The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire cheating scandal is getting the drama treatment. ITV has ordered Quiz, a three-part drama exploring how Charles and Diana Ingram attempted an ‘audacious heist’ on the quiz show. AMC is co-producing for the US market.
Quiz tells the story of Major Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, who was sitting in the audience, who were accused of cheating their way to a million pounds on the most popular game show on earth in 2001. The couple stood trial for conspiring by coughing during the recording to signify the correct answers to the multiple choice questions posed by Chris Tarrant.
The cast lined up for the three-parter includes Matthew Macfadyen (Succession) as Major Charles Ingram, Michael Sheen (Masters Of Sex) as Chris Tarrant, Sian Clifford (Fleabag) as Diana Ingram, Mark Bonnar (Line Of Duty) as Celador Television Chairman Paul Smith, Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) as Sonia Woodley QC, Michael Jibson (The Thirteenth Tale) as Tecwen Whittock, and Aisling Bea (This Way Up) as ITV Entertainment Commissioner Claudia Rosencrantz.
James Graham, the scribe behind the controversial Channel 4/HBO co-production Brexit: An Uncivil War, is penning the scripts for Quiz, which is based on the critically acclaimed Oliver-nominated play of the same name. Left Bank Pictures are producing. The executive producer is Left Bank CEO Andy Harries, who previously served as ITV’s Head of Comedy and Drama. Stephen Frears is attached to direct. Filming is now underway in London.
“I was gripped by this story over 15 years ago, and I’m still gripped now. It’s a very English heist. Putting it onto stage at Chichester and the West End was such a lot of fun, and with a new team we now get to re-imagine the whole story afresh for television”, said James Graham. “I have to pay credit to the late investigative journalist Bob Woffinden, who along with James Plaskett wrote the book Bad Show that kicked the whole creative process off by asking the question – what if the Major is innocent?”
“I am delighted to be bringing James Graham’s wonderful play Quiz to screen on ITV”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the drama. “It’s testament to James’ brilliant scripts that Stephen Frears is directing, which together with Left Bank Pictures producing, promises to deliver a very special drama. It’s an extraordinary and thoroughly British story and is going to be a real treat for our audience.”