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Chris Tarrant: I don't want Michael Sheen to do me 'Rory Bremner-style'

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Chris Tarrant poses during the Morrisons' Charity Of The Year photocall in 2009 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Chris Tarrant is crossing his fingers that Michael Sheen doesn’t do a Rory Bremner-style impression when he plays him in a TV drama about the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal.

Sheen is starring as the presenter in ITV’s Quiz, which will document how former Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice were accused of cheating their way to the £1 million jackpot in 2001 with a system of coughing to indicate the answers.

Read more: Michael Sheen transformed into Chris Tarrant

A new image unveiled by ITV shows Sheen in character.

The picture is a recreation of the day Tarrant arrived at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the 2003 trial.

Speaking on This Morning, Tarrant said although he is delighted the actor is playing him, he hopes Sheen’s version isn’t like the one that impressionist and comic Bremner did on Bremner, Bird And Fortune.

“I’m thrilled that he’s doing it, he’s a brilliant actor,” Tarrant said.

“I just hope he’s not going to do the sort of Rory Bremner [impression] and all that stuff.

“I don’t think he will, he’s an actor you know. Very good, very good.”

Chris Tarrant arriving at Southwark Crown Court, central London, to give evidence at the trial of Army major Charles Ingram

Tarrant, 73, told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford that he surprised Sheen at the Pride of Britain Awards.

He said: “Now this guy has been looking at tapes of me for weeks and weeks and suddenly this great big lump taps him on the shoulder and he goes ‘Oh!’

“It’s really weird!

“I didn’t make him do me.”

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Tarrant also said he hopes the three-part drama doesn’t “make a big deal of that the Major might be innocent”.

“He is so guilty,” he said. “Once you lock into it, it’s like ‘Oh for God’s sake’.”

Quiz is due to air next year.

Matthew Macfadyen will play Ingram – who in 2003 was found guilty of cheating - while Sian Clifford will play his wife Diana and Michael Jibson stars as accomplice Tecwen Whittock.

The programme was penned by James Graham, whose play of the story was staged in the West End.

This Morning is on weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.