Anne Robinson’s life after Weakest Link – facelifts, Tinder and sex confession

Anne Robinson is making a welcome return to our screens on Countdown – and the contestants had better be scared.

The ‘Queen of Mean’ earned her nickname for her infamous put downs, brutal insults and shockingly rude antics on The Weakest Link.

The words “you are the weakest link – goodbye” sent shivers down spines and Anne even left hopefuls in tears.

But what happened to the indomitable presenter once she left The Weakest Link for good?

After more than 15,000 contestants, 1700 shows and over 235,000 questions asked, Anne announced she was quitting in 2012 and BBC bosses decided to scrap the iconic show.

“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,” said Anne at the time.

Anne Robinson was the formidable host of The Weakest Link
Anne Robinson was the formidable host of The Weakest Link

Amid speculation over her exit, Anne, who was one of the BBC’s highest earners on a reported £1million a year,  dismissed reports about her contract.

“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,” she told the Guardian.

Anne had also been the host of the American version of The Weakest Link for two years, becoming a famous face across the pond.

She continued to present Watchdog until September 2015, having first hosted the BBC consumer affairs show in 1993 with a break in the middle.

“It’s been an honour to be part of the most important consumer show in Britain,” said Anne once she left.

Away from TV presenting, Anne went under the knife and spent at least £9,000 on cosmetic surgery.

Anne presented the show over in the US
Anne presented the show over in the US

Speaking wit the Mirror in 2009, Anne revealed: “I had a facelift originally five years ago because I didn’t want to look like my mother. I did look like her.

“I certainly wasn’t scared when I had my facelift. Why would I be when I nearly died of alcoholism 35 years ago?

“I never thought it was a big deal to have it done. And I’ve never thought to keep it quiet.”

Back in 2012, after already having two procedures, Anne admitted she was keen for more work.

“I’ve asked my surgeon if I could have a third lift. I had my eyes done ages ago and I had work on my chin and brow five or six years ago,” she said.

Anne also claimed surgery in London is way better than out in the US.

She said: “A facelift in LA makes you look as if you’re in a wind tunnel. And there’s the New York facelift that makes you simply look lifted. I had mine done here. You just look good.”

Anne presented Watchdog for 15 years across two stints
Anne presented Watchdog for 15 years across two stints

Anne was married to Charles Wilson from 1968 until 1971, then got wed to John penrose in 1980 before divorcing in 2007.

In 2017, Anne announced that she had signed up to dating app Tinder in the hope of finding her next man.

While determined not to give up on love, the picky presenter said dates needed to meet some pretty strict guidelines.

Anne claimed she was was after ‘CEO’s and upwards’ from her potential suitors, turning one chap down simply because he was holding a beer in his profile picture and she no longer drinks.

Bringing back some of her famous withering put downs, she let down a freelance actor by telling him: “I don’t think that would bring in a big income.”

Her Tinder stint was very short-lived as Anne deleted her account just one hour after she first logged in.

Anne signed up to Tinder briefly
Anne signed up to Tinder briefly

Claiming it was ‘slim pickings’ on the dating app, she insisted all she needed to “pull” was her pair of red glasses.

Anne even opened up on her sex life, telling The Sun: “I hope all women my age are having sex, why wouldn’t they be? It’s what keeps me young.”

She added: “I don’t have a partner at the moment, I’ve had two husbands and they’re lovely. I’m a committee of one.”

While lockdown has been harsh for so many people, for Anne it presented an unexpected and wonderful opportunity to spend uninterrupted time together with her daughter Emma.

After spending decades living in separate homes and even on different continents for some years, broadcast journalist Emma fled London to her mother’s home in the Cotswolds in March last year.

Emma, her husband Liam and their two kids Hudson and Parker ended up staying with Anne for almost six months.

Anne Robinson and her daughter Emma Wilson
Anne Robinson and her daughter Emma Wilson

“It was a pretty powerful experience,” Anne revealed in October last year.

They loved being under the same roof and seeing each other’s day-to-day routines, but Anne did admit it felt like an “invasion” at first.

“Emma turned part of it into a classroom and put up notices saying, ‘Cello lesson in Progress. Please Be Quiet!’ Often, I felt like the extra child on a play date,” said Anne.

“She is a bit of an organiser. We really did have to readjust to all being under the same roof for the first time for years.

“I live on my own and I don’t expect someone to barge in and say, ‘You’re not having another siesta!’

“She bossed me around in the same way as she does her children and their puppy. But after a while, we adapted enough to tolerate our differences and laugh at them. Soon we got to a stage when it was actually fabulous.”

Anne Robinson with daughter Emma and the rest of the family
Anne Robinson with daughter Emma and the rest of the family

Now Anne will be back on our screens this summer as the brand new Countdown host.

Anne, who takes over from Nick Hewer after his decade on the show, is the sixth presenter and first ever female to take the hotseat.

It’s now an all-woman affair as Anne will be joining numbers whizz Rachel Riley and dictionary expert Susie Dent.

“I am beyond thrilled to be joining Countdown. The show is almost as old as I am and just as historic,” said Anne after the news was revealed live on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch on Monday.

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

Anne Robinson has spoken about being the new Countdown host
Anne Robinson has spoken about being the new Countdown host

“Three Clever Girls Do Countdown! Don’t you love the sound of that?

“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.”

This will not be the first time that Anne has appeared on Countdown.

Anne actually had a spell in the Countdown’s popular Dictionary Corner for a week in 1987, but she is hoping she will speak more now than she did then.

“I was so in awe of the great Richard Whiteley,” confessed Anne.

“I think I only said Good Afternoon and Goodbye. Who thought I’d have the chance to follow in his giant footsteps?”

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