Weakest Link

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Weakest Link is a television game show which first appeared in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 14 August 2000 and ended on 31 March 2012 when its host Anne Robinson ended her contract. The original British version of the show is still aired around the world on BBC Entertainment.


The format was devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning, and developed for television by the BBC Entertainment department. It has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of The Weakest Link. As with the original British version, all of the hosts wear black clothing (or sometimes dark colours with black). Most versions also have disciplinarian female hosts, again similar to the British original—with exceptions being Fausto Silva (Brazil), Julien Courbet (2014 France), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shiro Ito (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan) and George Gray (United States). Gray (2002-03) and Courbet (2014-present) are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy. Recordings of the show commenced from BBC's Elstree facility, but were switched in 2009 to Glasgow and the BBC Pacific Quay studio centre.

Not all the international versions share the title The Weakest Link. The format is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. Australia was the first country to adapt the BBC show, and versions have also been produced in Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Udmurtia and the United States.

In Croatia, in May 2010 the quiz reached its 1008th episode, and with the British original, is the only version to have reached as many episodes.

The Weakest Link franchise is the second most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the United Kingdom.[1]


Each weekday, a group of 9 (or ranging from 5 to 10, varies among versions) contestants work as a team to reach up to the most amount of money. If a person answers the question correctly, the money will move upwards to the next stage in the chain. If a person answers the question wrong, the money is lost and the chain starts again. If a person banks the money it stays safe, however the chain will start again. If there are 9 correct answers in a row (No banking). When approaching the top stage of money, the last player who answered it correctly must pass over to the next player (on their right or clockwise), must bank to receive the money. There is a time limit which goes down, usually around 10 seconds as the game progresses. In some versions, if the contestant takes too long time to think, the host may interrupt him or her and tell the correct answer, and it will be considered as incorrect. At the end of each round the contestants must vote for who they thought was the Weakest Link in the round that just occurred, If the vote comes to a tie, the strongest link can decide between the players of who should leave, usually this player votes for who they voted first. The strongest link is the person who either: had the most correct answers, banked money, only person to answers all the questions right or not hesitating. Then Anne, to the voted contestant will say "(name), you are the weakest link, goodbye". The contestant is asked for the walk of shame and has an interview outside the game. The person who was the strongest link in the last round goes first. If the strongest link got voted, the second strongest player starts. In the UK version, the final round has a 90-second last round with no voting but money is still to be earned. After the final money round the grand money chance is given. To decide who takes the money. There is a head-to-head round with 5 questions asked to each player in turn decided by the strongest link from the final money round. Whoever gets the most questions correct wins, If there is a tie, the game continues and the two contestants have a sudden death battle with this going on and on until there is winner. The loser goes home with nothing.

Game rule variations[edit]

In the second syndicated version of the American version, after the second last round, the last two contestants do not face the clock and the money tree, instead, the remaining two contestants go straightly into the head-to-head round. Similarly, the French version (2014 to present) also does not use the clock and money tree for the final round, and in the penultimate round is the three-player triple stake round for 15,000 and lasts 90 seconds.

Strategy for banking money[edit]

In a New Scientist blog article, Erica Klarreich argues that there are only two sensible strategies in The Weakest Link (the U.S. edition) when it comes to banking money. Either players should choose to bank after every correct answer, or after six straight correct answers to maximize the pot. The correct strategy to take will depend upon the skill at answering questions of the members of the team. For all but the weakest teams, the optimal strategy is to raise the pot six straight times without banking. But since this happens so seldom on the show, Klarreich argues, the dominant strategy will usually be instead to bank after every question. The common practice of banking after just three questions would only outperform the strategy of banking after every question if a team maintained a success rate of over 67%.[2]

International versions[edit]

