A QUIZ fan who went face-to-face with terrifying TV presenter Anne Robinson on The Weakest Link has revealed he read her autobiography to make sure he could give her a taste of her own medicine.
When Stephen Watson learned he had been chosen as a contestant for the hit BBC show, he was determined that Anne’s withering put-downs wouldn’t get the better of him.
So he swotted up on her by reading her book and was able to fire back with some insults of his own as filming took place.
And millions of viewers will be able to see 37-year-old Stephen’s spat with Anne when the episode is broadcast on BBC One tomorrow night.
Stephen, of Glasgow Road, Paisley, said: “I’d read Anne’s autobiography while I was on holiday so I was ready to come back to her with some things but, when the lights are on you and she gives you that stare, it’s quite scary.
“She asked me what I did for a living and, after I fumbled over my answer, she shouted at me ‘In English please’.
“I’ve got quite a strong accent anyway but that made it worse for me.”
Property developer Stephen applied to be on The Weakest Link last year and had to go through a series of auditions before being selected.
He said: “I know a chap who had been on the show and I read his blog and thought it sounded quite interesting.
“I e-mailed the show and they sent me out an application form, which I sent off. You need to be quite chatty and make yourself sound interesting.
“They’re looking for people who will talk about themselves and aren’t worried about making a fool of themselves on telly.
“Then they asked me to come to an open audition at the Holiday Inn in Glasgow, where I chatted to the producers and one of them put on a wig and pretended to be Anne Robinson to see how we would react to her put-downs.
“I was told I would be put into a pool of people but that I wasn’t guaranteed to appear. Then, three months later, I got a phone call asking me if I would come down to London.
“Filming took two-and-a-half hours but they’ll edit that down to get the best – or the worst – bits. It was quite enjoyable.
“All the contestants were in the green room chatting and you’re given muffins and things. It was good fun. I didn’t get to see Anne much though. She was kept quite far away from us.”
The Weakest Link isn’t the first small screen appearance Stephen has made.
When he was 13, he appeared on the kids’ TV quiz show First Class.
Stephen, who is married to Irene, said: “Appearing on First Class was quite nervewracking but it didn’t seem like too big a deal at the time.
“We won the first game but then lost to a team from Wolverhampton and I got the last question wrong.”
Stephen admits he is a bit nervous about seeing himself on the small screen when The Weakest Link is broadcast tomorrow night.
He said: “I don’t think I’ll be having a party or anything.
“I want to watch it on my own first and see what I look like.”
l You can watch Stephen’s clash with Anne by tuning into The Weakest Link on BBC One at 5.15pm tomorrow.