Helen McCrory and Michael Sheen lead cast of new ITV drama about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s coughing scandal
Quiz will explore the scandal that rocked the hugely popular gameshow in 2001
An all-star cast has been announced for Quiz, the upcoming ITV drama which documents the famous Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal.
The three-part series, written by James Graham and based on his play of the same name, will explore how Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and accomplice Tecwen Whittock managed to dupe the audience, executives and host Chris Tarrant by coughing to cheat their way to winning one million pounds.
Stephen Frears, whose work includes A Very English Scandal and 2006 feature film, The Queen, is on board to direct. Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) will take portray Major Charles Ingram, while Fleabag star Sian Clifford will play Diana.
Michael Bonnar (Humans), Michael Jibson (Les Miserables) and Aisling Bea (This Way Up) also star in the drama, as Celador Television Chairman, Paul Smith, Whittock and ITV Entertainment Commissioner, Claudia Rosencrantz, respectively.
“I was gripped by this story over 15 years ago, and I’m still gripped now,” Graham said. “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 Ingrams were found guilty of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" in 2003, and given two years suspended sentences, as well as being asked to pay a total of £115,000 including legal fees.
ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill, who commissioned the series, 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.”