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Robert Brydges

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Robert Brydges

This article is about the original UK version. For the international franchise, see Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
File:Wwtbam-uk-2010.png
Format Game show
Created by David Briggs
Steve Knight
Mike Whitehill
Presented by Chris Tarrant
Theme music composer Keith Strachan
Matthew Strachan
Ramon Covalo (2007–13)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 30
No. of episodes 588 (as of 22 June 2013)
Production
Location(s) Elstree Studios (1998–2010, 2013)
BBC Television Centre (2011–3)
Running time 30–75 minutes
Production companies Celador (1998–2007)
2waytraffic (2007–10)
Victory Television (2011–3)
Broadcast
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 4:3 (1998–9)
16:9 (1999–2013)
Original run 4 September 1998 (1998-09-04) – 2013 (2013)
External links
Official website

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a British television quiz show which offers a maximum cash prize of one million pounds for correctly answering successive multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty. The show has been exported to many other countries, all of which follow the same general format.

The programme is hosted by Chris Tarrant and produced by Victory Television for the ITV network. It is based on a format devised by David Briggs, who, along with Steven Knight and Mike Whitehill, devised a number of the promotional games for Chris Tarrant's breakfast show on Capital FM radio. The original working title for the show was Cash Mountain.

The programme first aired on 4 September 1998. One contestant played at a time and originally had no time limit to answer questions. Contestants were presented with the question and possible answers before they decided whether to attempt an answer or walk away with what they have already won.

Rights to both the format and all UK episodes of the show were put up for sale by Celador in March 2006, as the first step toward the sale of Celador's formats division. These were acquired by the Dutch company 2waytraffic.[1] 2waytraffic was in turn acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2008.[2]

On 22 October 2013, it was announced that Tarrant had quit the show after 15 years. Due to this, ITV have decided to axe Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? after the current contract finishes. ITV has said there will be no further specials beyond the ones which have already been planned.[3][4]

Broadcast details

Originally broadcast on successive evenings for around ten days, it now appears weekly on ITV in a primetime slot on Saturday evenings, and also occasionally on Tuesday evening. The show lasts for one hour (including commercial breaks). The first contestant was Graham Elwell, who won £64,000.

At its peak in 1999, the show pulled in up to 19 million viewers (an astonishing one in three of the British population), often when it only had a half-hour timeslot, before declining to around 8 million by 2003.[5]

In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was placed 23rd.

Tarrant's catchphrases on the show include "Is that your final answer?", "But we don't want to give you that" (meaning that he would like the contestant to go on and win even more money), more recently at the end of the show, "But the cashpoint is now closed for tonight" or when a contestant is relieved, he sometimes says "Quite pleased, then?"

Variants on the format are screened from time to time as specials – such as celebrities playing for charity, couples games (where both partners must agree on the answer), Mother's Day specials, etc.

Since series 28 (April 2011), only celebrity contestants appear on the show in special live editions; which coincide with holidays, such as Christmas, Mother's Day, Remembrance Day or with the end of a school term etc. The 'Clock Format' is still used during live celebrity shows. However, during Series 29 (2012) there were three The People Play specials, which were broadcast live each night from Monday 9 July until Wednesday 11 July. These specials featured non-celebrity contestants and allowed viewers to play along at home.[6] A fourth The People Play special aired on 7 May 2013 with a further two to be broadcast over the following Tuesday nights.

Gameplay

Payout structure
Question number Question value
1998–2007 2007–present
1 £100 £500
2 £200 £1,000
3 £300 £2,000
4 £500 £5,000
5 £1,000 £10,000
6 £2,000 £20,000
7 £4,000 £50,000
8 £8,000 £75,000
9 £16,000 £150,000
10 £32,000 £250,000
11 £64,000 £500,000
12 £125,000 £1,000,000
13 £250,000
14 £500,000
15 £1,000,000

Members of the public apply to appear on the show by calling a premium-rate telephone number or sending a premium-rate text message. Applications can also be made at the ITV website via a system of £1 "credits", as well as through a contestant casting audition. Such auditions are held around the UK at various locations. Contestants are chosen from the large number of applicants through a combination of random selection and ability to answer test general knowledge questions.

Contestants answer a list of 12 increasingly difficult questions to win the top prize of £1 million. Contestants can choose to leave the game at any point and claim the prize for the last correctly answered question without penalty. Answering the second question correctly guarantees that a contestant will leave with no less than £1,000 if they provide an incorrect answer to a later question, and answering the seventh question correctly increases the minimum payout to £50,000. A contestant who answers either the first or second question incorrectly leaves with nothing.

