ANNE Robinson came under fire today after fans dug up an old clip of her tearing into a contestant on The Weakest Link.
The 76-year-old, who was yesterday named as the new host of Countdown, is shown in a brutal exchange with a single mum on benefits.
The TV star played a mean version of herself on The Weakest Link during the early 2000s.
One of the most popular – and best-paid – presenters on TV at the time, her put-downs were part of the show's huge success.
But in a clip branded "disgusting" by one viewer this week, she is shown sparring with a mum-of-three.
Told one of the Weakest Link contestants is a single mum, the acid-tongued host asks: "How many Asbos?"
The contestant, Ann, appeared confused, so the presenter added: "How many of your three boys have got tags on their ankle?"
Anne later asked: "You're doing benefits are you?"
The player protested: "I was waiting for this. I'm doing a 24/7 job" before Anne asked again and she admitted that she was claiming benefits.
The host later asked: "And what happened to the husband?" before enquiring: "You didn't go gay, did you?"
One fan posted the footage online yesterday writing: "Beyond disgusting and nasty, cant believe this was even allowed."
However, a friend of the star insisted: "This was of its time, and Annie would never say any of this now.
"She shoots from the hip, but she’s not not mean or nasty in real life.”
Anne was yesterday revealed as the next host of Countdown – the first female host in the show's history – replacing Nick Hewer.
Weakest Link jibes: the full exchange
Anne Robinson: "What do you do, Ann?"
Ann (the contestant): "I'm a full-time single mum to three boys."
AR: "Three great boys. So how many Asbos?"
A: "Can you clarify that please? My nerves have taken over."
AR: "How many of your three boys have got tags on their ankles?"
A: "Well, none so far."
AR: "You're doing benefits are you?"
A: "I was waiting for this. I'm doing a 24/7 job."
AR: "Are you on benefits?"
A: "I am on benefits, yes."
AR: "And what happened to the husband?"
A: "I've had two husbands to be honest. I think I've worn them both out."
AR: "You didn't go gay did you?"
A: "No. But sometimes living with three boys, there is a lot to be said for going lesbian."
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