'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' cheating scandal adapted for TV series

Julia Hunt
Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford as Charles and Diana Ingram in Quiz

Michael Sheen and Matthew Macfadyen are to star in a TV drama about the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal.

Three-part drama Quiz will document how former Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock were accused of cheating their way to the £1 million jackpot in 2001 with a system of coughing to indicate the answers.

Read more: Millionaire hopeful falls at final fence

Macfadyen will play Ingram – who in 2003 was found guilty of cheating.

Charles Ingram and his wife Diana leave the Southwark Crown Court in southeast London Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2002. (AP Photo/Richard Lewis)

Sian Clifford will play his wife Diana, Sheen will star as Millionaire host Chris Tarrant and Michael Jibson will play Whittock.

Mark Bonnar and Helen McCrory will also star in the series, which is being directed by Stephen Frears.

The programme was penned by James Graham, whose play of the story was staged in the West End, and it was commissioned by ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill.

She said she was “delighted to be bringing James Graham’s wonderful play Quiz to screen on ITV”.

“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,” said Hill.

“It’s an extraordinary and thoroughly British story and is going to be a real treat for our audience.”

Sarah Barnett, president of the Entertainment Networks Group at AMC Networks, said it should also go down a storm in the US.

Read more: Chris Tarrant says he worked like a dog

She said: “If this tale was invented you’d think it too preposterous – the fact that it is true, and told so brilliantly, makes for an unmissable three-part TV event that will entertain and enthrall Americans audiences every bit as much as their British counterparts.”

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? started in 1998 and gripped the nation.

In its heyday it attracted audiences of 19 million viewers to ITV.

Filming on Quiz is currently underway in London.