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Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal


Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal

The second instalment charts the aftermath of Major Charles Ingram's victory on the
Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal
quiz show


By bringing the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal to our screens again, ITV's Quiz has transported us back to the era of event television, when millions of us would tune in to watch the same show at the same time.
Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal


In an apt twist, it managed to unite 5.3 million viewers in front of their televisions when the first part aired last night.

The second episode opens with Charles Ingram's £1 million victory - which immediately prompts fears among the production staff that his dramatic win might be too good to be true.


This kickstarts a series of events that put the Charles and his wife Diana in court by the end of the instalment, setting us up for a thrilling finale.


Here's how the events shown on screen compared to what panned out in real life (spoiler alert: the two are closer than you might think...)

Was Diana’s brother really living off grid in Wales?

Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal

The opening scenes of Quiz’s second episode show Diana’s brother Adrian Pollock living in a caravan in deepest, darkest Wales after racking up considerable debts - implied, in the series, to be linked to his Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fixation.​

Unsurprisingly, there’s little to verify whether or not Pollock was living in a mobile home during this fraught period in his family’s history, but court reports from the Ingrams’ trial suggest that he did attempt to go ‘off grid.’

During the trial, the Ingrams were accused of making hundreds of calls to four different pagers - a process which the prosecution suggested could help to signal the correct answer to Charles during his stint on the show.

Though she admitted that she’d made the calls, Diana denied that they were part of an elaborate cheating scheme - instead telling the court that she was using the devices to contact her brothers Adrian and Marcus Powell, who had “disappeared” in August 2001 after they "procured money from a bank unlawfully."

She added that her siblings had eventually given her several numbers for different pagers - in case one of them did not work properly. The prosecution, however, noted that Pollock had been present at the studio during filming for the first part of Charles' Millionaire journey - negating any major need for his sister to contact him via pager.

Did staff raise their doubts while filming Charles Ingram’s episode?


The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? team had doubts during filming, with a sound technician phoning Celador CEO Paul Smith to tell him about the coughing he’d picked up on his recording and asking him whether filming should be suspended.

Smith ruled that the show should go on, but promised to review the tape once filming had finished. Once he’d done so, he was suspicious enough to contact the police - and to get in touch with Ingram to inform him that they’d noted some “irregularities” in his performance, confirming that they would not be airing his edition of the show (which had been scheduled for broadcast the following week).

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In Quiz, much is made of Claudia Rosencratz’s (Aisling Bea) admission - which seems particularly shocking in hindsight - that guests were not searched before arriving on set.

What’s not shown in the drama, however, is that Rod Taylor, Celador’s head of marketing, did actually ‘frisk’ Charles after the episode was recorded - which was certainly not usual practice - after production staff became suspicious that he could have used devices like pagers to be notified of the correct answers. However, nothing was found.

Did Tecwen Whittock go straight into the contestant’s chair after Charles Ingram?

In another bizarre coincidence, the Ingrams’ accomplice Whittock went on to win the Fastest Finger First round straight after Charles’ victory - but his run on the show was short-lived.

The business studies teacher crashed out on the £8,000 question - which was about baking - after using two life lines, leaving the game with just £1,000.

His appearance on the show was still broadcast on September 15 (the intended date for Charles’ winning episode).
Fact vs Fiction: How does Quiz episode two measure up to the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal

And was the floor still sprinkled with glitter during his performance?


If you sift through old footage on YouTube, you’ll note that the floor of the studio is covered in winner’s confetti as Whittock plays - just as noted in Quiz, where harried production staff point out that if Charles’ performance is cut, viewers might get confused about the glitter.

The confetti was actually the source of a few headaches for the show’s team. In the drama, we see the designated ‘glitter man’ enjoying a front-set karaoke session as he waits outside the studio - before getting a panicked call from staff and rushing onto set to ready the glitter in time for Ingram’s £1 million victory.

It’s more than just a comic aside. Speaking on the Final Answer podcast, writer James Graham revealed that the ‘glitter man’ wasn’t ready on the night, because Charles’ woeful performance the previous day meant that no one was backing him to progress so far in the competition.

“There was a glitter man who hadn’t readied the glitter, because no one thought Charles was going to get to the million pound question based on his first night performance,” he explained. “It’s a moment I’m glad has stayed in [the episode].”
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