Weakest Link

  (Redirected from The Weakest Link)

Weakest Link (aka The Weakest Link) is a television game show which first appeared in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 14 August 2000 and originally ended on 31 March 2012 when its host Anne Robinson completed her contract. The original British version of the show is still aired around the world on BBC Entertainment. The game begins with a team of eight or nine contestants who take turns answering general knowledge questions within a time limit to create chains of correct answers in a row. At the end of each round, the players vote one contestant, "the weakest link", out of the game. Once two players are left, they play in a head-to-head contest, with five questions asked to each contestant in turn, to determine the winner.

Weakest Link
Created byFintan Coyle
Cathy Dunning
Original workWeakest Link (United Kingdom)
Films and television
Television seriesWeakest Link (independent international versions, see below)
Video game(s)Weakest Link (2001)
First aired14 August 2000 (2000-08-14)
DistributorBBC Worldwide

The format has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of the programme and is the second most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the UK.[1]


The programme sees a group of contestants (ranging from five to nine players) who will need to work as a team to try to win as much as possible of a maximum cash jackpot by correctly answering general-knowledge questions in a series of rapid-fire rounds.

Each round features a money chain of anywhere from five to nine increasing cash values, with a maximum cash target that the team must attempt to reach within a time limit. Questions are asked of the team members sequentially. In the first round, play will typically start with the first player alphabetically or by a random-draw (which occurred before the game starts). The team can most quickly achieve the target by stringing together a chain of consecutive correct answers, the minimum number of which depends on the number of "links" in the money chain (usually but not always the same as the number of contestants at the start of the show). A correct answer increases the value of the succeeding question; however, an incorrect answer breaks the chain, losing all money accumulated in that chain. A contestant can secure the accumulated money in the chain by saying "Bank" before their question is asked (but after their name is called); however, the chain resets to zero, and the team must rebuild again. The round ends when the team has either run out of time or banked the target (in which case the round ends prematurely). The target amount is the maximum amount available in the round. If the team banks a total exceeding this amount, it is rounded down to the maximum amount. Only the money that has been banked is taken forward in the game, forming the total prize money available at the end.

Each round ends with the team voting off one person from the game. Before the votes are revealed, a voice-over announcer reveals who statistically is the Strongest Link and Weakest Link (these are determined by how many questions were answered correctly and incorrectly, the amount of money banked, and the total monetary value of the questions asked). The votes are then revealed, followed by inquiry by the host for the reasoning behind the vote, along with berating of the contestants. The person with the most votes is named the Weakest Link (regardless of the statistics), is eliminated from the game, and wins nothing. In the event of a tie, the Strongest Link is immediately deemed immune from the vote and must break the tie.

This process repeats, with each successive round beginning with the Strongest Link from the last round (or the second-Strongest Link, if the Strongest Link was voted off), and the time limit available to them decreasing (usually by 10 or 15 seconds). Once there are two players remaining, they play one final round, where the money banked is multiplied by a certain amount (doubled, tripled or quadrupled). In some versions, however, the game has gone straight to the head-to-head finale after the final elimination.

The final two contestants then compete in a head-to-head round to determine the winner, with the Strongest Link from the last round determining who begins the round. The contestants are alternately asked a series of five questions each. The player who correctly answers the most wins the money accumulated in the game. If there is a draw, the game continues to sudden death, where the first to answer a question correctly over their opponent's incorrect answer wins. The loser, like all other contestants prior, goes home with nothing.

Game rule and format variationsEdit

Compared with the original format, the others have some changes, making them not the same as the original.


In the UK original series, the host is Anne Robinson. Producers chose her with the intention of being both firm to the contestants yet understanding when a contestant gets voted off.[2] However, in producing the show, Robinson began to act cold, harsh and mean to the contestants. Some international hosts like Chazia Mourali, Montserrat Ontiveros, Andrei Georghe, Neena Gupta and Trine Gregorius went to the BBC Studio for instruction and training purpose (meeting the UK production team and Anne Robinson) to replicate the presenting style.

However, the format distributor BBC Worldwide changed the rules and this is not required anymore. As a result, some international hosts are nicer and more relaxed to the contestants. This has changed the whole program style compared with the original BBC series. The first such notable example of this change was seen during George Gray's tenure as host in the 2002-2003 syndicated version of the American edition; other times where this has happened was in France (2014–2015), Turkey (2015/2019), Finland (2017–2019), Cyprus (2017–), Netherlands (2019–2020) and Greece (2019–).

