Aisling Bea to star in new ITV series about 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' cough scandal
IRISH actress Aisling Bea has landed a starring role as an ITV boss in a new series on one of Britain's biggest telly scandals.
The comedian will play the station's entertainment commissioner Claudia Rosencrantz in the drama, telling the story of how English couple Charles and Diana Ingram attempted an audacious heist on the quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The Kildare actress, who is currently winning critical acclaim for her Channel 4 comedy This Way Up, is part of a star-studded cast signed up to Quiz, which will be helmed by Philomena and High Fidelity director Stephen Frears.
Matthew Macfadyen stars as Major Charles Ingram, while Michael Sheen will play TV presenter Chris Tarrant and Sian Clifford will play Diana Ingram in the three-part drama.
Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory plays Sonia Woodley QC in the series, which is a co-production between ITV and AMC.
It centres on the story of contestant Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, who was sitting in the audience.
All three were accused of cheating their way to £1m on what was the most popular game show in the world in 2001.
The couple stood trial for conspiring by coughing during the recording to signify the correct answers to the multiple-choice questions posed to Ingram by host Tarrant.
Quiz, which has started filming in London, will give an insight into what went on behind the scenes of the global TV smash, which first aired in September 1998.
Based in a sleepy Wiltshire village, Charles and Diana Ingram were among those who became fixated with appearing on the popular quiz show.
Their obsession led to multiple attempts to take part by both Charles and Diana and eventually the infamous Coughing Major appearance on September 9, 2001, which has gone down in TV folklore.
A subsequent documentary, Millionaire: A Major Fraud, fronted by Martin Bashir, followed in 2003.
The television script has been adapted from the Olivier-nominated play of the same title.
AMC's Sarah Barnett said: "The fact that it is true, and told so brilliantly, makes for an unmissable three-part TV event."