rob6,961 posts since 7 Apr 2001
Meridian (South) South Today
Other changes over the series' run:

Voting boards became blue, not white/gray
Addition of neon lights to the podium name boards

IIRC the change from "The Weakest Link" to "Weakest Link" came around about the time of the celebrity specials / the American series.

They dropped the 'the' when they started doing the Champions League episodes, which were the first to feature a studio audience.
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DE88 gave kudos
DE88149 posts since 8 Jan 2017
A glance at BBC Genome reveals that the first Champions League episode aired on 31 October 2000.

The 'Link was barely eleven weeks old at that point. In contrast, Pointless took two years to make its way to primetime BBC1...

I believe the first Champions League episode was also the first to feature the familiar head-to-head stings, including the ascending four-note sting at the start and the descending one immediately preceding the first question. It took until August 2001 for these stings to make their way to the daytime version, however - here's a daytime episode from May with the original stings, as well as the original chain design with no pound symbols in front of the amounts below £1,000:

I prefer the second Grange Hill theme tune to "Chicken Man". Does that make me weird?