Quiz EXCLUSIVE: First look at 'Coughing Major' scandal

Quiz EXCLUSIVE: ‘Coughing Major’ Charles Ingram dithers over THAT Craig David question… as wife Diana almost blows their plot in first look at drama based on infamous Millionaire cheating scandal

  • In an exclusive first look at the ITV drama, fans get a glimpse at the infamous £32,000 question which nearly blew the Ingram’s plot
  • The series will depict Charles and wife Diana Ingram’s plot to cheat their way to the top prize of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with the help of Whittock who indicated the correct answer with a cougj
  • The clip shows Chris Tarrant asking Ingram which pop star released an album titled Born To Do It, leaving himself and accomplice Tecwen Whittock stumped 
  • Diana nearly blows their plot by trying to give away the correct answer with a cough from the audience, sparking the attention of producers
  • Quiz will also show how the Ingram’s plot was eventually exposed, leading to an eventual trial and sentence for the couple and their accomplice
  • Quiz begins on Monday 13th April on ITV 

ITV have revealed an exclusive first look clip at their much-anticipated drama based on the infamous Who Wants To Be A Millionaire coughing scandal.

The preview features the infamous moment ‘Coughing Major’ Charles Ingram almost blowing the money he banked on a question about pop music, with wife Diana threatening to expose their plan by coughing from the audience.

Quiz documents Charles and Diana Ingram’s plot to try and cheat their way to the top prize on Millionaire in 2001 with the help of contestant Tecwen Whittock, who would cough to indicate the correct answer.

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Exciting: ITV have revealed an exclusive first look clip at their much-anticipated drama based on the infamous Who Wants To Be A Millionaire coughing scandal

The preview clip features Charles (played by Sian Clifford) trying to answer the £32,000 question, which asks which artist released an album title Born To Do It in 2000.

The four options are Coldplay, Toploader, A1 and Craig David (the correct answer), and the question leaves both the Major and Whittock (Michael Jibson) stumped.

While The Major dithers over the question, watching producers still don’t seem to have spotted he’s getting some help, including Celador’s David Briggs, who is told by one crew member Ingram is like ‘a different man.’

Giving the game away? The tense preview features Diana Ingram (played by Sian Clifford) nearly exposing their plan in the £32,000 question as she tries to reveal the answer with a cough


Man with all the answers: Tecwen Whittock is played by Michael Jibson in the drama. A contestant on the show, he would reveal the correct answers by coughing


Busted: The ‘Coughing Major’ scandal was nationwide headlines in 2001 when Ingram (picture right in real life) was exposed for cheating his way to the top prize. In Quiz he is played by Ripper Street star Matthew Macfadyen

Legendary: Michael Sheen already stunned viewers with his transformation into presenter Chris Tarrant, who hosted Millionaire from 1998 to 2014 and has always insisted he had no idea the Ingrams were cheating during the show

Sensational: Alongside the clip, exclusive snaps also set the stage for the long-awaited drama, depicting the moment Ingram scooped the million pound cheque

Annoyed: Producers couldn’t hide their anger at Charles’ win, with a documentary on the scandal claiming many were ‘slow clapping’ following the victory after threatening to stop filming

Jaw-dropping: Ingram reached the top prize with his accomplice’s help, though by that point he had caught the attention of producers

Clearly worried her husband could expose their plan, Diana (Sian Clifford) keeps turning to Whittock in Winners Row.

Still clueless, Ingram asks host Chris Tarrant (Michael Sheen) to use his final lifeline 50:50, leaving him with just two answers to choose between, A1 and Craig David.  

He tells Chris: ‘That’s not any easier, do you know what I think I’m gonna go for it I’m gonna go for A1.’

You’re busted: The three-part drama will also show the Ingrams eventually going on trial for the crime, thought they continually protested their innocence

Dramatic: After using his accomplice Tecwen Whittock to get through two questions, the exclusive clip shows Ingram attempting to answer a question on pop music

Which one? The Major dithers over the question, clearly hoping to hear a cough from Whittock to point him in the right direction

Worried her husband could blow their winnings, Diana grabs her mic and attempts to cough into it to catch her husband’s attention, sparking a dramatic u-turn from The Major with his answer.

