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Michael Sheen unrecognisable as Chris Tarrant for new drama 'Quiz'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant in Quiz (Credit: Matt Frost/ITV)

Michael Sheen has transformed into veteran TV host Chris Tarrant for the first look at new ITV drama Quiz.

The Frost/Nixon star beams for the camera in a recreation of the day Tarrant he arrived at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the 2003 trial in which two contestants on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? were accused of trying to cheat the show out of a million pounds.

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.”

Charles Ingram, a former major in the British Army, appeared on the ITV quiz show in 2001, winning the maximum one million pound prize.

Chris Tarrant arriving at Southwark Crown Court (Credit: PA)

However, it was later discovered that his wife Diana and another accomplice, lecturer Tecwen Whittock, were feeding the right answers to Ingram by Whittock coughing when the correct answers were read out by host Tarrant.

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After suspecting that there had been foul play, the show's production company Celador suspended payment of the top prize.

Michael Sheen (Credit: Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The ensuing court case found Ingram, his wife and Whittock guilty of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception, given £15,000 fines and two-year suspended sentences, and later were also made to pay additional defence costs.

The series, directed by veteran helmsman Stephen Frears, will focus on the trial, with the script penned by James Graham, who wrote the dram Brexit: An Uncivil War.

Major Charles Ingram with his wife Diana arriving at Southwark Crown Court (Credit: PA)

Alongside Sheen, Succession star Matthew Macfadyen will play Ingram, with Fleabag’s Sian Clifford as Diana Ingram and Michael Jibson as Tecwen Whittock.

Elsewhere, Aisling Bea plays ITV Entertainment Commissioner, Claudia Rosencrantz, Helen McCrory is prosecutor Sonia Woodley QC and Mark Bonnar plays Celador chairman. Paul Smith.

Tarrant’s son Toby appears particularly pleased with the shot of Sheen, tweeting:

Co-produced by US network AMC, it hits screens next year.