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Clarkson to front ITV Millionaire specials

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has ordered a seven-episode run of classic gameshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire? presented by former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson.

Jeremy Clarkson

Airing as a stripped show to mark the 20th anniversary of the programme, the 7×60’ series will offer contestants the chance to win £1m (US$1.38m) by answering 15 questions with the help of lifelines: ask the audience, phone a friend and 50/50. Additionally, there will be a number of new twists.

The format originally aired for nearly 600 episodes on ITV between 1998 and 2014, produced by Victory Television and hosted by Chris Tarrant.

The new run will be produced by Northern Irish prodco Stellify Media, with joint MDs Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy exec producing alongside Fiona Clark.

Millionaire, which is a Sony Pictures Television format, was commissioned for ITV by Siobhan Greene, head of entertainment and Ben Kelly, commissioning editor.

Clarkson fronted BBC2’s hit motoring series Top Gear from 2002 until 2015 when his contract was not renewed by the UK pubcaster following a series of disciplinary incidents culminating in a fracas with one of the show’s producers.

Along with fellow hosts Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson has since launched motoring magazine show The Grand Tour with Amazon.

In related news, ITV has extended another one of its quizshows, Tipping Point, for two more years with a total order of 354 episodes produced by Fizz, the entertainment arm of RDF.

The show is currently in its eighth season and will return with 330 regular episodes and 24 of its primetime variation Tipping Point Lucky Stars across 2018 and 2019.

Hosted by presenter Ben Shephard, Tipping Point is based around a machine filled with counters worth thousands of pounds. The series continues to dominate its weekday 16.00 slot, frequently attracting up to 3 million viewers and over 25% shares. The current run has peaked at just over 2.9 million viewers with a 32% share.

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