The new Dutch host Bridget Maasland is also the first host worldwide not to wear black clothing on every episode. Although she does wear dark and black suits on about half of the shows, she often wears bright colored outfits in the other episodes. Her style of hosting resembles the style Anne Robinson adapted in the later UK shows, asking contestants more about their private lives, let them sing and dance during the voting and chit chat about more than just the mistakes made.

The hosting attitude of Jane Lynch who hosted the American edition's 2020 revival was more so that of sarcasm, and snarky - reminiscent of her noted Sue Sylvester character from Glee.[3]

US versionEdit


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 straight into the head-to-head round. In the event the Strongest Link is voted off, the Second-Strongest Link makes the decision as to who goes first.

2020 rebootEdit

Unlike the original version, the top prize money available increases after each round. The top prize money starts at $25,000 in round 1 and increases by $25,000 per round until round 4. The top prize money in rounds 5 and 6 is set at $250,000 and $500,000, respectively.

A minor addition to the game is that of a buzzer added to each contestant's podium. This is used both to bank money (with contestants not only have to say the word "bank" before being asked the question but must also press the buzzer), as well as to reveal the contestant's vote.

Some non-gameplay variations were also adapted to the revived series, the contestants no longer handwrite their votes, rather they vote via a touch screen panel, tapping the button of the player they wish to vote off. This screen is also used to present visual information for visual questions - where the host will ask the contestants to identify that appear on the screen. Additionally, the host will discuss the contestants' mistakes before the vote reveals - with the weakest link being eliminated immediately after the vote reveal. Like season 2 of the syndicated version, once only two contestants remain, the game goes straight to the head-to-head round.

French versionEdit

The latest French version (aired from 2014 to 2015) also does not use the clock and money tree for the final round, and in the penultimate round is the 3-player triple stake round for 15,000 and lasts 90 seconds.

Dutch versionEdit

In the current Dutch version that started in May 2019, just like on the latest French version, round 8 was cut from the format after they aired the show for two weeks. Instead, in round 7, the money triples, and one last player is eliminated after that round. Making the top prize money no longer €10,000, but €9,000. After that, the remaining two contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. However, in the 2nd series, the number of contestants dropped to 7. The top prize money decreased to €8,000, and the 90-second round returned.

International versionsEdit

Countries that have produced their own version

The format is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and also produced by different production companies. Australia was the 1st country to adapt the format; not all the international versions share the same title as UK.

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), Tasos Tryfonos (Cyprus and Greece), Julien Courbet (France), Riku Nieminen (Finland), Nikolai Fomenko (Russia), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shirō Itō (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Enrico Papi (Italy), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan), Baybars Altuntaş (Turkey) and George Gray (United States). Gray and Courbet are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy.

In Croatia, in May 2010, the quiz reached its 1,008th episode, and with the British original is the only version to have reached as many episodes.

Legend:   Currently airing     No longer airing     Unsold pilot (Only Brazil)     Future version

