Matthew Macfadyen 'completely bewildered' by Charles Ingram scandal

Quiz star Matthew Macfadyen admits he’s still ‘completely bewildered’ as to whether Charles Ingram cheated on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire despite portraying him in new drama

Matthew Macfadyen is still ‘completely bewildered’ as to whether Major Charles Ingram cheated on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire despite portraying him in new drama about the infamous incident.

Speaking to GQ Hype about his role on the ITV series Quiz, the actor, 45, said: ‘It left me just as completely bewildered as when I started.

‘What happened to [Ingram and his wife] was extraordinary, as well as horrific in many ways.

None the wiser: Matthew Macfadyen is still ‘completely bewildered’ as to whether Major Charles Ingram cheated on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire despite portraying him in new drama about the infamous incident

‘They were really vilified publicly and sort of aggressively after the events. They suffered quite a lot, I’d say.’

Quiz documents Charles and his wife Diana’s plot to try and cheat their way to the top prize on Millionaire in 2001 with the help of contestant Tecwen Whittock, who would cough to indicate the correct answer.

Matthew was set to resume filming his other show – Succession – this month, but admitted to the publication that he’s unsure about whether this will be the case due to the current global pandemic.

‘We’re supposed to come back and do more in April, so I’m sort of hoping… well, I don’t know. I think it’s all a bit up in the air… but that’s the plan,’ he said.

Speaking to GQ Hype about his role on the ITV series Quiz, the actor, 45, said: ‘It left me just as completely bewildered as when I started’ [pictured in Quiz]

Split opinion: ‘What happened to [Ingram and his wife] was extraordinary, as well as horrific in many ways,’ he said

He also revealed that he doesn’t know what’s coming for his character Tom Wambsgans in the third season of the show.

‘I think Nick [Braun] and I both said we’d be kind of dismayed if they had less to do with each other than before,’ he said, before comparing their dynamic to that of a pundit doing a post-match analysis.

‘It looks like Greg has sort of gone over to team Kendall a bit, with the papers, and also Tom has sort of treated him pretty badly. It’s a complicated relationship.’

He was also asked about whether or not he has seen a change in the entertainment industry in wake of Harvey Weinstein’s 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault at a New York state prison.

‘Yes,’ he says. ‘For example, you now have intimacy coordinators, which has happened quite recently. And it sort of makes perfect sense. It’s a really sensible thing, because so much goes under the radar.

In the dark: He also revealed that he doesn’t know what’s coming for his character Tom Wambsgans in the third season of the show

‘You know, people are coerced into things they aren’t especially comfortable with, to varying degrees, and that cannot happen. I think that’s great. It can’t be a bad thing.’

A recent preview clip features Matthew as Charles trying to answer the £32,000 question, which asks which artist released an album title Born To Do It in 2000.

The four options are Coldplay, Toploader, A1 and Craig David (the correct answer), and the question leaves both the Major and Whittock (Michael Jibson) stumped.

While The Major dithers over the question, watching producers still don’t seem to have spotted he’s getting some help.

Drama: Quiz documents Charles and his wife Diana’s plot to try and cheat their way to the top prize on Millionaire in 2001 with the help of contestant Tecwen Whittock, who would cough to indicate the correct answer


Giving the game away? A preview of the show features Diana Ingram (played by Sian Clifford) nearly exposing their plan in the £32,000 question as she tries to reveal the answer with a cough (pictured right in real life)

Clearly worried her husband could expose their plan, Diana (Sian Clifford) keeps turning to Whittock in Winners Row.

Still clueless, Ingram asks host Chris Tarrant (Michael Sheen) to use his final lifeline 50:50, leaving him with just two answers to choose between, A1 and Craig David.

He tells Chris: ‘That’s not any easier, do you know what I think I’m gonna go for it I’m gonna go for A1.’

Worried her husband could blow their winnings, Diana grabs her mic and attempts to cough into it to catch her husband’s attention, sparking a dramatic u-turn from The Major with his answer.


Man with all the answers: Tecwen Whittock is played by Michael Jibson in the drama. A contestant on the show, he would reveal the correct answers by coughing

Despite saying seconds earlier he’d ‘never heard’ of Craig David, The Major tells Chris: ‘When I’m at home and I’m practising I guess wrong 80 per cent of the time so I think I’m gonna go with Craig David.’

The drastic change in answer catches the attention of watching producers and even host Chris, but regardless he locks in the answer.

The presenter explains to viewers Charles went with the answer despite saying he’d ‘never heard of’ Craig David, and he eventually lost the Major’s trade of thought with his answer.

But it’s still correct, meaning the Major now has £32,000, though it seems that his behaviour has caught the attention of show staff, setting the stage for his plan to be revealed.


Busted: The ‘Coughing Major’ scandal made nationwide headlines in 2001 when Ingram (picture right in real life) was exposed for cheating his way to the top prize

You’re busted: The three-part drama will also show the Ingrams eventually going on trial for the crime, thought they continually protested their innocence

Actor Matthew spoke about the drama in an interview with The Mirror, and despite the Ingram’s crimes, he said he believes the couple have suffered enough and their lives were ‘totally ruined’ by the scandal.

He said: ‘Whether they were guilty or not, I don’t think they deserved the consequences that followed.

‘Their pets were attacked, people spat at Charles, they had to move house and he lost his job in the Army.

‘It was pretty hard going for them. It feels like they have suffered disproportionately. It’s a game show. Nobody died.’

Quiz begins on Monday 13th April and will air over three nights at 9pm on ITV.     

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