Anne Robinson criticised for asking a vicar if his shirt was ‘gay’ in Weakest Link episode
TV presenter Anne Robinson has lived up to her ‘Queen of Mean’ nickname by describing a Weakest Link contestant’s shirt as ‘gay’ but the comment was cut from the programme before it was broadcast on Wednesday.
Reverend Peter Hayler appeared on the hit quiz show on Wednesday wearing a rainbow striped shirt that accommodated his dog collar.
Ms Robinson asked the clergyman if the shirt was gay and suggested that he looked liked he’d just left a
“vicars and tarts party.”
Married father-of-two, Rev Hayler said: “I was accused of tactically voting and she called me a liar five times.
“She commented on my shirt and asked where the material was from. She said ‘was the shirt gay?’
“I should have said ‘yes it’s brightly coloured’. The whole approach is set to make you defensive.
“If I had another chance on the show I wouldn’t have been as defensive. Taking part showed that vicars can have fun too.”
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David Allison from Outrage! said: “Given that the word gay to imply a negative is used in schools and such it’s particularly inappropriate for a public figure to do so.
“Anne Robinson should, and I’m sure does, know better than to say something like that on a light hearted quiz show aired at children’s hour. It doesn’t help children to hear the word ‘gay’ being used to imply a negative and I can see why the BBC cut her comment out.”
The BBC claim that the comment was “tongue in cheek”, spokesperson said: “As you can appreciate we often record more footage of the chats with Anne than we need, this encourages variety and also gives us options. Anne is never afraid to tackle any subject and contestants are fully aware that the nature of all the chats is very tongue-in-cheek, and reflects the tone of the show.”
Explaining why Ms Robinbson’s supposedly homophobic jibes were edited out the spokesperson said:” In this instance, we have chosen the strongest and most appropriate content for this episode.”
Rev Hayley won the show and pocketed £2,530 prize money.
Ms Robinson is to quit the show next year.