Who Wants To Be A Millionaire axed
- Bang Showbiz
- 12 January 2011
'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' is to be axed by ITV1 due to poor viewing figures
'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' has been axed.
The ITV1 gameshow - which has been hosted by Chris Tarrant since the series began in 1998 - has been scrapped by channel bosses due to increasingly poor viewing figures.
However, there are plans to continue making celebrity specials, which will see high-profile names test their wits in the hope of winning cash for a chosen charity.
An ITV source revealed: "We are looking to do fewer shows but make them higher profile. The appetite at the moment is for big specials while the audience has drifted away from the run-of-the-mill instalments featuring ordinary punters.
"It's still a popular brand but we need to make sure it remains fresh and relevant. There's a realisation that having 'Millionaire' on every week for eight weeks perhaps isn't the way forward any more."
Show bosses have made a number of changes to the format in the last few years in order to attract more viewers - including reducing the number of questions and introducing a time limit for answering questions - but some long term fans were not impressed with the revamp.
The insider said: "The changes that were made last year haven't necessarily worked."
A live Christmas Eve (24.12.10) special - which featured Carol Vorderman, Gok Wan, Chris Evans, James Martin, Ann Widdecombe and David Haye - attracted nearly seven million viewers and producers are already planning similar specials.
An ITV spokesperson told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The first ever live edition over Christmas attracted 6.9 million viewers. We are talking to producers, Sony Pictures, about future episodes."