Would you stake £1,000,000 on Jeremy Clarkson’s wisdom? In a twist on the classic format, contestants in ITV’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire revival will have a brand-new lifeline: Ask The Host.
Viewers familiar with the quiz show will recognise the three traditional lifelines Ask The Audience, Phone a Friend, and 50:50. But the new addition allows the contestant to Ask The Host if he – Clarkson – knows the answer or can guess what it might be.
The host never sees the questions (or the answers) ahead of the contestants, so it all comes down to the former Top Gear presenter’s general knowledge. So will he help his contestants win the million or send them home empty-handed?
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“If the contestant chooses that lifeline, they get to ask me if I know the answer,” Clarkson said. “God help them. Anyone who doesn’t win £1,000,000 is bound, at some point, to ask me if I know the answer.
“And if it’s 1970’s prog rock music, I probably will. If it’s anything other than that, I probably won’t.”
Originally hosted by Chris Tarrant from 1998 until 2014, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is back for a week of celebratory episodes to mark its 20th anniversary. Each hour-long instalment will offer members of the public the chance to make their fortune.
Starting this Saturday and airing every day for a week, contestants will have the opportunity to answer 15 questions in the hopes of winning the big prize.
Another twist from the original format will see each contestant set their own “second safety net” amount. While there is a fixed safety net at £1,000 which means anyone who makes it past question five will take home £1,000 minimum, the second milestone will no longer be fixed at £32,000.
Instead, they will get one shot at deciding what they are willing to risk, with a choice of any figure from £2,000 to £500,000.
Clarkson explained: “They can choose where it goes. So they choose how much they are going to lose at any given moment, which is a very clever idea. That requires balls of steel. To go beyond, say £32,000, when you’re going to drop back to £1,000 if you get it wrong.
“To say, ‘no I’ll set it at £64,000 and risk losing £63,000 if I get it wrong’, balls of steel.”
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? starts Saturday 5th May at 9.15pm on ITV and continues nightly throughout the week at 9pm