AMC’s upcoming miniseries, Quiz, takes place at a very peculiar time in history. The human race had successfully navigated through the Y2K crisis to enter into another millennium only to discover it kind of sucked. Amid all the war, terrorism, and strife, a minor scandal was underway in the United Kingdom that would quietly set the tone for the next couple decades of our media-saturated lives. Yes, someone had done the unthinkable and cheated on a game show.
Obviously, Charles and Diana Ingram were not the first individuals to (allegedly) cheat on a game show when they (again, allegedly) exploited some weak spots in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’s rules. But what makes this story different from cheating scandals before it, and arguably a harbinger for the decades to come, is the outsized media and cultural reaction that followed. Charles, Diana, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and really the British Isles themselves would go through hell as a result of some simple coughing. The full story is captured through three episodes in Quiz, which aired in the U.K. on ITV in April and is set to premiere in the U.S. on May 31 on AMC.
Now AMC has provided an exclusive clip from episode one to give us all a better idea how this all got started.
For a show that’s about a married couple who successfully cheated on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It’s pretty surprising for this episode one clip to open up with a failure. But that’s just part of the tapestry of the Ingrams’ story. Don’t read the next paragraph if you want to remain as spoiler-free as possible, but we will be addressing some aspects of the case that are readily available in Charles Ingram’s Wikipedia page.
No, the Ingrams didn’t cheat at Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? at first. Charles (Matthew Macfadyen) and Diana (Sian Clifford), along with Diana’s brother Adrian Pollock, started out as super fans of the show. As hosted by Chris Tarrant (Michael Sheen), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was immediately enormously successful in the U.K. and Adrian and the Ingrams did whatever they could to get on it as contestants. In fact, after successfully exploiting the show’s inadequate screening process, all three would eventually get their own moment on the show. It’s Diana’s brief moment we see in the clip above. We don’t get to hear the question she was eliminated on, but we sure do know that the answer wasn’t Lewis Carroll.
After not making it past the £32,000 mark, Diana and Charles set the stage for the cheating scandal to come back in their home. Diana tells Charles that she and Adrian are going to work on a “How-To” book for fans of the show that want to succeed as contestants.
“Just all the cheating stuff,” Charles says.
“It isn’t cheating!” Diana responds.
Which one of them has the right of it? Guess you’ll have to check in on Quiz’s three episodes to find out. Quiz premieres its first episode at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 31 on AMC. New episodes will follow on June 7 and June 14 at 9 p.m. All three episodes will be available to stream on AMC Premiere on May 31.