Who wants to be a TV star? ‘Coughing major’ Charles Ingram who was at centre of £1million quiz show scandal helps with the script for new drama
- Charles Ingram has been spotted weeks before new ITV drama which retells story of how he tried to swindle Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? airs
- Ingram and his wife Diana have been involved in creation of new TV series
- He won £1million on the show in 2001, but was of suspected of cheating
He was at the centre of one of television’s biggest cheating scandals.
And now Charles Ingram has been seen out and about just weeks before a new ITV drama retells the story of how he tried to swindle Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?.
It has also emerged that Mr Ingram and his wife Diana have been involved in the creation of the three-part series, called Quiz, due to air later this month.
They spoke with writer James Graham throughout the production’s development and even met the cast on set – Ingram is to be played by Matthew Macfadyen, 45, and his wife is to be played by Fleabag’s Sian Clifford.
The former Army major, now 56, was photographed collecting some eggs from a house near his home dressed in jeans and a green jumper.
Charles Ingram has been seen out and about just weeks before a new ITV drama retells the story of how he tried to swindle Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
Matthew Macfadyen (left as Ingram) and Michael Sheen (right) in a new ITV drama
He appeared on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in September 2001 and became the third person to scoop the £1million prize. But the show’s production company, Celador, refused to pay because it suspected he had cheated.
Producers accused Ingram and his wife of having an accomplice among the other contestants, lecturer Tecwen Whittock, who would cough when a correct answer was read out. Mrs Ingram was also said to have coughed when her husband struggled with answers. All three were later charged with ‘procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception’ and given suspended two-year prison sentences.
Graham, who previously wrote a play about the story, said: ‘We spoke to the Ingrams on a number of occasions. They both came to see the stage play. And we’ve been in contact all the way through developing the TV drama, including them visiting the actors.’
He said the Ingrams were ‘understandably maybe a little bit wary’ but understood ‘we would be asking the question that possibly it didn’t play out exactly as people think, they were happy to give their point of view’.
On meeting the real Ingrams, Miss Clifford said: ‘It was really nice, but we were careful to wait until the end because we wanted to make sure we weren’t too influenced by meeting them.’
The drama, which will be shown on three consecutive nights from April 13, is directed by Stephen Frears and also stars Helen McCrory as Sonia Woodley QC and Michael Sheen plays quizmaster Chris Tarrant.
Ingram (Matthew Macfadyen pictured) was suspected by show producers of cheating
Ingram has been seen out and about just weeks before a new ITV drama retells the story of how he tried to swindle Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
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