Despite saying seconds earlier he’d ‘never heard’ of Craig David, The Major tells Chris: ‘When I’m at home and I’m practising I guess wrong 80 per cent of the time so I think I’m gonna go with Craig David.’

The drastic change in answer catches the attention of watching producers and even host Chris, but regardless he locks in the answer.

Question man: Host Chris also struggles to keep up with Ingram’s bizarre trade of thought during the questions

Suspicion? During the recording production staff also begin to notice something may be array, as one producer notes that Charles is ‘like a different man’ to the day before


What are you doing: Throughout the question, Diana repeatedly glances towards Whittock in Winners Row, even though he doesn’t know the answer

The presenter explains to viewers Charles went with the answer despite saying he’d ‘never heard of’ Craig David, and he eventually lost the Major’s trade of thought with his answer.

But it’s still correct, meaning the Major now has £32,000, though it seems that his behaviour has caught the attention of show staff, setting the stage for his plan to be revealed.

Alongside the clip, exclusive snaps also set the stage for the long-awaited drama, depicting the moment Ingram scooped the million pound cheque, and the moment he was put on trial for the crime. 

Final Answer? As ever Chris tries to keep the show on track, but even he doesn’t seem convinced when Charles decides to answer with Craig David

Debating it: The presenter does eventually reveal Ingram has given the correct answer, though he tells viewers he lost his trade of thought

Actor Matthew spoke about the drama in an interview with The Mirror, and despite the Ingram’s crimes, he said he believes the couple have suffered enough and their lives were ‘totally ruined’ by the scandal.

He said: ‘Whether they were guilty or not, I don’t think they deserved the consequences that followed.

‘Their pets were attacked, people spat at Charles, they had to move house and he lost his job in the Army.

‘It was pretty hard going for them. It feels like they have suffered disproportionately. It’s a game show. Nobody died.’

Something is afoot: Quiz is based on a play about the scandal written by James Graham, which has been adapted to screen with the help of The Queen director Stephen Frears

Scheming: Diana’s attempt to give her husband the correct answer nearly blows their plan, but she continues to play the role of the supportive wife to avoid rousing suspicion

Quiz is based on a play about the scandal written by James Graham, which has been adapted to screen with the help of The Queen director Stephen Frears. 

Charles famously cheated his way to the top prize with the help of fellow contestant Tecwen Whittock who coughed after hearing the correct answer for each multiple choice question. 

They originally formed the plan after Ingram struggled to just £4,000 in the first show, and had to use two of his lifelines to get there. 

The coughs would not have been heard by viewers at home watching the show (which was never aired apart from during an ITV documentary) as a majority of the sound was focused on the hot seat. 

Ingram eventually reached won the top prize with the help of Whittock, but even then many crew members were convinced he’d cheated, and even before they announced he’d won the top prize, producers threatened to stop filming after calling the Head Of Celador with their claims.

Star-studded: Aisling Bea also appears in the cast as ITV’s Entertainment Commissioner Claudia Rosencrantz


Legal drama: Chris (left in the series) testified against Charles during the trial, while the Major (right) repeatedly protested his innocence

Nicked: After a four-week crown court trial in 2003, Charles and Diana (pictured in the drama) were convicted of deception, and Ingram was given a 20-month suspended prison sentence

Throughout their trial and in its build-up Charles and Diana repeatedly insisted they hadn’t cheated, even when they were convicted of deception. 

Chris famously testified against Charles during his trial, and said in the documentary that he was amazed when he learned about the crime from ITV crew members.  

After a four-week crown court trial in 2003, Charles and Diana were convicted of deception, and Ingram was given a 20-month suspended prison sentence.

His two accomplices were given 18-month suspended sentences for their part in the scam. 

Quiz begins on Monday 13th April and will air over three nights at 9pm on ITV. 

On soon: Quiz begins on Monday 13th April and will air over three nights at 9pm on ITV

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