See Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant in ITV's 'coughing major' drama 'Quiz'

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant in Quiz (ITV)

ITV has shared the first trailer for Quiz, its upcoming drama based on the story of Major Charles Ingram, the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? contestant who cheated his way to the top prize in 2001.

The three-part drama, coming to ITV in April, stars Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant, the TV personality who hosted Millionaire from 1998-2014, Matthew Macfadyen as Ingram and Fleabag’s Sian Clifford as Diana Ingram.

"I would hope I would notice if someone was trying to steal one million quid two feet in front of me," says a disgruntled Sheen in character.

In 2001, Major Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, were accused of cheating their way to a million pounds on what was, the most popular game show on earth. Watch the first trailer below.

After answering the top prize question, Tarrant celebrated with their couple in the their dressing room drinking champagne before he signed the million pound cheque. The show's production company Celador suspended the £1 million payout after they suspected Ingram had cheated.

The couple stood trial in 2003 for conspiring by coughing during the recording to signify the correct answers to the multiple choice questions posed by host, Chris Tarrant. Despite maintaining their innocence throughout Ingram, his wife, and Whittock were convicted of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception".

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A documentary that retold the story – Tonight With Trevor McDonald – Major Fraud – was broadcast on ITV after the trial ended.

Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant in Quiz (Credit: Matt Frost/ITV)

Speaking on This Morning in 2019, Tarrant said although he is delighted the actor is playing him, he hopes Sheen’s version isn’t like the one that impressionist and comic Bremner did on Bremner, Bird And Fortune.

“I’m thrilled that he’s doing it, he’s a brilliant actor,” Tarrant said.

“I just hope he’s not going to do the sort of Rory Bremner [impression] and all that stuff. I don’t think he will, he’s an actor you know. Very good, very good.”

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant arrives at Southwark Crown Court, central London (AP)

The drama is directed by Stephen Frears and written by playwright, James Graham, who wrote the West End play on which the TV show is based. Mark Bonnar also stars as Celador Television Chairman, Paul Smith, Helen McCrory as Sonia Woodley QC, Michael Jibson as Tecwen Whittock and Aisling Bea as ITV Entertainment Commissioner, Claudia Rosencrantz.