Charles Ingram 'Floored' By ITV's 'Terrifyingly Accurate And Horribly Cringeworthy' Quiz Drama

The former army major is played by Matthew MacFayden in the dramatisation of the Millionaire "coughing" scandal.

Charles Ingram has said he has been “floored” by the new ITV drama Quiz, which is based on his infamous appearance on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2001.

The series recounts how he, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, were accused of cheating their way to winning £1 million on the quiz show with an elaborate scheme involving coughing.

The story sparked a national scandal and saw the trio face trial for “procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception”, of which they were later found guilty.

While Charles and Diana have always maintained their innocence, he has been full of praise for Quiz, which is currently airing over three consecutive nights.

Charles Ingram on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2001
Charles Ingram on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2001

He gave the first episode a five-star review, posting from his account (which a rep confirmed to HuffPost UK was genuine): “WOW. The cast, the story, the scenes, simply brilliant. Terrifyingly accurate and oh yes, horribly cringeworthy. Floored by the pure talent on show tonight.

“Well done too to @ITV. Gutsy.”

Charles later made a comparison between the case and Brexit, tweeting: “p.s., It really shouldn’t matter what you’re politics are re., #Quiz. Populists have carved out their chance to make #Brexit work and I hope for all our sakes they can at least match the challenges.”

Charles and Diana are portrayed by former Spooks star Matthew MacFadyen and Fleabag’s Sian Clifford in Quiz, and the former army major admitted the actor had captured him brilliantly.

He tweeted: “Matthew is so damn good-looking I can’t sleep. Trying to kid myself I looked like that 19 years ago but failing miserably. Diana called me ‘Matthew’ as I was brushing my teeth.”

As well as the drama’s performances, Charles admitted he had been astounded by some of the smaller details in the show, including how producers had used a similar car and bed to the ones he and Diana once owned.

“I loved that old Honda. Loaded and such a smooth ride. The attention to detail is unnerving,” he tweeted.

He also wrote: “That’s our BED! How the heck did they find our bed?”

The Ingrams had been constantly consulted about Quiz and also met the actors on set during filming.

Writer James Graham had previously turned the story into a West End stage play in 2017, and approached the couple after he signed up to adapt it into a TV drama for ITV.

Charles and Diana Ingram are played by Matthew MacFadyen and Sian Clifford in Quiz
Charles and Diana Ingram are played by Matthew MacFadyen and Sian Clifford in Quiz
Matt Frost/ITV

Revealing he met people on “both sides of the debate” including ITV and Celador execs, James said of the Ingrams: “They both came to see the stage play and talked to me then. And we’ve been in contact ever since all the way through developing and producing the TV drama, including them visiting the actors on set one day when we were filming. So that has been a constant journey.

“The Ingrams were understandably maybe a little bit wary at first and not hugely enthusiastic about dredging up, essentially, a 15 year old story just as they try to maintain as normal a life as is possible.

“However… because they 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.”

Quiz concludes on Wednesday at 9pm on ITV.


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