Show Discussion: Quiz

By | April 12, 2020
I still reckon Chris Tarrant looks more like
Les Dennis, but whatever.

Daily Easter Monday – Wed, 9pm,

Here’s something a bit different, a three-part dramatisation of the Major Ingram coughing scandal on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, based on a hit play by James Graham.

Michael Sheen (Celebrity The Chase) plays Chris Tarrant, Matthew Macfadyen (Spooks) plays Charles Ingram, Sian Clifford (Vanity Fair) plays Diana.

Interestingly it sounds like they’ve written it to allow some official narrative doubt in mind – I haven’t seen the play so have little to compare it to. Should be an interesting three hours at any rate, let us know what you thought in the comments.

38 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Quiz

  1. Alex McMillan

    Here’s a hot take to get things started: I think Charles Ingram is overplayed as a villain. He cheated on a gameshow, he’s not a criminal. I honestly dread to think what the outcome would be of someone trying to pull something like that off in the age of social media.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think he is very overplayed yes (and I definitely remember feeling a bit uncomfortable with the coverage at the time), but if he did it then I suspect he would be a criminal under the law of tort, but I am not a solicitor.

  2. Anthony Williams

    I saw the play in London. It was excellent. One very cool feature was the had an Ask the audience at the interval and the end of the play on whether you thought they were guilty or not. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out as the stage play made it very ambiguous as to their guilt.

  3. Henry R

    Anyone know when Britain’s Brightest Celebrity episodes are airing? I went to a recording of it last summer and it’s not been on yet. I don’t think?

    Seems strange to not have shown it yet

    1. Weaver

      If I remember Anne Hegerty’s comments correctly, Brightest Family returns during the summer. The shows were originally scheduled for early autumn, but pulled forward as there’s a football-shaped gap on ITV’s schedules.

  4. Brandon

    I thought they had filmed the Millionaire scenes on the set of a foreign version of the show given how it doesn’t quite look right, but they actually built a replica at Wimbledon Studios.

  5. Chris B

    Enjoyed it. Was worried at the start it might have been a bit too “stage play not adapted too much for TV” if that makes sense but that soon passed. Bold of them to portray a couple of the ITV execs as they did on ITV! At times, it was camper than Christmas, and sure probably lots of factual errors (not sure if the quote at the start gives them reign to just tell whatever story they want as long as it’s good).

    But at the end of the day, none of that matters as it was bloody good fun!

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    LOVED episode one of this! To be honest would quite happily watch a three hour dramatisation of The Making of Millionaire with this cast.

    I remember at the time certain serious quizzers talking about appearing on Millionaire online like they had some God given right to be contestants, little did I know how deep the network was! Annoyed me at the time, still does.

  7. Tom Lancaster

    I thought it was very good. Just as good as the play, but changed around a bit and without the audience interactivity (perhaps thankfully if you were there the night of my on-stage appearance playing Take Your Pick).

    The book it’s all based on is well worth a read and goes into a lot more detail.

    Just listened to the first episode of the podcast, which says where they used original show footage and where they took artistic licence. Worth a listen too.

    1. Chris B

      Imagine that might go up quite significantly with catch up, especially with the finale of The Nest on BBC One at the same time

  8. John R

    It was an excellent watch, although a bit strange how they went to quite a lot of effort to recreate the set but then had to settle for rather obvious Dell flat screen monitors!

    A shame Tim Wonnacott’s twin from the Tonight documentary probably won’t be making a guest appearance to explain a human cough in detail

  9. Brandon

    I love the fact that they managed to find more of the original music from the pilot than we’ve ever heard before,as well as a clip from it that hasn’t been seen before. I’d love to see the full pilot, rather than just the little scraps of clips we’ve seen over the years.

  10. Alex Blundy

    Alex’s review of ‘Quiz’ – Episode One

    As Brig infers above, brilliant acting – particularly Aisling Bea as Claudia, Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant and I really loved Matthew McFadyen’s performance as M. Charles Ingram.
    As a big quiz show and game show fan, I thought it was really interesting to hear how WWTBAM was created. Such of this interesting part that I loved included the revelation that the show was originally called ‘Cash Mountain’, contestants were originally invited onto the show through calling a phone number and that The Syndicate was allegedly a real group.

