Posted by sean on April 16, 2020 at 10:18 am in Television with No Comments


This week, I have been watching the ITV drama Quiz. Claire and I have both enjoyed the first two episodes of the three-part miniseries, which aired this week.

As you may know, the drama is based upon the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? coughing scandal from 2001.

If you don’t remember this, have a look online, or better still, try to watch the series yourself. It’s very good.

I do recall the story being widely reported in the media at the time, and not just because I was a massive fan of the quiz show back then. Annoyingly, the ‘coughing’ episode has never been aired and ITV have no plans to change this.

The drama, portraying events before, during and after the filming of the infamous episode, focuses on different groups of individuals. Major Charles Ingram and his family were unsurprisingly one of these groups. The other was the show’s producers.

Now, before I write any further, I want to stress that this is only a wild conspiracy theory on my part, and almost certainly untrue.

I thought I better throw that disclaimer in there, as I know from Charlie’s own experience, ITV have some pretty good lawyers!

The drama shows how the show’s senior crew from ITV and Celador, grow increasingly concerned and suspicious over Ingram’s behaviour, while sat in the famous chair.

They talk of halting filming and intervening, before the Major could win big. As we all know, they didn’t.

Now for the X Files, conspiracy part… I don’t doubt for a moment that Major Charles Ingram is real and that he entered the show at his own free-will.

My Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory, is that once the producers became suspicious of Ingram’s dodgy tactics, they deliberately allowed him to play on. Whatever happened, it would be a win-win situation for them.

If it turned out that Ingram was genuine, and just an oddball who got lucky, the world would be talking about a one million pound winner. If their concerns regarding cheating proved to be true, they wouldn’t have to pay him a penny. The international news would be even greater than if he had won legitimately. This would be fantastic publicity for the relatively new quiz – and it was!

Even before this week’s drama, many people talk about the so-called ‘Millionaire Cheat’, 19 years later. The quiz show arguably owes a lot of it’s success to Ingram. Not that ITV or Celador will ever admit it…

… and I’m not just saying that because he’s a left-wing Leeds fan, living in Bath!

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