- in Science
If you’ve been watching ITV’s hit lockdown drama Quiz this week, you’ll know why we’re asking this:
Q) What did Charles and/or Diana Ingram do after their conviction for trying to cheat TV’s biggest quiz show out of £1m?
- A) Go on reality TV with Jade Goody
- B) Try their luck on another quiz show
- C) Face fraud charges in a separate court case
- D) Start an appeal against their conviction.
Answer (for no money at all) – all of them.
If you don’t remember 2001 then you need to get up to speed on Hear’Say, DJ Otzi and Emma Bunton’s solo career. You’ve also been given a new chance to learn about a remarkable moment in British TV history – the story of how a couple from Wiltshire cheated their way to a fortune on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Back then, before Netflix and Amazon Prime, 19 million people would regularly tune in for the game show.
The new chance comes in the form of three-part drama Quiz, which is based around the show and – most importantly – the three people found guilty of conspiring to cheat: Charles and Diana Ingram and a man they’d never met, Tecwen Whittock.
The third and final part of the series centred on their court case – they were found guilty but got suspended jail sentences so didn’t go to prison.
The claim was Diana Ingram and Whittock coughed from the audience to help Charles Ingram answer the 15 questions correctly. Coughing was funnier in 2001 than it is in 2020.
But what has happened to the Ingrams in the 17 years since that world famous court case? Well, they now live in Bath selling custom jewellery, and Charles Ingram tweets a lot about Brexit – but there’s a lot more to say…
Science They never accepted the guilty verdict
And went back on ITV to say so – onto This Morning, in fact.
A barely grey Phillip Schofield was presenting even then and he went in hard with the questions – but Charles Ingram wouldn’t budge: “I should make one thing clear and I’ll only say it once and then move on. We didn’t cheat on that show. There was no plan to cheat on that show. I won that money perfectly honestly and fairly and squarely.”
Science More cheating (insurance fraud)
A few months after the ITV court case, Charles Ingram appeared on his own in front of another jury in an unrelated case. He was found guilty of insurance fraud. The jury was told that the Millionaire case had left Ingram £400,000 in debt and he had no job.
Science Reality TV with Jade Goody
If you remember Wife Swap, do you remember the Ingrams on Wife Swap? Charles Ingram paired up with Jade Goody. Her partner then was Jeff Brazier so he partnered with Diana.
The former Army major living with someone made famous by Big Brother didn’t start well but seemed to improve after some blazing rows. Jade tried to give him a makeover, famously saying: “If a tracksuit’s good enough for David Beckham, it’s good enough for you.”
Diana and Jeff got on slightly better and seemed to enjoy their night knocking back tequila at Bubbleglam in Romford.
Science More TV quizzing
Another big quiz of the noughties was BBC1’s Weakest Link. The Ingrams tried a “celebrity” edition of that together. It also featured Lisa from Steps and Anton Du Beke from Strictly Come Dancing. A reminder, this was the noughties.
One of their questions on this show was: “In classical music, what is the act of throat clearing that members of the concert audience are traditionally asked to try to avoid?” You know the answer. They did too.
Science They went to some of the filming of Quiz
This is revealed in the podcast Final Answer, which is about the making of Quiz.
Dan Winch, one of the executive producers, says: “We met the Ingrams towards the end of filming. They talk about it like it could have happened yesterday. It’s affected their life in such a way that they have never really been able to break away from much of the impact of it.”
Producer Alice Pearse is also on the podcast. She adds: “We were sensitive and mindful that this story is quite painful for those who lived through it. We spoke to people on every side of the story – the Ingrams, the ITV side, Celador and the lawyers on the prosecution and defence. We wanted to make sure we’d been thorough.”
Science Time to appeal?
The Ingrams’ lawyer has revealed that they are looking at appealing to try to overturn the guilty verdicts after 17 years – and it’ll all come down to advances in science which mean it might now be possible to work out if it was always Diana Ingram and Tecwen Whittock doing the coughing.
Rhona Friedman told the Press Association: “Back at the time of the trial in 2003, cough analysis wasn’t a thing, and in fact there was a prosecution expert who came along and said that cough analysis is uncharted territory.
“I don’t want to overstate it, but there is an ability now to discern between different people making coughs in a way that wasn’t possible in 2003.”
She added: “You meet Charles and Diana and they are not people who are capable of entering into this kind of criminal conspiracy, or any kind of criminal conspiracy, where they would risk everything in this way.”
You can watch Quiz on the ITV Hub.