Clare Balding accuses Anne Robinson of fat-shaming her on The Weakest Link

‘Anne used my weight as a stick to beat me with,’ recalled the presenter about her time on ‘The Weakest Link’

Annabel Nugent
Friday 05 November 2021 07:53
Controversial Anne Robinson clip resurfaces

Presenter Clare Balding has claimed she was fat shamed by Anne Robinson on TV.

During a recent appearance on The Mid-Point podcast, the sports host reflected on her experience filming an episode of Robinson’s previous series The Weakest Link.

“Many years ago I did The Weakest Link when she was presenting it, and I got through to a head to head against Graeme Le Saux who, as you will know, is very very bright. Luckily I did okay and I won,” said Balding.

The 50-year-old continued to say that Robinson “had been very cutting” during the episode, adding that the game show host had asked Balding why she had given up a career as an amateur jockey.

“I said, ‘Look at me, I got too heavy, right.’  So then she would constantly use the line of ‘Who ate too many cookies?’” said the broadcaster.

In the post-game interview at the end of the episode, Balding recalls saying: “Well, Anne used my weight as a stick to beat me with, but if that makes the crusty old cow happy, that’s fine!” adding that she believed the producers would never include the comment in the final cut.

She added: “[The episode] goes out and they used that as the last line, and I thought, ‘Oh God…’”

Balding said that she later received a thank you letter from Robinson, stating: “It was all really nice and I thought, ‘Thank God she didn’t see the interview at the end.’ I turned over the page and it said, ‘I do hope we work together soon. With love, the Crusty Old Cow.’”

Earlier this year, speaking about her time as host of The Weakest Link from 2000 to 2012, Robinson said: “I honestly couldn’t get away with saying now what I used to say.”

The Independent has contacted a representative of Robinson’s for comment.

Balding’s claims come after reports of a hostile work relationship between Robinson and mathematician Rachel Riley on the set of Countdown.

Robinson joined the Channel 4 game show in June earlier this year.

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