Country Local title Host TV station Top prize Catchphrase First episode Last episode
  Arab World الحلقة الأضعف
Elhalka Eladaaf
Rita Khoury Future Television $16,000 أنت الحلقة الأضعف ، الله معك 14 October 2001 April 2003
  Australia Weakest Link Cornelia Frances Seven Network $100,000 You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 5 February 2001 22 April 2002
Magda Szubanski[4] Nine Network TBA 2021
  Azerbaijan Zəif bənd Kamila Babayeva Lider TV AZM45,000,000 (2004–2005)
AZN9,000 (2006–2007)
Ən zəif bənd sizsiniz, xudahafiz! May 2004 April 2007[5]
Solmaz Süleymanlı AZN9,000 3 March 2012 2014
(  Flanders)
De zwakste schakel Goedele Liekens VTM fr. 2,000,000 Jij bent de zwakste schakel. Salut! 29 August 2001 December 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 $40,000,000 Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós! 2004
  China 汰弱留强·智者为王
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
Chen Luyu Nanjing TV ¥200,000 你被淘汰啦,再见! 9 February 2002 2004
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
Shen Bing
Xia Qing
  Croatia Najslabija karika Nina Violić HRT 1 kn 90,000 Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja! 26 April 2004 31 May 2010
Daniela Trbović Vi ste najslabija karika. Zbogom!
Mirko Fodor[6]
  Cyprus Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
Tasos Tryfonos[7] RIK 1[7] 5,000 Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ! 18 September 2017[7]
  Czech Republic Nejslabší! Máte padáka! Zuzana Slavíková TV Nova 1,000,000 Jste Nejslabší, a máte padáka! 15 February 2002 1 July 2004
  Denmark Det svageste led Trine Gregorius DR1 kr. 200,000 Du er det svageste led, farvel! 2001 2003
  Estonia Nõrgim lüli Tuuli Roosma Kanal 2 kr 80,000 Sina oled nõrgim lüli, head aega! 5 September 2004 July 2005
  Finland Heikoin lenkki Kirsi Salo MTV3 16,000
Sinä olet heikoin lenkki, hyvästi! 6 September 2002 18 February 2005
Riku Nieminen Nelonen 20,000 20 March 2017 28 June 2019
  France Le maillon faible Laurence Boccolini TF1 F 150,000
Vous êtes le maillon faible, au revoir! 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 თქვენ სუსტი რგოლი ხართ, და ამიტომ ტოვებთ პროექტს! 2005
  Germany Der Schwächste fliegt! Sonja Zietlow RTL Television DM50,000 (2001) Du bist der Schwächste, du fliegst, und tschüss! 19 March 2001 23 February 2002
50,000 (2002)
  Greece Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
Elena Akrita[7] MEGA[7] 5,000,000 Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ! 27 October 2001 15 February 2003
Tasos Tryfonos Skai TV 10,000 21 September 2019
  Hong Kong 一筆OUT消
Jat1 bat1 OUT siu1
Carol Cheng TVB Jade HK$3,000,000 你係眾望所歸,無得留低,你要一筆OUT消, Goodbye! 20 August 2001 18 January 2002
  Hungary A leggyengébb láncszem Krisztina Máté TV2 Ft 3,000,000 Ön a leggyengébb láncszem, viszlát! 12 August 2001 2002
Nincs kegyelem[8] Ft 6,000,000
  India Kamzor Kadii Kaun Neena Gupta Star Plus Rs. 2,500,000 Kamzor Kadii aap jaa Sakte hai, Namaste! December 2001 21 May 2002
  Ireland Weakest Link Eamon Dunphy TV3 10,000 You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! September 2001 2002
  Israel החוליה החלשה
HaChulia HaChalasha
Pnina Dvorin Channel 10 100,000 !אתה החוליה החלשה, שלום 2002 2004
Hana Laszlo 90,000
  Italy Anello debole Enrico Papi Italia 1 15,000 Lei è l'Anello Debole, se ne vada! 29 October 2001 17 November 2001
  Japan Weakest Link
Uikesutorinku: Hitori-gachi no Hosoku
Shirō Itō Fuji Television ¥ 16,000,000 ウィーケストリンクと決定しました。__君、退場! 16 April 2002 16 September 2002
  Mexico El rival más débil Montserrat Ontiveros Azteca Trece $200,000 Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós! 2 August 2003 October 2009
Lolita Cortés Tú eres el rival más débil, te vas. 27 July 2013 27 December 2014
  Netherlands De zwakste schakel Chazia Mourali RTL 4 10,000 Je bent de zwakste schakel, tot ziens! 6 May 2001 28 August 2004
Bridget Maasland 9,000 (2019)
8,000 (2020)
Je bent de zwakste schakel, dag! 6 May 2019 March 2020
  New Zealand Weakest Link Louise Wallace TVNZ 1 $20,000 You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 17 July 2001 March 2002
  North Macedonia Најслаба алка
Najslaba alka
Živkica Kalenikova Alfa TV ден 420,000 (2010)
ден 320,000 (2011)
Вие сте Најслабата алка, збогум! 3 May 2010 July 2011
  Norway Det svakeste ledd Anne Grosvold NRK kr. 200,000 Du er det svakeste ledd, adjø! 30 August 2004 6 December 2004
  Philippines Weakest Link Edu Manzano IBC 1,000,000 You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 15 October 2001 October 2002
Allan K.
  Poland Najsłabsze ogniwo Kazimiera Szczuka TVN 27,000 Jesteś najsłabszym ogniwem, do widzenia! 1 March 2004 26 January 2006
  Portugal O elo mais fraco Julia Pinheiro RTP1 10,000 Você é o elo mais fraco, adeus! 11 June 2002 2003
Luisa Castel-Branco
Pedro Granger 19 September 2011 25 May 2012
  Romania Lanțul slăbiciunilor Andrei Gheorghe Pro TV L 500,000,000 Ești veriga cea mai slabă din lanțul slăbiciunilor. La revedere, Drum bun! 13 October 2001 2002
  Russia Слабое звено
Slaboe zveno
Mariya Kiselyova
Leonid Yakubovich (25 December 2002) [9]
ORT/Channel One 300,000 (25 September – 30 October 2001)
400,000 (1 November 2001 – October 2004)
350,000 (October 2004 – 2 July 2005)
1,000,000 (celebrity editions, 2001–2004)
Вы самое слабое звено, прощайте! 25 September 2001 2 July 2005
Nikolai Fomenko Channel 5 350,000 2 December 2007 28 December 2008
Mariya Kiselyova Mir 320,000 (14 February – 5 November 2020)
400,000 (since 13 November 2020)
14 February 2020
  Serbia and Montenegro Najslabija karika Sandra Lalatović BKTV din 5,000,000 Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja! 2003 2006
  Singapore 智者生存
Zhizhe Shengcun
Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin) Mediacorp Channel 8 S$100,000 你是最弱一環,再見! 19 May 2002 2003
Weakest Link Asha Gill Mediacorp Channel 5 S$1,000,000 You have been voted the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 27 October 2002 2003
  Slovenia Najšibkejši člen Violeta Tomič SLO 1 SIT 2,400,000 Vi ste Najšibkejši člen! Adijo! 3 October 2003 2006[10]
  South Africa Weakest Link Fiona Coyne SABC3 R 50,000 (2003–2004)
You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 3 September 2003 2007
R100,000 (2005–2007)
  Spain El rival más débil Nuria González TVE1 7,200 Eres el rival más débil, ¡adiós! 15 May 2002 2004
Karmele Aranburu TVE1
  Sweden Svagaste länken Kajsa Ingemarsson Sjuan kr 100,000 Du är den svagaste länken, hejdå! 31 October 2011 2013
  Taiwan Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
Belle Yu STAR Chinese Channel NT$400,000 你是本回合被淘汰的參賽者, goodbye! 22 October 2001 11 February 2002
Tseng Yang Qing 第_回合被淘汰的是_,再見!
  Thailand Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kamchat Chut On
Krittika Kongsompong ThaiTV 3 ฿1,000,000 คุณคือจุดอ่อนของทีม เชิญค่ะ 7 February 2002 26 December 2002
  Turkey En zayıf halka Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver Show TV TL100,000,000,000 En zayıf halka siz oldunuz, güle güle! 2001 2003
Baybars Altuntaş TV8[11] 54,000 21 September 2015 15 November 2015
İpek Altınbaşak-Farina ATV 80,000 24 July 2019[12] 21 September 2019
  United Kingdom Weakest Link Anne Robinson BBC £10,000 (Daytime)
£20,000 (Primetime)[13]
£50,000 (Primetime)
You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye! 14 August 2000 31 March 2012
£15,000 17 November 2017[14]
  United States Weakest Link NBC $1,000,000 16 April 2001 14 July 2002
George Gray Syndicated $75,000 7 January 2002 20 May 2003
Jane Lynch[15] NBC $1,000,000 29 September 2020 1 February 2021


