Beloved Australian funny woman Magda Szubanski is set to host a reboot of game show Weakest Link on the Nine Network.
The Kath & Kim star confirmed the news on Tuesday, re-tweeting the announcement on social media.
“So this… Weakest Link returns with new host Magda Szubanski to Channel Nine,” Szubanski wrote on Twitter.
The comedian and actor said she was looking forward to finally playing herself in the rebooted version of the show, which is billed as “not your mum and dad’s Weakest Link”.
“I’ve pretended to be nice my whole career – now I finally get to play myself,” Szubanski said.
“No, I will not be making the contestants look stupid.
“They’re perfectly capable of doing that themselves.”
Nine’s head of content, production and development Adrian Swift said Magda would be “anything but loveable” as the host of the new quiz show.
“It’s not just about what you know, but also knowing who’s your biggest threat and when to bank your winnings. All of that combined with the much-loved Magda Szubanski being anything but loveable in the role of Australia’s strictest quizmaster,” Mr Swift said.
Some fans were concerned the loveable Szubanski wouldn’t be the right fit for the role of “nasty host”, with Weakest Link famous for its deadpan slogan: “You are the weakest link, goodbye”, followed by a walk of shame by the failed contestant.
I liked the weakest link & like most people I love @MagdaSzubanski but I’m not sure how our national treasure is going to fit in the role of nasty host
— barry furness (@barryfurness2) March 8, 2021
But that is a fear Szubanski does not seem to share, already cracking her razor-sharp wit at the opportunity.
“Weakest Link is right up my alley. I love to watch people squirm, and not in a sexy way. I look forward to hosting some of Australia’s best and brightest … just not on this show,” she said.
The show’s severe and “nasty” image was cunningly upheld by previous host Cornelia Frances, who died in 2018.
While Frances was no wallflower and was known for playing acidic characters on television, she had a different persona off-screen.
She once told A Current Affair that being “naughty and wicked” on screen was great fun.
Australia’s national treasure
Szubanski first captured the hearts of Australians on sketch comedy show Fast Forward, and has risen to fame and acclaim as a film and TV star.
The comedian, actor and author is known internationally for her starring role alongside a sheep-herding pig in award-winning film Babe.
But she is perhaps most celebrated here in Australia for playing loveable loser and second best-friend Sharon Strzelecki in TV hit Kath & Kim.
Champion troll fighter
Australian audiences may have a hard time believing Szubanksi could be truly “nasty” – even for a role. She has fought off enough negative commentary herself.
Last year the actor copped serious trolling after appearing in an ad promoting COVID safety in Victoria.
Szubanski admitted at the time that the highly personal and vicious attacks were “confronting”.
“I’ve been called everything from a puppet of the communist party to a Nazi responsible for the murders of the people,” she said.
“Being accused of being a supporter of lockdown and thereby causing murders is pretty confronting.”
But the attacks did little to curb her efforts, with the actor defiant in the face of internet trolls and “COVID deniers”.
“Troll me much as you like I am NEVAH gonna close my Twitter account,” she wrote.
She did not let it stop her from backing the ads and supporting the message, though she was well and truly “over lockdown” along with her fellow Victorians.