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ITV, AMC dramatise Millionaire cheat scandal

Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen in Quiz

The UK’s ITV and US cablenet AMC are coproducing a three-part drama about the British married couple who cheated their way to the top prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in 2001.

Quiz will tell the story of Charles and Diana Ingram, who collaborated with Tecwen Whittock to fraudulently win the £1m (US$1.22m) jackpot on the UK version of the popular quiz format, which aired on ITV. As the Ingrams took part in the show, Whittock, who was sat in the studio audience, coughed to identify the correct answers to host Chris Tarrant’s questions.

The drama has been adapted for TV by playwright James Graham, who previously wrote an Olivier-nominated 2017 play on the same subject.

Quiz is being directed by Stephen Frears (A Very English Scandal) and produced by Alice Pearse. Sony-owned Left Bank Pictures (The Crown) is making the show, with Dan Winch, William Village, James Graham, Frears and Left Bank CEO Andy Harries executive producing.

Sarah Barnett, president of the entertainment networks group at AMC Networks, said: “If this tale was invented, you’d think it too preposterous. The fact that it is true, and told so brilliantly, makes for an unmissable three-part TV event that will entertain and enthral American audiences every bit as much as their British counterparts. Quiz has the most remarkable bunch of talented people attached both in front of and behind the camera, and we at AMC are delighted to be part of it.”

Harries added: “This is a uniquely British story, as relevant and funny today as it was 18 years ago because the brilliance of James Graham’s writing and his insight into British cultural life. And no one directs this sort of story better than Stephen Frears.”

Currently being filmed in London, Quiz stars Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) and Sian Clifford (Fleabag) as Charles and Diana Ingram, with Michael Sheen (Good Omens) as Tarrant.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? attracted up to 19 million viewers on ITV during its heyday.

 

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