Who Wants To Be A Millionaire axed

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 23 October 2013
Presenter Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant

'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' has been axed after Chris Tarrant stepped down as host, following 15 years fronting the show

'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' has been axed after Chris Tarrant stepped down as host.

The 67-year-old presenter has quit the quiz show after 15 years, leading ITV to bring it to a close, and admits he has "loved every minute of it".

Chris said: "It's time to take a break. It's been a huge part of my life for 15 years and I've loved every minute of it, but it is time for me to move on from 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'.

"It's been the most remarkable journey and I consider myself very fortunate to have been associated with 'Millionaire' from its inception.

"ITV have been fantastic in their support from day one and to see its huge success has been thrilling."

The programme was the first UK game show to offer a £1 million prize to winners and attracted 19 million viewers at the peak of its popularity, but in recent years the show has moved to a format of charity specials and celebrity versions, rather than featuring ordinary people.

Chris added: "The calibre of the celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Simon Cowell etc, is just one indication of how much this show has touched a nerve with everybody.

"But of course so much more rewarding for all of us has been, not just the celebrities or even the million-pound winners, but all of the ordinary men and women whose lives have been changed - sometimes forever - by being on the show.

"Thank you all for sitting opposite me. I am privileged to have been a part of it, but do now feel that it is time for me to call it a day.

"I've worked ridiculously hard these last few years and to quote myself, 'It's time to take a break.' "

The format has been sold to countries around the world, and was used in the storyline of Oscar-winning movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'.

The show first aired in the UK in 1998 with Chris as host. Five people won the top prize, the first being Judith Keppel in 2000.

In 2003 the UK show was hit by scandal when British Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and college lecturer Tecwen Whittock were convicted of winning the prize by fraudulent means.

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