The Weakest Link began broadcasting on BBC Two on August 14, 2000. It was created and devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning. Since its debut, it has made and aired over 1000 episodes, marking the 1000th episode in December 2006.


It features 9 contestants who take turns answering questions in a clockwise direction. At the beginning of each episode, it features 9 contestants sitting on a lounge talking and the narrator Jon Briggs, says "here are the nine contestants preparing for today's show. Only one of them will win up to 10,000 pounds. The others will leave with nothing when voted off as the weakest link".

Contestants Preparing For The Show

When the show's opening starts, its logo is in a chain sequence which forms a chain pattern and says "Weakest Link".
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Weakest Link Logo

The start of the show features Anne Robinson saying "welcome to the weakest link". And then it zooms out and shows the studio. She has "any of the nine people in the studio here today could win up to 10,000 pounds". There is 2 ways to which she says the next lines. In the earlier episodes from 2001-2008, she says "they don't know each other however, if they want the prize money, they'll have to work as a team, but 8 of them will leave with nothing as round by round we lose the player voted the weakest link. Lets meet the team. As of June 18, 2008, she says "they've only just met but to get the prize money, they'll have to work together. However, 8 will leave with nothing. As round by round we lose the player voted the weakest link. Lets meet the team.

Introduction to the studio


Opening Chain

Each contestant introduces themself by saying their name, age, occupation and where they come from. Once all of the nine contestants have introduced themselves, Anne explains the rules of the game. In the earlier episoes as mentioned before, she says "now the rules in each round the aim is to answer enough questions correctly to reach your 1000 pound target within the time limit. The fastest way is to create a chain of nine correct answers. Get your question wrong and you break the chain and lose all the money in the chain. But if you say bank before the question is asked the money is safe, however you start a new chain from scratch. Remember at the end of the round only money that's been banked can be taken forward".

After this point, round one begins by starting with the person whose name is first alphabetically and then Anne says, "Let's play the weakest link. The first question is for 20 pounds; start the clock". Round one has 3 minutes.

The contestants answer questions and as they answer questions, the money chain builds up. If a contestant gets a question wrong, the money built in the chain is broken and a new chain is started from scratch. However, if a contestant says "bank" just before their question is asked, the earned in the chain is safe. So, if 300 pounds was in the chain, that's how much would be earned. The maximum prize money the contestants can win each round in 1000 pounds.


The contestants are voting off

In this stage, Jon Briggs says who statisically is the strongest and weakest link. This is worked out by calculating who got the most questions wrong and who answered the most questions correctly and banked the most money for the team. After the team have cast their votes, Anne says "voting over its time to reveal who you think is the weakest link and the contestants reveal their votes by turning their boards. The contestant with the most votes gets voted off, but if there is a tie, the strongest link gets to decide who gets voted off. Once a contestant is voted off, Anne says "you are the weakest link... goodbye" and the contestant takes the walk of shame and then has an interview which in other words is their final word.

The same thing happens up until round 8 where there are 2 players left. In the proceeding rounds, ten seconds is deducted from the time, and in round 8, the remaining two players have 90 seconds, but whatever they win is tripled. After round 8, the prize money for the whole game is revealed and the two contestants play a head to head round where they are asked 5 questions each, and whoever answers the most questions correctly wins. If there is a tie, they play an extra round which is called Sudden Death, where 1 question is asked each. After a contestant wins, Anne says "that means(whoever) you are today's strongest link and you go away with(whatever money) and she then says to the other contestant "you leave with nothing". After this she turns to the other side of the studio and says "join us again for the weakest link... goodbye". And the two contestants have their final word and that's the end.


It doesn't matter if a player is the weakest or strongest link. The contestant is still in danger of being voted off. If a contestant is not smart and can't answer many questions correctly, they may be considered weak and preventing the team from winning money. On the other hand, they are sometimes considered easy to beat and therefore they are kept in the final round. However, if a contestant is really smart and knows a lot, the other contestants may consider that a threat of their chances of winning the prize money, and they may vote off the contestant. Either way, a contestant can easily be voted off.

When it comes to winning money, its rather risky. As the chain builds, the money gets higher. Banking would certainly be a safe option to prevent a player answering a question incorrectly and losing a lot of money, however not banking lets the chain build and increases the team's chances of winning 1000 pounds in each round.

Even in a round when everyone answers their question correctly, its still a risk of being voted off. The contestants may get rid of someone because they asked for a question to be repeated, hesitated, or even because they don't like the choice of outfit they are wearing. Its hard for the contestants to choose when everyone gets a question right. They can only guess who will let them down in the rounds to come.


*The Weakest Link transfered over to BBC One on February 12, 2008 and replaced Neighbours

  • When the team are down to 4 players, Anne will make a joke about each one, particularly to do with their job.
  • When the team are down to 3 players Anne will say "in round 8 you get the chance to treble what you bank".
  • The questions get harder each round and as reach round proceeds, the contestants answer more questions incorrectly.
  • On June 18, 2008, a new look of The Weakest Link made its debut. It included a new studio to which a blue floor was there, and the blue lighting spun when each round started, also, when the players were casting their votes, the blue floor would go red. Anne also has new lines which include a new way she explains the rules, and a new way she explains the rules for the head to head round.
  • When the team answer correctly in a row more 9 answers or more and don't reach their 1000 pound target, Anne points out that they could of reached it.
  • The very first question for each episode is always easy
  • There have been celebrity editions where electronic podiums were installed and an audience was watching. Well-known UK celebrities competed to win up to 50,000 pounds for a charity of their choice.