Quiz writer reveals Chris Tarrant still gets emotional over infamous millionaire cheating scandal ahead of drama adaptation
THE writer of new ITV drama Quiz has revealed Chris Tarrant still gets emotional over the infamous Who Wants to Be a Millionaire cheating scandal.
The 73-year-old presented the hit ITV quiz show from 1998 until 2014, but was left shocked when winning contestant Major Charles Ingram was accused of cheating his way to the £1 million prize in 2001.
The scandal is the focus of new ITV drama, Quiz, with Michael Sheen playing Chris and Matthew Macfadyen starring as Charles.
The series follows a stage production of Quiz, and writer James Graham revealed Chris' thoughts on it all, two decades on.
Speaking at a screening of the show, he joked: "He came to see the play and I didn’t receive a letter afterwards so I assume he was fine with it.
"No actually, I know he was because he expressed to us and talked to me and thought it was a really entertaining evening and he is really happy with us.
"He said he’s very proud of it, like [Who Wants To Be A Millionaire creator] Paul [Smith], they get quite emotional when they talk about the thing that they did."
As for Chris' thoughts on whether Charles and his wife Diana had cheated their way to the million by coughing on the right answers, James added: "He didn’t say they were guilty now and didn’t think the play veered towards questioning that.
"But that’s at the heart of this conversation and I think that it’s a valid question."
Meanwhile James also spoke about Michael's portrayal of Chris in the show.
He said: "I don’t want to speak for Michael but I know that he has some form in bringing real people to the stage.
"And I know he’s trying to move away from that but whatever reason, I think it’s really tickled his mischievous muscle.
"My own view is that it’s not an impersonation or impression, he just finds little essences.
"He’s performing a part, and that part is a very human role in this drama. I think his role in this story is very incredible."
Quiz airs on ITV in the coming weeks.
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