Anne Robinson has just been announced as the new host of Countdown, replacing long-standing former presenter Nick Hewer in the role.
The TV personality, 76, is potentially best known for hosting noughties daytime quiz show The Weakest Link, which ran on BBC Two between 2000 and 2012.
Her cutting one-liners and farewell call – “You are the weakest link, goodbye!” – made her one of the most famous personalities on television.
However, a former contestant on the show has spoken out against Robinson, recalling his appearance on The Weakest Link at the age of 18.
In a piece written for i, Benjamin Butterworth questioned whether Anne was the best replacement for the Countdown gig.
The former contestant claimed Anne made a joke about his sexuality, leaving him dreading whether the footage would make the final edit.
He said: “The point of the scripted joke is clear: I’m gay, geeky and a virgin. And for the record, only two of those things were true.”
While the remark didn’t air, Benjamin’s experience on the show left him with a poor impression of the ITV star, who was famed for her “queen of mean” attitude to presenting.
Pointing out many felt her snide remarks were part of an act, he added: “But contestants like me, on the receiving end of those nasty and often snobby attacks, were not playing a character.”
Anne has previously been criticised for comments made while hosting The Weakest Link.
In 2006, a report found that the BBC is “endemically homophobic,” using a remark made by Anne during an episode of The Weakest Link – Celebrity Chefs as an example.
Daily Star has contacted Anne’s representatives for comment.
Aside from hosting Weakest Link, Anne has fronted Watchdog and Points of View in the past, launching her TV career in the 80s on Question Time.
Having hosted the series since 2012, Nick Hewer quit Countdown last year after the lockdown made him reconsider his career, leaving Channel 4 scouting for a new host.
Anne will join the series alongside Susie Dent, who runs dictionary corner, and maths whizz Rachel Riley, who operates the numbers board.
Speaking about her new gig, Anne said: “I’m very excited I want to rename it as ‘Three Clever Girls Do Countdown’.”
Robinson will make her Countdown debut this summer.