Chris Tarrant on finding out the Major cheated on Who Wants To Be A MillionaireNovember 15, 2019
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating drama is being made into an ITV drama, but Chris Tarrant has revealed he had no idea Major Charles Ingram was cheating at the time.
ITV drama Quiz will focus on the scandal surrounding the Major, who got all the questions correct on the show, but was found to be cheating thanks to an audience member coughing the correct answers to him.
While the show was never aired – and the cheque was stopped – the footage became widely known after it was featured in another documentary.
Chris told Eammon Holmes on This Morning: ‘No, no [I had no idea]. Because – and you know this – the guy was winning a million pounds. There were people roaring, screaming.
‘People cough like mad, everybody’s coughing in the studio because they are enclosed or whatever. I had no idea.
‘They did show that Martin Bashir documentary and they took all the sound out except for me, the Major and the cougher. Now if you see that, you think “is Tarrant completely stupid?”
‘I mean it wasn’t like that, I had no idea. Dave Briggs, the producer and I came off afterwards like “what an amazing man, I mean God knows what he was doing. What an incredible contestant”, we just thought it was mad but brave.’
He added that he later realised the way the Major had behaved throughout the quiz was completely different to how most contestants face the big money – and high risk – questions.
Chris explained: ‘He kept shouting “Crash and burn! Crash and burn!” If you do the £500,000 question and you’re playing for a million, I say to you “Eamonn Holmes, you’ve got £500,000 if you go for the next one and get it right [you get a million] but if you get it wrong, you lose £450,000”.
‘So everybody I’ve said that to over 16 years, you see their face go “ooh!” Except – I only thought about this months later – the Major, who went “yes, ok, let’s play”.
‘Because he knew he was going to play and he knew he was going to get it right and he knew he was going to win a million pounds.’
Chris’s character will be played by Michael Sheen and the first images of the actor in character emerged this week.
Quiz will air on ITV in 2020.
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