The Queen of Mean

She has been called rude, sadistic, racist (for some unflattering remarks about the Welsh), a snob, a dominatrix. Seldom has a TV presenter provoked such acrimony. But the more vitriolic the epithets, the more lucrative they prove for Anne Robinson and the bbc. Her abrasive hosting of the game show The Weakest Link has been key to the phenomenal international success of the format, which involves contestants systematically eliminating each other. When the 56-year-old former journalist debuted as the host of the U.S. version last month, critics panned her as too nasty; but, as in Britain, she continues to draw sizable...

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