  1. ^ "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ketF7a1qZzw&feature=youtu.be&t=354
  3. ^ "Jane Lynch Says Hosting 'Weakest Link' Has Her Channeling 'Glee' Role". Entertainment Tonight.
  4. ^ "Weakest Link back after 9 years with new host Magda Szubanski". au.lifestyle.yahoo.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Video". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  6. ^ Due to Daniela having surgery in March 2010, HRT asked Mirko to temporary host the show until Daniela recovers.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Πότε κάνει πρεμιέρα "Ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος" του ΡΙΚ" [When does RIK's "Weakest Link" premiere?]. offsite.com.cy (in Greek). 7 September 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  8. ^ Nincs kegyelem was the alternative name of this show, but both show used same identity A leggyengébb láncszem
  9. ^ A special Christmas and New Year celebrity edition.
  10. ^ "Violeta Tomič | predstave". www.violetatomic.si.
  11. ^ Original production was Kanal D but later decide to drop and TV8 was takeover.
  12. ^ "En Zayıf Halka 1. Bölüm Fragmanı". 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  13. ^ 8/7 players version (2000–2001)
  14. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (19 July 2017). "The Weakest Link is coming back to TV - complete with Anne Robinson". Metro. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  15. ^ Adalian, Josef (8 July 2020). "Jane Lynch Is Hosting a Weakest Link Revival for NBC". Vulture.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (25 January 2021). "'Weakest Link' Renewed for Season 2 at NBC". Variety. Retrieved 16 February 2021.