In an exclusive interview and photoshoot at her Cotswolds home with her daughter Emma Wilson, Anne Robinson has revealed why she accepted the job to be the new presenter of Countdown.
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"I've been offered lots of things, but this was the first one that I thought: 'That sounds good,'" she told HELLO! "I'm not bad at interviewing, I can work without a script, I like contestants and it's endlessly interesting to watch."
She's also impressed by her co-presenters, Rachel Riley and Susie Dent, who are both "at the top of their trees at what they do".
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And her broadcast journalist daughter Emma – who with husband Liam Kan and sons Hudson, 12, and Parker, 11, spent most of lockdown at Anne's Cotswolds home – also tells the magazine how she can't wait for her mother to start her new role.
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"It's a lifesaver," Emma says. "She was driving us all crazy because she was bored – she's terrible when she's idle. But suddenly she has a skip in her step, and we've got Anne Robinson back."
The former Weakest Link host will be the show's first female presenter – a fact which she wasn't keen on at first. "I balked when they first told me because I hoped we'd got past that. I said: 'You might as well say it's the first person with an under-active thyroid to do it,'" she says. "But then we had two female contestants on one of the early shows, and a female guest on Dictionary Corner. We had a punch to the air because the whole studio was female."
Anne poses with her daughter Emma
In the interview, Anne also talks about the pressure on female television stars to maintain a youthful appearance. "A lot of television is about the way you look. So there is a demand, an expectation, that women are going to look pretty. But I'm aware, too, that if you want a gig at 76, you do bow to convention.
"You train and stay fit. I don't go in the sun, I don't smoke or drink, and I had a facelift in 2004. It's important to come clean on all that, because if you don't talk about it, you have women thinking: 'Why don't I look like that?'"
And Emma also tells the magazine how she feels about her mother's achievements. "I'm incredibly proud of her as I don't think many others at 76 are doing what she's doing."
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