Chris Tarrant has branded the so-called ‘Coughing Major’ Charles Ingram “a rotter” and “guilty”, following the recent announcement that Charles and wife Diana are planning to appeal their conviction of cheating on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?.
The Ingrams were embroiled in the coughing scandal that rocked the popular ITV quiz show during the early Noughties, and have since maintained their innocence.
Speaking today on The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X, Tarrant said that he enjoyed the TV dramatisation but that “the bottom line is he’s [Charles Ingram’s] a rotter and a cad and a bandit and he was guilty. No question in my mind at all that he was guilty.”
Asked about the Ingrams’ fresh plans to appeal their conviction, he added that “this thing now about an appeal – I mean it’s nearly 20 years since it happened, I can’t see how they’re suddenly going to launch an appeal, half the people involved are probably dead”.
On Wednesday it was announced that human rights lawyer Rhona Friedman would take on the Ingrams’ case, and would present new evidence based on audio analysis.
The Ingrams allegedly conspired with accomplice Tecwen Whittock, whose coughing alerted the Major to the correct answers. Tarrant didn’t hear Whittock’s coughing on the day, and he has now revealed why.
“The studio was like a madhouse,” he said on Radio X.
“People were screaming, people were coughing everywhere because people always cough in studios, so I didn’t hear Tecwen! Afterwards I had to sit through the floor squad the next day and go through the tapes and it’s like ‘oh my god, what is going on!'”
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