Jeremy Clarkson replaces Chris Tarrant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Jeremy Clarkson replaces Chris Tarrant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Jeremy Clarkson
Image caption Jeremy Clarkson has also hosted the BBC’s Have I Got News For You

Jeremy Clarkson will be grilling contestants as the new host of ITV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

It’s returning for a week this spring to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

The ex-Top Gear presenter is replacing previous host Chris Tarrant, who said in 2014 his days as a game show host were over and that he thought the programme had “run its course”.

On Friday, Clarkson said: “I have always loved the show and am thrilled to be involved with its rebirth.”

The Grand Tour presenter described himself as a “big fan” of quiz shows, saying: “I’m looking forward to hosting this iconic TV show and hopefully making a few millionaires.”

The show, which sees contestants asked a series of increasingly difficult questions as they try to win the £1m prize, will run for seven nightly hour-long episodes.

The elusive jackpot can only be won if all 15 questions are answered successfully. A series of lifelines are offered, including asking the audience, asking a friend or taking a 50:50 option.

ITV has promised “a number of new twists and turns” for the show’s return. It managed ratings as high as 19 million viewers in 1999.

Image caption Chris Tarrant hosted the Millionaire quiz for 15 years

Millionaire went on to become a hugely popular global TV format, with versions in countries including the US, India, Australia, Japan and Russia, and it inspired Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

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ITV’s head of entertainment Siobhan Greene said: “I hope Millionaire will be introduced to a whole new generation. And with TV legend Jeremy Clarkson asking the questions, frankly anything could happen. I can’t wait.”

In the UK, just five contestants managed to walk away with the £1m prize. Tarrant, who hosted for 15 years, was expert at ratcheting up tension in the studio with long pauses between questions and answers.

The show was hit by a scandal back in 2003 when an army major, his wife and a college lecturer were found guilty of conspiring to cheat the show.

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