Weakest Link

Weakest Link is a television game show which first appeared in the UK on BBC 2 on 14 Aug 2000 and ended on 31 March 2012 when its host Anne Robinson ended her contract. The original British version of the show is still aired around the world on BBC Entertainment.


The format was devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning, and developed for television by the BBC Entertainment department. It has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of The Weakest Link. 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), Julien Courbet (2014 France), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shiro Ito (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Enrico Papi (Italy), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan),Baybars Altuntaş (Turkey), Tom Aligf Cook, Jeff Foxworthy (both Aligfian) and George Gray (United States). Gray (2002-03) and Courbet (2014-2015) are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy. Recordings of the show commenced from BBC's Elstree facility, but were switched in 2009 to Glasgow and the BBC Pacific Quay studio centre.

Not all the international versions share the title The Weakest Link. The format is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. Australia was the 1st country to adapt the BBC show, and versions have also been produced in Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Udmurtia and the United States.

In Croatia, in May 2010 the quiz reached its 1008th episode, and with the British original, is the only version to have reached as many episodes.

The Weakest Link franchise is the 2nd most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the UK.[1]


A group of nine (or ranging from five to ten, varying among versions) contestants work as a team to try and win as much money as possible. If a person answers the question correctly, the next stage in the chain is reached. If a person answers the question wrong, the money is lost and the chain starts again. A player can "bank" before their question to save the money, but the chain must be started again. If there are nine correct answers in a row without anyone banking, the maximum money amount is added to the jackpot and the round stops. The time allowed for each round decreases as the game goes on. In some versions, if the contestant takes too long to think, the host may give the answer, and it will be considered incorrect. At the end of each round, the contestants must vote for who they thought was the "Weakest Link" in the round that just occurred, and the person with the most votes is eliminated. If the vote comes to a tie, the Strongest Link can decide which of the tied players should leave. The Strongest Link is the person who had the most correct answers or banked the most money. The host, Anne Robinson in the original UK version, says "(name), you are the Weakest Link, goodbye". The contestant then takes the walk of shame and is then interviewed outside the game. The person who was the strongest link in the last round goes first. If the strongest link got voted off, the second-strongest player starts. In the UK version, the final round has a 90-second triple stake round with no voting but money is still to be earned. After the final round, a head-to-head contest is played, with five questions asked to each player in turn. If there is a draw, the game continues to sudden death. The loser goes home with nothing.

Game rule variations

In the 2nd syndicated version of the American version, after the 2nd last round, the last 2 contestants do not face the clock and the money tree. Instead, the remaining 2 contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. Similarly, the French version (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 sec.

Strategy for banking money

In a New Scientist blog article, Erica Klarreich argues that there are only two sensible strategies in The Weakest Link (the U.S. edition) when it comes to banking money. Either players should choose to bank after every correct answer, or after six straight correct answers to maximize the pot. The correct strategy to take will depend upon the skill at answering questions of the members of the team. For all but the weakest teams, the optimal strategy is to raise the pot six straight times without banking. But since this happens so seldom on the show, Klarreich argues, the dominant strategy will usually be instead to bank after every question. The common practice of banking after just three questions would only outperform the strategy of banking after every question if a team maintained a success rate of over 67%.[2]

