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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Robinson attacks Diana choice
Anne Robinson on The Weakest Link
Robinson became known as "the queen of mean"
Quiz show host Anne Robinson says she is "dumbfounded" Diana, Princess of Wales has been nominated as one of the greatest ever Britons.

Robinson, who is hosting a new BBC Two series, Great Britons, said she was surprised to see the late princess nominated by viewers to be included in the programme.

"To regard her as a great Briton seems to be absurd," said Robinson.

In a Radio Times interview, she said Diana used her charity work to boost her own popularity.

"It's interesting to see how easily she manipulated public opinion," she said.

"Every time her popularity dropped, she hit another hospice."

The Weakest Link presenter added she "cheered at the time" because Diana's actions made "a dog's dinner of the dignity of the royal family".

More than 30,000 people voted by phone and internet last year to produce Great Britons' top 100 list.

Robinson - who said she "doesn't do royalty" - was upset that Diana made the final 10 while one of her personal favourites, Baroness Thatcher, was not included.

"It is a matter of principle, ever since the Duke of Edinburgh asked me to help him give out his awards, and I said I'd only do it if he came and did a couple of Weakest Links," she said.

Robinson's personal Great Britons list omits men and monarchs.

Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice, takes the top spot, with Margaret Thatcher coming a close second.

Also included are author Enid Blyton and Elizabeth David, whose books of the 1950s and 1960s are credited with changing the face of English cooking.

Last year, Robinson attracted controversy when she made jibes about the Welsh on BBC Two's Room 101.

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04 Jun 01 | Entertainment
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