Charles & Diana Ingram To Challenge Their Guilty Verdicts In The 'Millionaire' Case

by Sam Ramsden and Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
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The incriminating coughs heard around the world are the focus of ITV's latest dramatisation Quiz, which revisits the controversial Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal. The story first hit the headlines back in 2001, and those at the centre of the media circus were catapulted from a life of anonymity into the spotlight, almost overnight. But where are Charles and Diana Ingram now?

Charles and Diana Ingram first tied the knot back in 1989, and went on to have three children together. They currently reside in Bath, where they now earn a living selling handmade jewellery. According to The Sun, Charles was spotted in December 2019 selling his wife's jewellery at a local Christmas Market — a far cry from his position as a Royal Engineers officer, from which he was forced to resign in 2003 after that fateful appearance on one of ITV's most popular game shows.

As the Metro reports, Charles went on to land a string of reality TV gigs following his Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fallout, including The Weakest Link, Channel 4's The Games, and a celebrity edition of Wife Swap.

The story of one of the biggest television scandals in recent memory, and subject of ITV's latest drama, began when production staff accused Charles of cheating his way to the top prize, with the help of his wife Diana and their accomplice Tecwen Whittock.

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Whittock was seated in the "fastest finger" first row of contestants, and is thought to have let out 19 suspiciously timed coughs (out of the 192 recorded in the studio audience), to alert Charles to the correct answer for each question during filming. Following the accusations, the trio were arrested and found guilty of conspiring to cheat the ITV quiz show in 2003. In addition to receiving an 18-month suspended sentence, the couple were fined £15,000 each, and ordered to pay £10,000 additional costs.

On April 15 2020, the day the final episode of Quiz aired on ITV, it was announced the Ingrams are now seeking to overturn their convictions, “arguing that new audio analysis casts serious doubt on the evidence used to prosecute them,” writes the Guardian. Human rights lawyer Rhona Friedman will represent the couple, and will present new findings to a jury. “Speaking to them and meeting them, I just know they did not do it,” she told the newspaper. “I just feel very sorry for them.

Friedman became involved with the Ingram’s case after being “approached by the late investigative journalist Bob Woffinden, who dedicated his life to overturning miscarriages of justice,” per the Guardian.

“There are some really weird anomalies,” the lawyer explained. “There are some glaring omissions. You’ve got different microphones picking up different people. There are inconsistencies between what is on one tape and another.” She added:

“The idea is that Charles was primed to appear on TV for the first time ever, in front of millions of people, knowing that he was going to be cheating, with a guy sitting behind him that he hasn’t met coughing to indicate an answer, without giving any reaction. It would have been the performance of a lifetime and he’s not capable of it.”

Friedman's paperwork is expected to be filed this summer, with hopes that a hearing will take place at the end of 2020, the Guardian reports.

Starring Michael Sheen, Matthew Macfadyen, and Helen McCrory, ITV's Quiz gives viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what really happened during the coughing scandal. As the Radio Times reports, the drama reimagine sevents before and after the highly-publicised court case, and has reignited debate around the Ingram's actions once again.

Quiz begins on Monday, April 13 at 9 p.m. on ITV1.

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