Anne Robinson was once known across the UK for her terrifying personality and brutal rainfall.
But the former journalist has left her strict stance as quiz master on the weakest link to create a friendlier atmosphere as the new host of Countdown.
After Nick Hewer leaves the popular show, 76-year-old Anne will take the lead on Countdown. With her at the helm, Susie Dent at Dictionary Corner, and Rachel Riley in charge of the numbers, Countdown will now have an all-female cast.
It is the first time in its 39-year history that the show has a female host. reports Der Spiegel.
But she is well aware that her previous job as the terrifying host on The Weakest Link will mean that she may have to calm down some of the countdown contestants.
She said, “With the weakest link, I never spoke to the attendees before the show – I was on the podium with a stern face to create the atmosphere. I talk to them with Countdown so that they don’t think it’s going to be very cruel. “
“You strive to make the show as warm and fun as possible while maintaining integrity.”
She is accompanied by a number of guests, including Julian Clary or Richard Cole, who, while sitting in the Dictionary Corner, can join their chats with the candidates.
Commenting on the difference between the way she behaves on Countdown compared to The Weakest Link, she added, “You have to judge how far you can go – some [contestants] are pretty shy.
“I don’t want the participants to have a box of Kleenex next to them.
“But it’s exactly the same as the weakest link. If there was a 19-year-old student, I wouldn’t treat her like a not very attractive old man whom I would ask, ‘Have you always been this gorgeous handsome?’ “
In addition to the softer touch she brings to the show, she will also wear much lighter colored clothing than many viewers are used to seeing them in.
When she saw the clothes rail, she said with a laugh: “This row of clothes looks a bit like God made another rainbow.”
Anne believes her background in the newspaper industry sets her apart from her five predecessors at Countdown, and says it allows her to get more information from attendees.
During her journalistic career, she rose to become Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Mirror in the 1980s. She went on to write columns for several newspapers. She also has years of experience as a presenter on television shows such as Watchdog.
Anne said: “Newspaper journalism taught me everything I needed to know. You had to think on your feet, work fast and you couldn’t cry. I am very grateful for all of that. “
But she also knows that some Countdown viewers will not like the change.
She adds: “Some [viewers] will hate me because they feel like I ruined their show. “
“Any editor will tell you that if you take over a magazine and make a change, the readers get freaked out and get used to it a year later.
The all-female cast has also allowed Anne to promote the show to attract more female candidates, thereby helping to rebalance the often male-dominated line-up.
She said, “I pushed her to get more female candidates and we had a show or two where the entire studio is female.
“I don’t ask about it every day, but it was a blow in the air when it first happened.”