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Romesh Ranganathan has said his role hosting The Weakest Link is the “most excited” his wife has been about a show he has presented.
The 43-year-old comedian replaces no-nonsense quizmaster Anne Robinson in the new iteration of the general knowledge programme, which returns to BBC One with celebrity contestants on December 18.
Ranganathan is joined by eight famous faces each week as they try to win up to £50,000 for their chosen charity.
BBC Studios Entertainment Productions to produce brand new series of Weakest Link.
Romesh Ranganathan (@RomeshRanga) will host quick-fire general knowledge quiz on @BBCOne primetime with an all-star line-up of celebrity contestants. https://t.co/XP3X9FFiPb pic.twitter.com/He7X1VjRBq
— BBC Studios Press Office (@BBCStudiosPress) June 28, 2021
On joining the programme, he said: “It is such an iconic show, and such a bulletproof and addictive quiz format, it felt like a no-brainer.
“It is probably the most excited my wife has been about a show I’ve done, she doesn’t watch much of what I do but when I told her they were thinking about me for this, she was so excited, she almost questioned whether I was the right booking to be honest.
“It’s a bit of a blessing and a curse, on the one hand it is a really loved format, but on the other hand I’m slightly bricking it because people do really love it.
“You can write the negative reviews in your head ‘It turns out The Weakest Link is… Romesh Ranganathan’ or something like that, it terrifies me, I can just see it, I like to catastrophise.”
Ranganathan said he really enjoyed the original format and thinks Robinson was a “big reason why the show was so massive”, but his version will be different.
He added: “When Anne hosted it was very much her flavour to it, but if someone answers something ridiculously, or is clearly The Weakest Link, I am definitely going to point that out and have fun with that, but I will do it in my own style.
“I’ll be bringing a comic element to it in terms of how I interact with the contestants, going through the scripts and adding comedy to that.”
Ranganathan teased some of the celebrity guests who will feature on the upcoming series, including former Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing, broadcaster Nikki Fox, food critic Jay Rayner and fellow comedian Ed Gamble.
He admitted the comedians gave him more hassle than the other contestants, and said Gamble jokingly heckled him throughout the episode and tried to undermine his confidence.
Some of the celebrities reportedly felt the quiz show pressure and gave some questionable answers, with Ranganathan revealing a “standout moment” for him was when Laing guessed the fruit that Winston Churchill’s wife was named after was a lemon.
He joked that Made In Chelsea stars often call their children “weird” names, but found it amusing that the TV personality thought she was called Lemon Churchill.
Ranganathan also noted the new format will feature picture questions and said it was “amazing” to discover how people struggled to identify a simple image while in the hot seat.
The comedian recalled how one celebrity was shown an image from the musical Cats but incorrectly guessed that it was the Lion King.
He said: “It turns out this person doesn’t know what a lion looks like, if they think that’s a lion… when they see a lion, they’re about to have the time of their lives.”
The original series was first broadcast in 2000 before ending 12 years later. It returned for a Children In Need special in 2017.
The Weakest Link with Romesh Ranganathan starts on December 18 on BBC One.