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8 May

Fans praise ‘phenomenal’ Who Wants to be a Millionaire? debut

The new series of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? got off to a racing start over the Bank Holiday weekend, with viewers piling praise on new host Jeremy Clarkson.

The Grand Tour presenter and former Top Gear star made his debut on the ITV quiz show on Saturday night, in the first episode of a week-long revival to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary.

Fans were quick to deliver their verdicts on Twitter, with some calling Clarkson’s performance “perfect” and “phenomenal”.

However, while most viewers were impressed, some described Clarkson’s attitude towards the contestants as “rude” and “arrogant”.

Other fans wished the show’s bosses had gone for a female presenter.  

The quiz show was axed four years ago, after long-standing host Chris Tarrant retired from the chair following a 15-year run. 

Tarrant said he had “loved every minute” of his time as host, but later ruled out making a comeback if the programme were to be recommissioned - leaving the door open for Clarkson. 

The rebooted show  proved to be a hit with TV viewers, with an “impressive” six million people tuning in to watch the first episode, The Sun reports. 

Clarkson’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is airing every evening at 9pm on ITV until Saturday 12 May. 

4 May

Jeremy Clarkson prepares for debut on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is returning to ITV this weekend with Jeremy Clarkson in the driving seat. 

The quiz show was axed four years ago but will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a week of seven new hour-long episodes, the Radio Times says, kicking off tomorrow evening at 9.15pm.

“I have always loved the show and am thrilled to be involved with its rebirth,” Clarkson said. “I’m a big fan of quiz shows and I’m looking forward to hosting this iconic TV show and, hopefully, making a few millionaires!”

The former Top Gear star, who now presents Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, added on Twitter that he “can’t wait to get cracking”. 

Long-standing Who Wants to be a Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant ruled out a return after announcing his departure from the show in October 2013,  says the Daily Mirror. The last episode aired in February 2014, after a run of almost 15 years. 

“All shows tend to get brought back eventually and they might well bring it back, but it will be with a different host - I wouldn't want to do it”, he said in 2015.

Like the original series, the new version will feature contestants answering multiple-choice questions in a bid to claim the £1m jackpot, with the help of “lifelines” such as “50:50″ and ”Ask the Audience″.

However, according to The Sun, the “Phone a Friend” lifeline is to be ditched, with contestants instead Skyping their friends or family members. 

The show’s producers have decided to switch to video calling to prevent helpers from using Google to answer questions, the newspaper says.

Analogue future

Tomorrow night’s programme will mark a return to terrestrial TV for Clarkson, who hosted the BBC’s Top Gear until he punched a produced during an argument about catering arrangements in 2015.

Clarkson and his fellow Top Gear producers went on to work for Amazon Prime, creating two series The Grand Tour motoring show. 

Earlier this year Clarkson launched a blistering attack on The Mail on Sunday after it reported that the show would be dropped following its third season. 

The newspaper claimed that sources close to Amazon Prime  believe “there is nothing to suggest” the streaming service will sign Clarkson and his co-stars, Richard Hammond and James May, for a fourth series. 

“No one has signed anything and employees are wondering where everyone will go once filming wraps,” an insider is reported as saying. 

Clarkson dismissed the story, telling his 7.2 million follows: “Don’t believe the f***ing Mail.” 

He then tweeted that Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig was “about to be fired”. 

Clarkson followed that message with a tweet saying: “Sorry Geordie. I may have published something which is horse shit. Annoying, isn't it.”

Several fans threatened to boycott Amazon if The Grand Tour, which concluded its second season last month, was not signed for a fourth series. 

One fan tweeted that the show “is the only reason my entire family subscribed to Amazon Prime”.

Amazon has yet to respond to the claims, but it would come as a surprise if the service were to drop the popular motoring series. 

The Grand Tour is one of Amazon Prime’s “biggest shows” and has reportedly “brought in a staggering £100m” for the subscription service, says Metro.



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