Quiz writer reveals why he used real archive footage in nail-biting Who Wants to Be a Millionaire scenes

THE writer of Quiz has revealed why he used real archive footage in nail-biting Who Wants to Be a Millionaire scenes.

The new ITV drama documents the 'coughing Major scandal' from 2001 which saw Major Charles Ingram accused of cheating his way to the £1 million prize.

Matthew Macfayden plays Charles while Michael Sheen plays the host of the ITV quiz, Chris Tarrant.

However, the first episode features real archive footage from when the show originally aired showing a female contestant desperately calling her dad for help with a question.

The woman wanted to win some money for her wedding, and clutched her face in angst as she pushed her father for an answer.

Revealing why he chose to use the real footage, Quiz writer James Graham, explained: "The lady who wanted to win money for her wedding, I remember watching that in my home in Mansfield with my grandparents.

"So I felt very strongly about not faking that because you can’t see the truth.

"One of the things we try to tell in this story to remind people of the impact it had on popular culture.

"It was the most successful British import since who knows when? And at a time where everyone was moving towards more reality based television shows and game shows.

"This was a simple question and answer and I think people found it really endearing for that reason and a third of the country was watching it at one point."

It was claimed Charles and his wife Diana had planted someone in the audience to cough when host Chris Tarrant read out the right answer, and Charles was convicted of a single count of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception after a lengthy trial at Southwark Crown Court.

However, the couple have always protested their innocence and James has tried to highlight both sides of the argument in the show.

James approached the Ingram's while making the show, revealing: "We spoke to everyone. We spoke to all sides, I think you have to be.

"I’ve mainly done political dramas in the past where there’s a level of expectation – I think from politicians – that they’ll face that kind of scrutiny and they’ll be dragged through the mud a little bit.

"That didn’t feel fair, certainly with the Ingram's who might not necessarily want this story to re-emerge. "So we deliberately engaged with them very early on from rehearsals and all the way through this TV drama.

Quiz begins on Easter Monday at 9pm on ITV.

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