    Did Tecwen make an appearance last night?

    Overall rating – 8/10 – excellent watch, however slightly confusing at time.

    Ratings were 5.3 million – I expected at least 8 million (in the range of Liar); I’m sure that this figure will grow to at least 6.5 million on Wednesday, though

  11. Alex S

    I’ve got mixed feeling about this. It’s a really interesting story, a little bit unbelievable if anything, I had to go online to look some things up as I refused to believe three different people from the same family would get on the show! I don’t think the way that they compressed several years to look like it happened in the space of a week, that’s how it came across to me at least. I haven’t found any of the characters to be particularly like able so far, the Ingram side generally come across as the ones cheating, and the producers all come across a bit slimy to me, I don’t know if that’s intentional.

    As someone who has worked a lot in studios, some of the inaccuracies in episode 2 offend me greatly but it’s the same with any fiction about something you know a lot about!

      1. Alex S

        I’m probably just being overly negative, but stuff like how the floor manager seemed to have about 6 different jobs, people having a loud conversation just off set in the middle of a very quiet recording, for some reason they wheeled the on-screen cameras so close they were almost touching Chris’ and the contestants shoulders!

        1. Brandon

          I have no idea why the cameras were so close and something looked unusual about the cameras themselves, especially as there’s loads of behind the scenes photos and videos of Millionaire from that era.

    1. Brandon

      The full episode was aired on a station for British soldiers serving overseas I think, the version aired on that channel was on YouTube in glorious VHS fuzz-o-vision. If I remember correctly,it didn’t even have the enhanced coughs.

    2. Chris B

      Bit of a dodgy report that, as it stands ITV tweeted nothing of the sort. It was the official Millionaire account which has since had the tweet deleted. I think the official YouTube channel might be uploading it looking at some comments they have made on there – although they have been uploading some Ingram clips all week. They’ve also been copyright striking a lot of the old stuff around the Ingram case including the Tonight doc.

      The Ingram game has played in full in the UK before now actually, the same night as the documentary in 2003, straight after on ITV2.

      1. Brandon

        The documentary Is That Your Final Answer, from 1999 about how Millionaire was made has also disappeared off YouTube, which is odd considering it’s a good way to check that a lot of what happened in the commissioning scene is accurate.

  12. Tom H

    Tarrant appeared in a slightly shonky Zoom chat with Nick Owen and Anne Diamond yesterday:

    In it he says he was asked to host both the US and Aussie versions of Millionaire – quickly turning down the former, but not doing the latter only because Capital would let him have eight weeks off.

    Did we know this? Was news to me.

    1. Brandon

      Both of those seem pretty unlikely, strange that he’s never said anything about it before,and he has a bit of a habit of making up stories like this.

      1. Chris B

        I’ve heard the US story before, but only from Tarrant himself!

  13. Chris M. Dickson

    Finally got around to watching this, and listening to the accompanying podcast, and enjoyed it in a non-life-changing fashion. The Carly Simon memorial question: I wonder if the UK game show fandom of the time was used as a research topic by the people behind either the play or the TV show?

    Obviously the Bar did not exist at the time. History suggests that the ukgameshows mailing list (not that its archives are available any more) was inaugurated in October 2001, a month after the news went down; there was a predecessor ukgs-l mailing list, which discussed it only very lightly and in passing at the time. However, Weaver’s Week does offer a contemporaneous account which still remains available, yet another way in which it remains a remarkably valuable archive and an incredible achievement.

  14. Chris M. Dickson

    The latest Fingers on Buzzers was very good even by its high standards. I wasn’t completely into Michael Sheen’s depiction of Chris Tarrant on Quiz, but Michael Sheen improvising Chris Tarrant on the podcast was joyful.

    I have happy memories of my favourite local independent radio DJ hosting a call-in, probably in about 2006 +/- 3, where one of the callers was playing the WWTBAM? video game on his PlayStation and called the call-in as a phone-a-friend looking for the answer to a million pound question. This caused the DJ (and, I think, a co-host) to go into a rhapsody of gurgling Chris Tarrant impersonations. (“Capital FM in the morning, hur-hur!”) You may have had to be there.


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