EXPIRED: 08/18/10 – Fiona Coyne, 46, was the weakest link. Goodbye.

The body of the popular host of the South African version of the hit TV series “Weakest Link” was found at her home by her house-keeper in the posh Fish Hoek district of Cape Town on Wednesday morning.

Two suicide notes were found. One for her mom. And one for the house keeper.

Coyne trained to be an actress and was part of the Cape Performing Arts Board (Capab) drama group for half a dozen years. Also a writer, she wrote her first play, – As the Koekie Crumbles, in 1998 and in 2001 she won the Fleur du Cap Award for Best New Indigenous Script for Glass Roots.

Then she tried out for hosting duties on the local version of the BBC quiz show.

The hardest problem of being on the Weakest Link is being yourself. The producers wanted Coyne to be like Anne Robinson, the original – and very stern – quiz mistress of the internationally popular show.

Coyne tried. She tried to be nasty. But she was generally thought to be far too nice. It was tough. The public liked her. She was attractive. But was she a bitch? No.

To counter all this negativity, Coyne spent several years creating awareness for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a sanctuary in Kenya that rears and rehabilitates orphaned elephants and baby rhino and reintroduces them back into the wild.

She later supplemented her income by coaching media and camera skills for the South African National Arts Council. Coyne also published a book, “Who Moved My Ladder? The Working Woman’s Guide to Success”, and was often hired as a ‘personal branding’ consultant.

But maybe it was her own branding that she had a problem with.

Trying to shed the Weakest Link image she played the role of Katarina the Cat in the pantomime Pinocchio just last year.



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