Quiz 2: Seven TV scandals to follow the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? hit drama

The ITV drama series about Major Charles and Diana Ingram’s cheating on Millionaire has been a massive hit and we’ve got some ideas for possible sequels.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 16 April 2020 - 11.05am
Drama Quiz

The X Factor

ITV

Quiz has become one of the most talked about TV series of 2020, taking the nation back to the unforgettable Who Wants To Be a Millionaire cheating scandal involving Charles and Diana Ingram.

Reigniting the debate about whether the Ingrams plotted an outrageous heist or were innocent victims of a series of unfortunate coincidences, the brilliantly acted and smartly written drama series has been a joyous mixture of nostalgia, humour and humanity.

Taking us back to an era of TV viewing before Twitter, viewers have had plenty of ideas for possible follow-up series chronicling other famous TV scandals from down the years.

Here are 7 suggestions we would love to see get the Quiz treatment and be made into a TV drama…

The Big Brother Jade Goody race row

Jade Goody and Jack Tweed entering Celebrity Big Brother Getty
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It’s actually quite surprising that this hasn’t been made already, because it's all set up perfectly for a TV drama.

When ex-contestant Jade Goody returned to the Big Brother house for the celebrity edition of the show in January 2007, she went in as a much-loved public figure.

When she left several weeks later, she was disgraced and had ignited a race row with fellow contestant Shilpa Shetty that had gone all the way to the Houses of Parliament.

Jade’s downfall has plenty of scope for exploration from the perspectives of life inside the house, the media furore and the production team behind the show. And alongside Jade, the stories of contestants such as Jack Tweed, Jo O’Meara and Danielle Lloyd would make for fascinating viewing with the benefit of hindsight.

Pop Idol: Will Young v Gareth Gates

Gareth Gates and Will Young in 2002 Getty
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Like the early days of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, it’s easy to forget just how popular the talent show renaissance in the early 00s was with TV viewers.

The Will Young-Gareth Gates battle in series one of Pop Idol in 2002 took over the nation with everyone picking a side. You were either Team Will or Team Gareth and there were battle buses and mammoth TV campaigns for both sides. People happily racked up massive bills from the premium phonelines just to make sure their favourite singer triumphed.

The casting of judges Simon Cowell, Peter Waterman, Nikki Chapman and Dr Fox would be fascinating. And there is so much potential in witnessing what it was like on the inside for Gareth and Will as they were plucked from obscurity and told to fight for an opportunity at stardom.

We’d also like a standalone episode on Darius Danesh.

Simon Cowell v Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell Getty
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TV talent shows got very ugly when former friends and colleagues Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell became embroiled in an infamous legal battle that went on for many years. 

After Fuller's Pop Idol had made a star of record company executive Cowell in 2001, the outspoken judge decided to launch a show to which he owned the television rights. The talent hunts were remarkably similar, except that Cowell's show, The X Factor, was open to groups and older singers, and contestants were divided into categories and 'mentored' by the judges. 

Without its star judge, the launch of X Factor effectively killed off Pop Idol in the UK, although its international franchises continue to this day. 

The relationship between the showboating and tabloid-friendly Cowell and the mysterious and private Fuller is shrouded in mystery and it would be gripping TV if someone could get underneath the skin of the super-rich duo.

“Their relationship is the weirdest I’ve ever seen in this business,” a senior TV executive told the Financial Times in 2010.

“They’ve known each other for 20-plus years and there will be periods of time when they will be close and confiding in each other. But three weeks later they will be trying to kill each other. And then, after that, they will suddenly be back together again.”

An inside track on their power battles and legal wrangling could be TV gold and it would be a natural follow-up to Quiz - both series, like Millionaire, were commissioned by executive Claudia Rosencrantz, played by Aisling Bea in the ITV drama.

Celebrity Big Brother: David’s Dead

David Gest on Celebrity Big Brother Getty
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Is it the greatest ever episode of Celebrity Big Brother? Undoubtedly. The only question about turning this into a drama would be whether any performance could match the 2016 original for pure farce and hilarity.

A simple piece of confusion on the part of actress Tiffany Pollard over the demise of David Bowie and housemate David Gest prompted a series of events that you would normally consider ridiculous and implausible if anyone pitched it as a drama series.

Cilla Black’s Blind Date ‘gotcha’

Cilla Black on Blind Date Getty
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Cilla Black managed to turn a moment of embarrassment into a triumph for ITV’s smash hit dating series Blind Date, when she exposed once of the show's contestants as an undercover journalist.

Nicola Gill, a writer for Cosmopolitan magazine, had pretended to be a temporary secretary to get a big juicy feature on what it was really like taking part in Blind Date.

The journo probably didn’t expect to get so far into the show that she ended up making it on screen and winning a date, but - like Charles Ingram - her success ended up being her downfall.

Cilla and the producers had cottoned on to the truth and rather than cancelling or simply not airing the episode, they exposed her on national TV in delicious fashion.

"I know what you're at," said Cilla, "and I feel awfully deeply saddened by this.

"You don't work as a temporary secretary. I know for a fact that you are an undercover journalist, and you've robbed somebody of coming on a proper blind date.

"You work for Cosmopolitan magazine. She's a journalist, ladies and gentlemen. Not a Blind Dater at all!"

Sharon Osbourne v Dannii Minogue

Sharon Osbourne and Dannii Minogue with the X Factor team Getty
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At the peak of X Factor’s rating success, the show was rarely out of the headlines and a different scandal and public battle featured in the tabloids every week.

X Factor v Strictly. Simon Cowell v Louis Walsh. In-fighting audtionees Abbey and Lisa. But the biggest and fiercest battle was going on behind the scenes between judges Sharon Osbourne and Dannii Minogue.

Most of the rivalries on the show were pantomime, but no love was lost between Sharon and Dannii and both have written about the dressing room shouting matches and distaste for the other in their memoirs.

It would be TV gold.

The Goldenballs jawdropper

It’s been suggested several times on Twitter already, but this unforgettable moment of daytime TV is surely an equal to even the Ingrams' coughing plot.

Michael Sheen to play Jasper Carrott, anyone?