It has been almost 20 years since Charles Ingram cheated his way to a million pounds on iconic ITV quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Charles and his wife Diana were officially convicted by a majority verdict of cheating on April 7th, 2003 – 18 years ago to the day.
Diana had herself legitimately won £32,000 in 2001 when she appeared before her husband on the show.
The couple’s coughing scandal, which saw Diana clear her throat in the audience when Charles read out the correct answer from the four choices, cost the pair £115,000 between them – though they were eventually able to appeal this amount.
The calculating pair were also handed suspended prison sentences for the con of 18 months each, suspended for two years.
And after the hit ITV adaptation Quiz, which depicted the scandal in full technicolour with Michael Sheen at the helm as quiz host Chris Tarrant, even more came to light.
The Ingrams weren’t the only guilty party – waiting contestant Tecwen Whittock was also said to be a part of the scandal, as the production team made a connection between his coughs and Charles’ answers.
Tecwen was also fined, and handed a prison sentence of 12 months, suspended for two years.
All three were convicted of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception – though Tecwen maintained that he just had a "persistent cough".
And Diana’s brother Adrian Pollock was also thrust into the spotlight after winning £32,000 on Millionaire prior to Charles’ appearance.
The Ingrams still maintain their innocence, with journalists including Jon Ronson in their corner. He wrote in 2006 that he was "beginning to believe they may be innocent".
And criminal defence solicitor Rhona Friedman, who helped Charles appeal his case, said it was “ludicrous” to suggest a conspiracy could have occurred during the quiz show.
But where are they all now? From bankruptcies to failed public speaking careers, we delve into the lives of Charles and his co-conspirators now.
Charles and Diana Ingram
Major Charles Ingram served in the Army from 1986 until 2003, but was ordered by letter to resign his commission and give up his rank of major after being convicted for his cheating offences.
Charles, played by Matthew Macfadyen in Quiz, never publicly revealed whether he was dishonourably discharged or not.
In March 2016, it was reported that Charles paid a mere £1,240 of the £25,000 fine he was originally handed after convincing magistrates to cut it to £5,000.
His wife Diana’s fine was quashed on appeal.
Their court case cost the taxpayer more than £8million.
The pair upped and left their Westbury community in Wiltshire after the 2001 scandal came to light, leaving neighbours baffled.
But Charles wasn’t quite done with the spotlight – he appeared alongside his wife on quiz show The Weakest Link, where all his answers were met with coughing from a riled-up audience when he attempted to speak.
He also appeared on shows like Hell's Kitchen, Celebrity Fear Factor UK and The Friday Night Project.
He even popped up on Celebrity Wife Swap, where he traded Diana, who was portrayed by Sian Clifford in the ITV drama, in for Jade Goody.
Jade dubbed Charles "irritating" and "controlling", adding that she didn’t like "liars or people with chips on their shoulders".
The pair even hilariously tried their hand at the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire board game.
Diana, meanwhile, spent time with Jade’s long-term beau Jeff Brazier.
Since then, he and his wife have declared themselves bankrupt four times, having seemingly struggled with finances after failing to receive the jackpot he attempted to con ITV out of.
The Sun alleged in 2018 that Charles had put his £450,000 country house on the market after he became a "recluse".
Charles and Diana reportedly set up their own market stall and sold Diana’s home-made jewellery, including £5 brooches and necklaces that cost up to £40.
Diana now sells her jewellery online.
Her website reads: “I offer exclusive collections of exquisite Murano glass necklaces, bracelets and earrings.”
When drama Quiz aired last year, Charles took to Twitter to comment: "Wow. The cast, the story, the scenes, simply brilliant. Terrifyingly accurate and oh yes, horribly cringeworthy.
"Floored by the pure talent on show tonight. Well done too to ITV. Gutsy."
But at the time, the pair insisted they were innocent – even appearing on This Morning with Phillip Schofield to say: "We didn’t cheat on that show. We didn’t plan to cheat on that show. I won that money perfectly honestly, fairly and squarely."
Charles also hit out on Twitter in January this year about a documentary made by Stellify Media about the infamous episode.
He wrote: "This was disappointing. Same old orchestrated content.
"Expected more from Stellify Media. It’s hard proving these people wrong and in the face of their relentless bulls*** but we will and the truth will out.
"Those who deceived then profited must be held to account. Truth matters folks."
Charles is now a very active Twitter user, and regularly engages in political discussions on the social media site.
Played by Michael Jibson in Quiz, Tecwen was one of Charles' fellow contestants who was said to be coughing along with Diana when he read out a correct answer.
But Millionaire wasn’t Tecwen’s TV debut, as he had already appeared on programmes like Fifteen to One, and Sale of the Century.
Many people speculated Tecwen genuinely did know the answers himself – and when he didn’t, Diana was the one to cough instead.
Tecwen coughed a whopping 192 times during filming.
When it was his turn in the hot seat, he only made it away with £1,000 after gambling on the £8,000 question.
And phone records between Tecwen and Diana were presented as evidence at the trial.
He resigned from his lecturing job at the Welsh Pontypridd College after the court case concluded, and was allegedly forced to sell his Whitchurch home to pay costs.
In 2003 after the trial ended, Tecwen attempted to launch a speaking career at after-dinner events, posting on his website: "Tecwen is available for any occasions which require a speaker in the UK or abroad.
"He is a qualified teacher and has many years of experience in speaking to groups of people.
"He has very interesting and humorous anecdotes to share with an audience."
The site also claimed he was "open to all marketing opportunities to use his name and association with coughing".
There was also talk of him writing a book about his time on WWTBAM, though this never materialised.
Hilariously, presenter Rylan Clark-Neal admitted on Twitter when Quiz aired in April last year: "Tecwen Whittock was my fake name of choice in hotels during tour."
Diana’s brother Adrian walked away with a legitimate £32,000 when he appeared on WWTBAM in 2000.
He racked up a massive phone bill attempting to get through to appear on the programme.
The quizzer was so dedicated that he built a Fastest Finger First machine to practice on, while Diana created a book stuffed full of tips for hopefuls wanting to make it onto the hit quiz show.
Diana claimed the pagers she used during the show were not for signalling to Charles, but to keep in contact with Adrian, who had fled after running up gambling debts.
Adrian was portrayed by actor Trystan Gravelle in ITV’s Quiz.
He has kept a very low profile since appearing on WWTBAM.
Actor Michael Sheen might have done a great job appearing as TV presenter Chris Tarrant on the ITV adaptation, but nobody could ever beat the real deal.
Chris presented WWTBAM from 1998 until 2014, hosting a whopping 86 episodes before Jeremy Clarkson took over the hosting job in 2018.
He made no secret of his disbelief at Charles' protestations of innocence, dubbing him "a rotter, cad and bandit" on The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X.
Since then, he has endeared audiences to him with his multitude of railway documentaries, including The Railways That Built Britain and Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways.
His last TV appearance was as the narrator on When Classic TV Goes Horribly Wrong last year.
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The 74-year-old was thrown into a Kenyan jail while filming for Extreme Railways, after being "surrounded by men in camouflage jackets holding […] big guns".
Chris told The Mirror he was taken to the jail along with his camera crew, where their passports and phones were confiscated.
Officials said the crew didn’t have permission to film near Lake Victoria; Chris theorised they feared the team were spies, attempting to film a new warship.
"It was terrifying," Chris shared.
He said some "very large Kenyan men in the other cell" leered at him and the crew, and kept calling him "sweet cheeks".
Thankfully, the police eventually agreed it was just a misunderstanding, and the group were permitted to leave.
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