Tuesday, 3 April 2012
The Weakest Link.....Goodbye
You may or may not have noticed that on Saturday the final ever episode of The Weakest Link was aired. I certainly did not know until I noticed a programme entitled "You Are The Weakest Link ...Goodbye" tucked away at 3.45pm on Saturday afternoon. Indeed, the show was the final ever episode with an invited set of contestants back to see the quiz show into retirement.
The show started way back on BBC 2 in 2000, then taking Neighbours spot on BBC One before gaining primetime slots around the schedules. To have a show, albeit a quiz based show, run for 12 years in this day and age is a fantastic achievement and despite being tucked away on early afternoon slots for its last run, lets not let that downplay how successful this show was.
After all, The Weakest Link coined a catchphrase, made an even bigger star of Anne Robinson and was sold all over the world. Celebrities flocked to appear on the show and there can be few TV viewers who have never seen an episode of the show.
However, the show simply had run its course. Lets face it, for many the attraction with the Weakest Link was not so much the questions and answers but the banter between Anne and the contestants. Seeing what insults the "The Queen of Mean" could throw at the contestants, who were picking for their whackiness and originality above anything else, was often the main draw. She made them sing, dance, tell jokes and tried to humiliate and belittle them on every occasion.
The Weakest Link was never about being a big money gameshow and was never something I imagine serious quizzers had in mind to tackle. In fact the most money ever won was £7,750 but the average will have been much lower. Serious quizzers would have been a little put off by the open voting in which being a good quizzer could count against you.
One annoyance and perhaps one reason the show started to dwindle was the first rounds of questions were pathetically easy and annoyingly so. It always took a few rounds to get going and even by the final the questions were not overly testing. Once and a while a good set would come out but on the whole it was on of the "easiest" shows on tv. More to the point, the main reason the show faded out was the insults and banter eventually became boring.
Either way The Weakest Link has to be considered a superb success from the BBC but like everything else this dog has had its day!