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Memoirs Of An Unfit Mother by Anne Robinson

Hated, and loved to be hated is Anne Robinson. She’s the notorious grand inquisitor of the television sensation The Weakest Link. With her ice-cold stares, quick wit and dispassionate demeanour, when she uttered, “You are the weakest link”, we all shuddered in our boots.

She was the first woman in nearly half a century to host a prime-time game show. She was the highest-paid female journalist in British history. She warrants fan mail and death threats, dread and loathing, admiration and unabashed hatred.

Her Journey could fill a book, and it has.

This is a woman who won the honour of “rudest woman on TV” (Britain’s TV Times). As a journalist I found this book a fascinating read. Her resume is extensive and exceptional. She has worked in print and televised media since the 60s. She was the editor of The Mirror, one of the big British papers, eventually working directly with Rupert Murdoch before his death.  As for “The weakest Link”, that part of her life only makes about 5% of the book.

The Majority of the book looks at her battles with alcoholism and the effects thereof. She chronicled her descent into alcoholism very honestly. Right in the middle of the book – the 12 December – Anne Robinson celebrated 34 years of sobriety. On that foundation, she rebuilt her life and her career.

This is a story of a working mom, with a cynical look at her life as a reporter, editor, TV presenter, wife and mother. You will fall in love with her relationship with her daughter Emma.

There are many reasons why I would recommend this book. Its insights into alcoholism and the world of journalism are fascinating. The honest depiction of the extraordinary character that was Robinson’s mother – and the plethora of colourful effects her mothering had on Anne – is another.

I’ve always admired her moxy and I found her story compelling and witty. With biting humour, Anne Robinson explores what brought her to her latest level of infamy: the autocratic style, withering glance, and stinging lash of the lady in black, landing her in the unique position of being both the most popular and unpopular television personality in history.