Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? cough scandal is being turned into a three-part drama on ITV.
The extraordinary and sensational story of how Charles and Diana Ingram attempted an ‘audacious heist’ on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? will play out in new series Quiz.
It will tell how Major Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, who was sitting in the audience, were accused of cheating their way to a million pounds on what was, the most popular game show on earth in 2001.
The couple stood trial for conspiring by coughing during the recording to signify the correct answers to the multiple choice questions posed to the Major by host, Chris Tarrant.
Directed by globally renowned director, Stephen Frears (A Very English Scandal, Florence Foster Jenkins, Philomena, The Queen) Quiz will star Matthew Macfadyen as Major Charles Ingram, Michael Sheen as TV presenter, Chris Tarrant and Sian Clifford as Diana Ingram, both pictured above.
Joining them are Mark Bonnar as Celador Television Chairman, Paul Smith, Helen McCrory as Sonia Woodley QC, Michael Jibson as Tecwen Whittock and Aisling Bea as ITV Entertainment Commissioner, Claudia Rosencrantz.
The drama is written by playwright, James Graham, (Brexit: An Uncivil War, Ink, This House, Labour of Love) and is based on his stage show of the same name.
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill said: “I am delighted to be bringing James Graham’s wonderful play Quiz to screen on ITV. It’s testament to James’ brilliant scripts that Stephen Frears is directing, which together with Left Bank Pictures producing, promises to deliver a very special drama.
“It’s an extraordinary and thoroughly British story and is going to be a real treat for our audience.”
James Graham added: “I was gripped by this story over 15 years ago, and I’m still gripped now. It’s a very English heist. Putting it onto stage at Chichester and the West End was such a lot of fun, and with a new team we now get to re-imagine the whole story afresh for television.
“I have to pay credit to the late investigative journalist Bob Woffinden, who along with James Plaskett wrote the book Bad Show that kicked the whole creative process off by asking the question – what if the Major is innocent?”
The TV show is currently filming in London, with an air date to be announced.