Quiz couple Charles and Diana Ingram to appeal against cheating conviction
Ingrams claim audio evidence was tampered with in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal
Charles and Diana Ingram, whose story has been dramatised on ITV’s Quiz, are to ask the court of appeal to overturn their convictions for cheating on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
The couple’s legal team will claim that audio evidence may have been altered before it was presented to the jury, casting doubt on their conviction.
In 2003, the Ingrams were found guilty of cheating their way to win £1m on the popular ITV game show, presented by Chris Tarrant. The prosecution had argued that they “procured the execution of a valuable security by deception” by colluding with an accomplice in the audience, Tecwen Whittock, who would apparently cough when the correct answer was mentioned.
The Ingrams and Whittock, who were given suspended prison sentences and fines, still maintain their innocence.
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Speaking to The Guardian, human rights lawyer Rhona Friedman said she believes the couple were the victims of a miscarriage of justice.
“Speaking to them and meeting them, I just know that they did not do it,” said Friedman. “I just feel very sorry for them.”
She described Ingram, a major in the British Army in 2003, as man whose “wild and eccentric” character could have been mistaken by the show’s producers for suspicious behaviour. “The performance he gave that everyone found remarkable is pretty much how I experienced Charles,” she said.
Friedman 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.”
Meanwhile, commenting on last night’s finale of Quiz, the three-part ITV mini-series which dramatised the story, the Daily Mail says it left viewers “reeling” by hinting that the couple are indeed innocent.
One viewer summarised the response on Twitter: “So after all that: were they actually guilty?”