ITV has commissioned seven hour-long episodes of the iconic quiz show later in 2018, to mark its 20th anniversary.
Jeremy Clarkson is set to replace Chris Tarrant as host a new set of episodes of iconic game show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ later this year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the programme.
Tarrant fronted the legendary quiz show when it first launched back in 1998, and he hosted it all the way until 2013, when he made the decision to step down as presenter, saying it had “run its course” amid gradually declining ratings.
At one point, however, it was one of the most-watched shows in Britain, with 19 million people tuning in each week to watch contestants try to win £1 million in ever-increasing steps with harder questions each time, able to resort to lifelines of asking the audience, phoning a friend and taking a 50:50 option.
Jeremy Clarkson is to front a revived 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'
“I have always loved the show and am thrilled to be involved with its re-birth,” Clarkson said in a statement on Friday morning (March 9th). “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!”
‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ is set to return for a seven-episode run to mark its 20th anniversary later in 2018, but this time with former BBC ‘Top Gear’ host Clarkson asking the questions.
Siobhan Greene, ITV’s Head of Entertainment, added to the statement: “It felt like a no brainer to celebrate a show that was a trailblazer of its time and broke the mould. In doing this one off special week, I hope ‘…Millionaire’ will be introduced to a whole new generation.
“And with TV legend Jeremy Clarkson asking the questions, frankly anything could happen. I can’t wait.”
The format spawned a number of successful franchises around the world, with versions cropping up in the US, India, Australia and Russia. In Britain, only five people managed to walk away with the elusive jackpot, including one memorable occasion in 2003 when an army major, his wife and a lecturer conspired to cheat the show.