Legend:      Currently airing        No longer airing        Future version  

Country Name Host TV station Top prize Premiere Finale
Arab League Arab World الحلقة الأضعف
Elhalka Eladaaf
Rita Khoury Future Television US$16,000 2002 2003
 Australia Weakest Link Cornelia Frances Seven Network A$100,000 February 2001 April 2002
 Azerbaijan Zəif Bənd Kamila Babayeva Lider TV AZN9,000 (Formerly AZM 45,000,000) 2004 2006
Solmaz Süleymanlı 2012 2014
 Belgium (Dutch) De Zwakste Schakel Goedele Liekens VTM 2,000,000BEF 2001
 Brazil Ponto Fraco Fausto Silva TV Globo R$1,000,000 2001 (Pilots rejected by BBC)
 Chile El Rival Más Débil Catalina Pulido Canal 13 CL$40,000,000 2004
 China 汰弱留强·智者为王
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
Chen Luyu Nanjing TV CN¥200,000 2002 2004
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
Shen Bing
Xia Qing
 Czech Republic Nejslabší! Máte padáka! Zuzana Slaviková TV Nova 1,000,000 2002 2004
 Croatia Najslabija karika Nina Violić HRT1 kn 90,000 2004 2010
Daniela Trbović
 Denmark Det Svageste Led Trine Gregorius DR1 KR200,000 2001 2002
 Estonia Nõrgim lüli Tuuli Roosma Kanal 2 500,000 kr 2004
 Finland Heikoin lenkki Kirsi Salo MTV3 15,000 2002 2005
 France Le Maillon Faible Laurence Boccolini TF1 150,000F
9 July 2001 12 August 2007
Julien Courbet D8 45,000 8 September 2014 22 July 2015
 Georgia სუსტი რგოლი
Susti Rgoli
Nino Burduli Rustavi 2 10,000 2005
 Germany Der Schwächste fliegt! Sonja Zietlow RTL Television DM50,000 19 March 2001 March 2002
 Greece Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
Elena Akrita MEGA 5,000,000 2001 2003
 Hong Kong 一筆OUT消
Jat1 bat1 OUT siu1
Carol Cheng TVB Jade HK$3,000,000 20 August 2001 18 January 2002
 Hungary A Leggyengébb Láncszem Krisztina Máté TV2 3,000,000 Ft 2001 2004
Nincs Kegyelem 6,000,000 Ft
 India Kamzor Kadii Kaun Neena Gupta Star Plus Rs.2,500,000 2002 2003
 Ireland Weakest Link Eamon Dunphy TV3 10,000 2001 2002
 Israel החוליה החלשה
HaChulia HaChalasha
Pnina Dvorin Channel 10 100,000 2002 2004
Hana Laszlo 90,000
 Italy Anello Debole Enrico Papi Italia 1 15,000 2001
 Japan ウィーケストリンク☆一人勝ちの法則
Uikesutorinku hitori-gachi no hosoku
Shiro Ito Fuji Television JP¥16,000,000 2002
 Macedonia Најслаба алка
Najslaba Alka
Zivkica Gjurcinovska Alfa TV 420,000 MKD 2010 2011
 Malaysia Weakest Link Sekilara Kiramila RTM RM80,000 2003 2009
 Mexico El Rival Más Debil Montserrat Ontiveros Azteca Trece MX$200,000 2003 2008
Lolita Cortés 27 July 2013 7 September 2013
26 May 2014 -
 Moldova Veriga Slaba Andrei Gheorghe Kanal 1 1,000,000 MDL 200? 2009
 Netherlands De Zwakste Schakel Chazia Mourali RTL 4 10,000 2001 2004
 New Zealand The Weakest Link Louise Wallace TV One NZ$20,000 July 2001 March 2002
 Norway Det Svakeste Ledd Anne Grosvold NRK KR200,000 2004
 Philippines Weakest Link Edu Manzano IBC PHP1,000,000 2001 2002
Allan K.
 Poland Najsłabsze Ogniwo Kazimiera Szczuka TVN 27,000 2004 2006
 Portugal O Elo Mais Fraco Julia Pinheiro RTP1 10,000 2002 2003
Luisa Castel-Branco
Pedro Granger 2011 2012
 Romania Lanţul Slăbiciunilor Andrei Gheorghe Pro TV lei50,000 2001
 Russia Слабое Звено Mariya Kiselyova ORT RUB300,000
RUB1,000,000(celebrity editions)
2001 2005
Nikolai Fomenko Channel 5 RUB350,000 2007 2008
 Serbia Najslabija Karika Sandra Lalatović BKTV RSD5,000,000 2002-2006
 Singapore 智者生存
Zhizhe shengcun
Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin) MediaCorp TV Channel 8 S$100,000 2002 2003
Weakest Link Asha Gill MediaCorp TV Channel 5 S$1,000,000
 Slovenia Najšibkejši Člen Violeta Tomič SLO 1 2,400,000 SIT (10,000) 2003 2005
 South Africa Weakest Link Fiona Coyne SABC3 R50,000 2003 2008
 Spain El Rival Más Débil Nuria González TVE1 7,200 2002 2004
Karmele Aranburu TVE2
 Sweden Svagaste Länken Kajsa Ingemarsson TV4 100,000 kr 2011 2013
 Taiwan Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
Belle Yu STAR Chinese Channel NT$400,000 2001 2003
Tseng Yang Qing
 Thailand Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kacad cudxxn
Krittika Kongsompong ThaiTV 3 ฿1,000,000 2002 2003
 Turkey En Zayıf Halka Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver Show TV TL100 billion 2001 2002
- Kanal D - Kanal D Cancel Production
 United Kingdom The Weakest Link Anne Robinson BBC £10,000 (Daytime) 14 August 2000 31 March 2012
£50,000 (Primetime)
 United States Weakest Link Anne Robinson NBC US$1,000,000 2001 2002
George Gray Syndicated US$75,000 2002 2003

In popular culture[edit]

Anne Robinson's catchphrase "You are the weakest link. Goodbye!" has made several appearances in pop culture, including references in Family Guy, Scary Movie 2 and The League of Gentlemen. In the first season of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, character Rose Tyler appears on a futuristic version of The Weakest Link, hosted by an "Anne droid" voiced by Anne Robinson, where eliminated contestants were supposedly disintegrated. The "Anne droid" began a special Doctor Who-themed version of the real show, with actors from the series playing for charity; the real Anne Robinson, however, unplugged her droid counterpart and continued the show herself.


  1. ^ "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Klarreich, Erica (16 January 2002). "Strongest strategy for The Weakest Link revealed". New Scientist. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 

External links[edit]