Aaronovitch proves he’s no Weak Link

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

Two JC columnists came face-to-face with Anne Robinson this week on special celebrity editions of BBC1's The Weakest Link.

On Sunday, David Aaronovitch avoided the frosty host's "You are the weakest link, goodbye" jibe by winning a journalists-only episode.

Recalling his experience in front of the fearsome quizmistress, he said: "She was rude about the things you expected least. She kept talking again and again about me being fat."

Publisher and broadcaster Andrew Neil and This Morning TV critic Sharon Marshall were among other contestants.

In the final round, Mr Aaronovitch went head-to-head with Martin Daubney, editor of lads' mag Loaded, and came out on top.

After donating the £13,450 winnings to the Anthony Nolan Trust, Mr Aaronovitch said: "The thing to remember is that it is so intimidating. If you watched Andrew Neil's face, he was terrified.

"I just about managed to keep my cool, but there was one question about the largest continent beginning with the letter ‘A', and it just went out of my head. The questions are not hard, it is just about whether you can calm down sufficiently to remember simple things. I was really relieved to not be the weakest link. I'd have looked a bit stupid if I'd not won."

On Saturday, Five News' Lara Lewington, who writes the JC's Showbiz Schmooze column, was less successful.

She was voted out in the second round of a news and weather presenters' special. The question she failed to answer was the only one her team lost points on in the round, making Lara the weakest link. It was: In wildlife, which primary colour goes before squirrel and deer in the names of two mammals native to Britain? (Red.)

Grumpy Ms Robinson chided her for wearing "a cocktail frock" and having a drama degree, before dismissing her.

Reflecting on her performance, Ms Lewington said: "The thing I was most nervous about was giving a ridiculous answer under pressure that I would have been remembered for forever, but luckily that didn't happen and I could happily live with being out early on."

Eventual winner Dermot Murnaghan gave the £21,650 prize to a children's charity.

Last updated: 4:31pm, September 4 2008