Ex-Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant has argued that it is “blatant nonsense” to suggest that Charles Ingram, the subject of ITV’s new drama Quiz, might not have cheated his way to the jackpot.
Writing in the Mail, Tarrant said that Quiz – based on writer James Graham’s play of the same name – implies that Ingram “might possibly be innocent of fraud”, something the TV host himself disputes.
Quiz – starring Michael Sheen as Tarrant, Matthew Macfadyen as Ingram and Sian Clifford as his wife Diana – dramatises Ingram’s 2001 appearance on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in which he won the maximum prize of one million pounds, only to later be convicted on a single count of “procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception” after it was alleged a member of the audience, Tecwen Whittock, had assisted Ingram by coughing to indicate correct answers.
“I have just one slight problem with Quiz. It suggests the Coughing Major Charles Ingram might possibly be innocent of fraud,” Tarrant wrote.
“And that is blatant nonsense. It’s ridiculous that this show can be broadcast over three nights and yet nobody is saying, ‘Hang on a minute, this man’s a crook. He’s guilty every step of the way.’
“Ingram and his wife Diana… made a crass, brazen attempt to cheat us out of a million quid.”
Quiz writer Graham has admitted that he is uncertain as to whether Charles and Diana cheated, telling RadioTimes.com, “I don’t judge the jury for making the decision that they did, they were presented with the evidence they were presented with, and they came to a decision [of a guilty verdict], and that currently is the decision.
“But certainly having been presented with new evidence, I have my own doubts about the clarity of that narrative.”
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