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Thursday, 1 March, 2001, 21:38 GMT
EastEnders' Woodyatt wins Weakest Link
EastEnders cast members line up for the charity special
EastEnders cast members line up for the charity special
Soap star Ian Beale - played by Adam Woodyatt - has stood up to the fearsome Anne Robinson, winning a special Comic Relief edition of the Weakest Link quiz.


Who is more Albert Square than Albert Einstein?

Anne Robinson
Quiz host

Woodyatt, who battled his way through to the last round with his screen aunt Wendy Richard, who plays Pauline Fowler, was delighted at his achievement.

He saw each of the other seven contestants dismissed by the infamous phrase: "You are the weakest link - goodbye", after being voted off the team by their fellow players.

The actor, who was clearly pleased with helping raise 7,600 for Comic Relief, said: "Anne Robinson definitely scares me more than Phil Mitchell" [EastEnders' on-screen villain].

Wendy Richard added with a smile that the show's host, whose meanness has made her a cult figure, was "Nick Cotton [another EastEnders villain] in an Armani frock".

Adam Woodyatt
Adam Woodyatt: Beat Wendy Richard to take the title
The show saw Woodyatt pitted against other cast members Wendy Richard (who plays Pauline Fowler), Todd Carty (Mark Fowler), Shaun Williamson (Barry Evans), Lucy Benjamin (Lisa Shaw), Hannah Waterman (Laura Dunn) and Lucy Speed (Natalie Evans).

But it was not all plain sailing for Woodyatt, who had a spat with Robinson over a question about Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

Being a "superstitious actor", he refused to say Macbeth, answering instead with "the Scottish play", an answer which was instantly dismissed by Robinson.

When questioned about it afterwards, he asked the host if she was aware of what his answer - which was technically right - referred to. Robinson moved swiftly on to speak to another contestant.

Actor Shaun Williamson
Williamson: You are the weakest link, goodbye
Despite Robinson's ability to reduce contestants to schoolchildren with her tickings off, the show had its lighter moments.

When asking the stars to vote off the weakest link, she asked: "Who is more Albert Square than Albert Einstein? Who is several machines short of a launderette? Who is thicker than Pat's earrings?"

First to bite the dust was EastEnders car dealer Barry Evans.

Barry - played by actor Shaun Williamson - was the voted the weakest link despite Wendy Richard getting the most questions wrong in that round.

Robinson told him: "I understand you are in a quiz team and you have not lost in two years. Well you have now."

EastEnders is currently Britain's top soap opera, with approximately 16 million viewers per episode. The Weakest Link has become the latest quiz show to take the nation by storm - mainly thanks to Robinson's unforgiving attitude towards her contestants.

Weakest Link host Anne Robinson
Robinson: Raised a few laughs
The show has recently been snapped up by US network NBC - with Robinson in place to host the American version.

The ex-Watchdog host will become the first British woman to host a prime-time entertainment show in America, with BBC bosses hoping its worldwide success will match that of rival game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

A celebrity Big Brother has also been lined up for Comic Relief, in which six stars will move into the original Big Brother house in London for a week from 9 March, with one being voted out every day.

Other Comic Relief events include specials from One Foot In The Grave, The Royle Family and Robbie Williams.

Organisers of the charity will be hoping to top the 1999 Red Nose Day total of 35m. Proceeds will go to causes in the UK and Africa.

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See also:

09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Weakest Link goes to America
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Celebrity Big Brother launched
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Comic Relief stars keep their pants on
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Comic Relief storm for Dale Winton
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Weakest Link gets stronger
01 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Weakest Link host cried for loser
25 Jan 01 | UK Politics
EastEnder linked to Labour seat
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