A man who was in the audience when Charles Ingram made his infamous appearance in Who Wants to be a Millionaire? said it was clear that something was wrong that night.
Journalist Andrew Silke went on Twitter to talk about what it was like to be sitting in the studio while Major Charles was in the millionaires’ chair, saying that he was oblivious to the cough, that he had noticed the major acting “strangely” and was convinced when he may have cheated.
Ingram, his wife Diana and their accomplice Tecwen Whittock were found guilty by a court in 2003, two years after the taping of the show, of fraud. The Ingrams and Whittock were each sentenced to two years suspended prison terms for this crime.
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First-hand account: Andrew Silke was 19 years old and in the public in 2001 when Charles Ingram won a million pounds on the famous TV game ITV Who wants to be a millionaire? He says it was not the cough that made him think that Ingram had cheated but his “bizarre” behavior
Quiz, ITV’s reenactment of the scandal, which stars Matthew Macfadyen as Ingram and Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant, is currently aired – former audience member Silke says the show made “everything makes sense”
Silke, who works for Bloomberg, was only 19 when he took his place in the ITV studio, saying: “All of this makes sense now, considering how suspicious the production team was even when it was registered. “
Yesterday tweeting about the experience, he said, “I was in the audience the second night when Charles Ingram cheated and won the million pound sterling. I even have a glimpse of the glitter of this winner somewhere in a box in my loft, true story. ”
The reporter said that neither he nor his companion at the time had noticed the cough that ultimately led to Ingram’s conviction because no one at the time had expected it to happen.
He wrote, “Personally, I didn’t notice a cough at all, any more than the person I was with. I know we all know the story by now, but it just wasn’t on anyone’s radar.
Review? Who wants to be a millionaire cheats on Charles Ingram’s lawyer says new technology has caught cough from several members of the public, casting doubt on Ingram’s guilt
However, the thread suggests that it was clear that he was not an ordinary candidate in the chair. “What I noticed: the major behaves strangely. Read the answers over and over again, change your mind.
He says that by watching the re-enactment of the scandal by ITV, which puts Matthew Macfadyen in the role of Ingram and Michael Sheen in the role of Chris Tarrant, he understood that the star presenter of the series clearly did not hold the major of the army in high esteem.
Silke says, “The only thing that really strikes me, seeing him replayed, is Chris Tarrant’s obvious disregard for Charles.
“He kept screaming” major “like a bad sketch of Fawlty Towers and telling him opposite how he thought he was stupid and crazy. Tarrant was trying to do his thing like a pro, but he was visibly furious even while the cameras were running.
After the thread elicited a huge response, Silke muted it but clarified that he thought Chris Tarrant was “a pro”, saying, “I felt some disdain, maybe it ‘was just a joke, it was 20 years ago’.
Meanwhile, Ingram’s lawyer said this week that new and improved audio evidence from the show detected several members of the audience coughing during filming.
Criminal defense lawyer Rhona Friedman, who is behind the former military major’s new appeal, said the case was “full of holes”.
Friedman said it was “ridiculous” to suggest that a conspiracy had taken place during the game show in 2001.
She told the Telegraph: “There is a gap at the heart of this evidence,” she said. “It wasn’t a conspiracy – it’s just ridiculous. “
The dubious quiz gang that won at least £ 5 million
The creators of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? were cheated by a syndicate of quiz cheaters that grossed at least £ 5 million in prizes.
In a very organized operation, the consortium secretly provided answers to the candidates and played the system to plant their members on the ITV show.
Applicants who paid fees, estimated to be around £ 500, would receive answers to the questions researchers used to choose who would be invited to the studio. And if they hit the spot in front of host Chris Tarrant, the player could call the union for help using the ‘Phone A Friend’ lifeline.
Producers estimate that the gang raised “at least” ten percent of the $ 50 million in awards paid on the show from 2002 to 2007.
Paddy Spooner has been identified as the mastermind behind a union that has arranged to have their “members” on the show and provide them with answers by exploiting the “Phone A Friend” option.
Spooner spent two months studying this information so that he could provide paid union members with the correct answer on another phone line when contacted by the show’s researchers.
Dedicated questionnaires would also be on hand for the “Phone A Friend” lifeline while recording the shows. If the expert posing as a friend was sure of the answer, he would report it by saying, “I am 90% sure.”
It is believed that the participants also agreed to share their winnings with the consortium.
The lawyers say that the evidence was not examined by the jury during the trial and that they are undermining the prosecution’s case.
They also argue that the integrity of the audio evidence could have been compromised because it came from the prosecution and was not referred to the Forensic Science Service for independent analysis.
Friedman added that there were “gaps” in the “chain of continuity” for the audio evidence.
She said: “In the Ingrams case, program officials were allowed to produce” expert evidence “with very limited police surveillance.
“What they got at trial was a gentleman’s agreement that nothing had been done to change the trial materials, but there is no room for a gentleman’s agreement in a criminal trial. “