International versions

Countries which have produced their own version

Legend:      Currently airing        No longer airing        Future version  

Country Name Host TV station Top prize First episode Last episode
Arab League Arab World الحلقة الأضعف
Elhalka Eladaaf
Rita Khoury Future Television US$16,000 2002 2003
 Australia Weakest Link Cornelia Frances Seven Network A$100,000 February 2001 April 2002
 Azerbaijan Zəif Bənd Kamila Babayeva Lider TV AZN9,000 (Formerly AZN 45,000,000) 2004 2006
Solmaz Süleymanlı 2012 2014
 Belgium (Dutch) De Zwakste Schakel Goedele Liekens VTM 2,000,000BEF 2001 2002
 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 CL$40,000,000 2004
 China 汰弱留强·智者为王
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
Chen Luyu Nanjing TV CN¥200,000 2002 2004
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
Shen Bing
Xia Qing
 Czech Republic Nejslabší! Máte padáka! Zuzana Slaviková TV Nova 1,000,000 2002 2004
 Croatia Najslabija karika Nina Violić HRT1 kn 90,000 2004 2010
Daniela Trbović
Mirko Fodor[3]
 Denmark Det Svageste Led Trine Gregorius DR1 KR200,000 2001 2002
 Estonia Nõrgim lüli Tuuli Roosma Kanal 2 500,000 kr 2004
 Finland Heikoin lenkki Kirsi Salo MTV3 15,000 2002 2005
 France Le Maillon Faible Laurence Boccolini TF1 150,000F
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 8,000 2005
 Germany Der Schwächste fliegt! Sonja Zietlow RTL Television DM50,000 19 March 2001 March 2002
 Greece Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
Elena Akrita MEGA 5,000,000 2001 2003
 Hong Kong 一筆OUT消
Jat1 bat1 OUT siu1
Carol Cheng TVB Jade HK$3,000,000 20 August 2001 18 January 2002
 Hungary A Leggyengébb Láncszem Krisztina Máté TV2 3,000,000 Ft 2001 2004
Nincs Kegyelem 6,000,000 Ft
 India Kamzor Kadii Kaun Neena Gupta Star Plus Rs.2,500,000 2002 2003
 Ireland Weakest Link Eamon Dunphy TV3 10,000 2001 2002
 Israel החוליה החלשה
HaChulia HaChalasha
Pnina Dvorin Channel 10 100,000 2002 2004
Hana Laszlo 90,000
 Italy Anello Debole Enrico Papi Italia 1 15,000 29 October 2001 17 November 2001
 Japan Weakest Link
Uikesutorinku hitori-gachi no hosoku
Shiro Ito Fuji Television JP¥16,000,000 2002
 Macedonia Најслаба алка
Najslaba alka
Živkica Gjurčinovska Alfa TV MKD ден 420,000 2010 2011
 Malaysia Weakest Link Sekilara Kiramila RTM RM80,000 2003 2009
 Mexico El Rival Más Debil Montserrat Ontiveros Azteca Trece MX$200,000 2003 2008
Lolita Cortés 27 July 2013 7 September 2013
26 May 2014 present
 Moldova Veriga Slaba Andrei Gheorghe Kanal 1 1,000,000 MDL 2002 2009
 Netherlands De Zwakste Schakel Chazia Mourali RTL 4 10,000 2001 2004
 New Zealand The Weakest Link Louise Wallace TV One NZ$20,000 July 2001 March 2002
 Norway Det Svakeste Ledd Anne Grosvold NRK KR200,000 2004
 Philippines Weakest Link Edu Manzano IBC PHP1,000,000 2001 2002
Allan K.
 Poland Najsłabsze Ogniwo Kazimiera Szczuka TVN 27,000 2004 2006
 Portugal O Elo Mais Fraco Julia Pinheiro RTP1 10,000 2002 2003
Luisa Castel-Branco
Pedro Granger 2011 2012
 Romania Lanţul Slăbiciunilor Andrei Gheorghe Pro TV lei500.000.000 2001
 Russia Слабое Звено
Slaboe zveno
Mariya Kiselyova

Leonid Yakubovich (December 25, 2002) [4]

ORT/Channel One Russia 300,000 (from September 25 until October 30, 2001)
400,000 (from Novemer 1, 2001 until October 2004)
350,000 (from October 2004 until July 2, 2005)
1,000,000(celebrity editions, 2001—2004)
September 25, 2001 July 2, 2005
Nikolai Fomenko Channel 5 350,000 December 2, 2007 December 28, 2008
 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Najslabija Karika Sandra Lalatović BKTV RSD5,000,000 2002 2006
 Singapore 智者生存
Zhizhe shengcun
Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin) Mediacorp TV Channel 8 S$100,000 2002 2003
Weakest Link Asha Gill Mediacorp TV Channel 5 S$1,000,000
 Slovenia Najšibkejši Člen Violeta Tomič SLO 1 2,400,000 SIT (10,000) 2003 2005
 South Africa Weakest Link Fiona Coyne SABC3 R50,000 2003 2008
 Spain El Rival Más Débil Nuria González TVE1 7,200 2002 2004
Karmele Aranburu TVE2
 Sweden Svagaste Länken Kajsa Ingemarsson TV4 100,000 kr 2011 2013
 Taiwan Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
Belle Yu STAR Chinese Channel NT$400,000 2001 2003
Tseng Yang Qing
 Thailand Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kacad cudxxn
Krittika Kongsompong ThaiTV 3 ฿1,000,000 2002 2003
 Turkey En Zayıf Halka Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver Show TV TL100 billion 2001 2002
Baybars Altuntaş TV8[5] 54,000 21 September 2015
 United Kingdom The Weakest Link Anne Robinson BBC £10,000 (Daytime) 14 August 2000 31 March 2012
£50,000 (Primetime)
 United States Weakest Link Anne Robinson NBC US$1,000,000 16 April 2001 14 July 2002
George Gray Syndicated US$75,000 7 January 2002 20 May 2003


  1. "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  2. Klarreich, Erica (16 January 2002). "Strongest strategy for The Weakest Link revealed". New Scientist. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  3. Due to Daniela having a surgery at 2010,HRT Ask Mirko to temporary host the show until Daniela recover.
  4. A special Christmas and New Year celebrity edition.
  5. Original production was Kanal D,but later they decide to reject and TV8 was takeover.

External links

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