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15 April

OV Chris Tarrant played by Michael Sheen in QUIZ

OV Chris TarrantWe have been absolutely transfixed watching QUIZ, ITV’s latest three-part series on the coughing scandal on “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” in 2001.

OV Chris Tarrant (Ch 60-64) is best known as host of the very successful original programme and is portrayed by the incredible Michael Sheen in this series.

We contacted Chris to hear his take on QUIZ…

“The programme QUIZ, that airs over 3 nights on ITV just after Easter, is the story of the famous cheating Major and his coughing accomplice.

19 years ago, Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and their sidekick Tecwen Whittock were all found guilty of conspiracy to fraud £1 million on the game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

QUIZ is very well made, superbly acted, and with very high production values.  However my one tiny little problem with the programme is that they seem to have forgotten that the Major was found guilty of fraud, and all 3 of them were lucky not to go to prison.

Michael Sheen, a superb actor who has played David Frost, Brian Clough and Tony Blair amongst others, plays me as the host of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.

It was quite surreal watching him play me, because clearly, he has spent hours watching DVD’s of me hosting the show and has really nailed lots of my physical mannerisms.

He has a blonde wig, but the rest of it is just down to his voice and his body movement.  It was quite surreal watching him, but I’m rather flattered.

We met, quite bizarrely, at The Pride of Britain this year in London, he’d finished recording the programmes, and was on to something else, but he clearly had spent months watching DVD’s of yours truly.

I said to my wife “There’s Michael Sheen over there.”

I’d never met him before, but I felt an irresistible urge to tap him on the shoulder, so I did! Bearing in mind he’d only seen me on little DVD sized screens for about the last 3 or 4 months, and suddenly this great gangling 6’2” thing is tapping him on the shoulder, it was no wonder that he jumped out of his skin with surprise.

We got on very well, had a huge laugh, and talked a lot about the series, wishing each other well.

We were supposed to be meeting up again on various television programmes as QUIZ is transmitted in a couple of weeks’ time, but obviously with the complete shutdown of the UK at the moment, sadly that won’t happen.

Hopefully we’ll all meet up in much happier times.”