ITV’s much-anticipated drama Quiz kicked off last night, depicting the events of the infamous “Coughing Major” scandal that rocked Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2001.
Matthew Mcfadyen and Sian Clifford star as Charles and Diana Ingram, the couple found guilty of cheating their way to the top prize on the game show, but it’s Michael Sheen as presenter Chris Tarrant which has drawn the most attention.
Sheen has been praised for giving an uncanny impression of the host, even by Tarrant’s very own son Toby, who works for Radio X.
To be fair, he's so good he'd probably be convincing as my Norwegian auntie Tina
— Toby Tarrant (@tobytarrant) April 13, 2020
Sheen appeared on The Graham Norton Show last week to promote Quiz, sporting longer hair and a bushy beard – making his physical transformation into Tarrant all the more remarkable.
— rehza ???? (@rehzarice) April 13, 2020
The ITV drama recreated the exact set of 2001-era Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, giving Sheen the perfect backdrop for his performance.
— ahmedmos22 (@ahmedmos22) April 13, 2020
Notably, the actor has a proven track record for portraying real people in factual dramas, having previously excelled as former Prime Minister Tony Blair (The Queen), journalist David Frost (Frost/Nixon) and football manager Brian Clough (The Damned United).
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) April 13, 2020
Sheen nailed Tarrant’s distinctive voice, with some joking that he should be hosting the game show’s current series (fronted by Jeremy Clarkson).
Michael Sheen is a remarkable impersonator.
— Gareth is not going out (@GMLmusic) April 14, 2020
It would be safe to say that Sheen stole the show for many viewers, but his co-stars also made a big impression.
Reasons I’m watching #Quiz:
20% because it’s interesting
80% to make this face every time I see Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant pic.twitter.com/P0XbWhb3s8
— John-Luke (@JohnLuke_PW) April 13, 2020
In particular, Sian Clifford was praised for her turn as Diana Ingram, having recently co-starred in the BBC’s hit comedy series Fleabag.
I see all your enthusiasm over Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant, but I just can't get over the sheer perfection of casting Sian Clifford as Diana Ingram. #quiz
— Steven Perkins (@stevenperkins) April 13, 2020
Matthew Macfadyen’s performance was also hailed, but it was his iconic attire that really got people talking…
Yeah #Quiz was excellent and Sheen was great as Tarrant, but hats off as well to that polo shirt. Tough to impersonate such an iconic and unique garment but got it absolutely spot on, what a performance. pic.twitter.com/iG5jI4glDg
— Tom Noble (@_Noble) April 13, 2020
Quiz continues tonight (Tuesday 14th April) at 9pm on ITV