ‘I’ve filmed some of the shows and I think I’m quite nervous on today’s and tomorrow’s. I think I get into the groove on about Wednesday. I was very nervous, you always are if you’re doing a new show.

‘What was thrilling was quite a few of the contestants were great, great, fun and at times it was just like doing The Weakest Link.’ 

Outgoing: Anne has made history as the first female main host of the show, taking over from Nick Hewer, who served as the presenter for 10 years

Outgoing: Anne has made history as the first female main host of the show, taking over from Nick Hewer, who served as the presenter for 10 years

Outgoing: Anne has made history as the first female main host of the show, taking over from Nick Hewer, who served as the presenter for 10 years

Elsewhere, Romesh Ranganathan is set to be the face of The Weakest Link when it makes its return to TV screens later this year.   

The show, which was originally hosted by Anne, came to an end back in 2012 – though a special Children in Need episode was broadcast in 2017.

On Sunday, The Sun reported that the show is set to make its return, with comedian Romesh, 43, at the helm.

The Weakest Link will return later in 2021 as a Saturday night show with one main twist – instead of members of the public competing, celebrities will be playing to earn money for charities of their choice.   

Anne’s catchphrase ‘You are the weakest link…. goodbye’ will still be part of the show.

The show will begin to be shot in Glasgow, with 12 episodes initially planned for broadcast in the latter half of the year.  

Speaking about his new role as presenter of The Weakest Link, Romesh said: ‘It’s an honour to be asked to bring back what is basically a TV institution to our screens.

‘Anne was an amazing host and to step into her shoes is an anxiety-inducing privilege. I’m hoping we’ve found a way to make both the fans of the show happy as well as bringing a new audience to it. If not, accept this as my apology.’

MailOnline has approached the BBC for comment.  

The full interview with Anne can be found in the new issue of The Radio Times, out Tuesday, June 29. 

Presenter: Romesh Ranganathan to step into Anne's shoes as host of the Weakest Link with the iconic quiz show set to return later this year (pictured 2019)

Presenter: Romesh Ranganathan to step into Anne's shoes as host of the Weakest Link with the iconic quiz show set to return later this year (pictured 2019)

Presenter: Romesh Ranganathan to step into Anne’s shoes as host of the Weakest Link with the iconic quiz show set to return later this year (pictured 2019)

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