On the final part of each program whilst a game is in progress, the "Out of time" signal (which usually consists of one long blast of a chord played from brass instruments) is sounded which Chris refers to as the 'klaxon'. Most recently in the live specials, Chris tells the viewers on the final part that the klaxon could sound to end the game and the question will be null and void (the question won't count). If however a future live special is scheduled, then the contestant will return on the next program.

Lifelines

Three lifelines are presented at the beginning of the game in order to aid contestants:

  • Ask the Audience: Audience members use touch pads to designate what they believe the correct answer to be. The percentage of the audience choosing each specific option is displayed to the contestant.
  • 50/50: The computer eliminates two incorrect answers, leaving one incorrect answer and the correct answer.
  • Phone-a-Friend: The contestant calls one of up to 5 friends, who provided their phone numbers in advance. The contestant has 30 seconds to read the question and answer choices to the friend, who then has the remaining time to offer input.
  • Switch the Question (2002, 2010–2013): The computer replaces, at the contestant's request, one question with another of the same monetary value. Any lifelines used on the original question are not reinstated. This was used back in 2002 when a contestant gets rid of a lifeline and the 'Q' symbol will appear on the selected lifeline, therefore, the selected lifeline can't be used again.

1998–2007 format

Prior to 2007, ten contestants competed against each other on each episode in the "Fastest Finger First" round in order to determine which contestant would play the main portion of the game. A question and four answers were presented, and each contestant ordered those answers in the manner specified. The contestant who achieved the correct order in the fastest time moved to the second portion of the game. If that contestant chose to stop the game early or was eliminated following an incorrect answer, a new contestant was chosen in the same manner from the remaining nine contestants.

Additionally, contestants were required to answer 15 questions to win the top prize. The minimum payouts were £1,000 for answering five questions correctly and £32,000 for answering ten questions.

2010 clock format

The UK version adopted the U.S. 'Clock Format' on 3 August 2010, still using the 12-question money tree and that the final 5 questions would not have a time limit (unlike the U.S. version), and using the original lifelines. Contestants also receive a fourth lifeline; "Switch the Question" or "Switch", upon completing question 7.

Contestants must answer the first seven questions within a specific time limit: 15 seconds for questions one and two, and 30 seconds for each question thereafter.[7] Questions 8-12 are not timed. However, if, during the first seven questions, the contestant runs out of time on a question, their winnings will drop back down to the £1,000 milestone they passed as if the question had been answered incorrectly. The clock is stopped when a contestant chooses to use a lifeline on questions 1-7.

Text game

Since 2004, the UK version has included a feature called the "Text Game". Played before some commercial breaks, a question to which the contestant has given their final answer, but the correct answer has not yet been revealed, is offered as a competition to viewers. Entry is via SMS text message at a cost of £1 per entry, and the competition runs through the commercial break, after which the answer is revealed and the game continues. One viewer who answered the question correctly wins £1,000.

Currently, the host will offer the Viewer Game question to the viewing audience at home near the start of the show, and also after the first and second commercial break (via voiceover). The viewer game is closed a few minutes before the show ends. A graphic will be shown 1 minute before the lines close. The answer is revealed at the end of the show. One viewer who answered the question correctly will win £1,000.[8]

Previously, the text game was called "Walkaway" (and it is still referred to as such on the ITV website)[9] and was played when a contestant elected to keep their current prize rather than offer an answer to the current question.

Top prize winners

Judith Keppel (20 November 2000)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
Which King was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?
• A: Henry I • B: Henry II
• C: Richard I • D: Henry V
Keppel's £1 million question

Judith Cynthia Aline Keppel (born 18 August 1942)[10] is the first one-million-pound winner on the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in the United Kingdom.

Keppel's victory was achieved exactly a year after the first Millionaire winner was broadcast, when John Carpenter became the first winner of the U.S. version of the show as well as the first winner worldwide.

David Edwards (21 April 2001)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
If you planted the seeds of Quercus robur, what would grow?
• A: Trees • B: Flowers
• C: Vegetables • D: Grain
Edwards's £1 million question

David Edwards (born 1947 in Barry, South Wales) is a former physics teacher at Cheadle High School and Denstone College in Staffordshire who became the first man to win the million pounds on the British Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on 21 April 2001, and only the second person to answer all 15 questions correctly, and hence win the prize, after Judith Keppel. He competed in both series of Are You an Egghead?, reaching the last 16 in 2008, and the final in 2009, where he lost to fellow Millionaire winner Pat Gibson.

His million pound question was "If you planted the seeds of Quercus robur, what would grow?" The options were Trees, Flowers, Vegetables and Grain. The correct answer was Trees. He used no lifelines for this question, having used all three on a previous question. The phone-a-friend he used was his son, Richard Edwards (who later won £125,000 on the show).

Charles Ingram (18 September 2001)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
A number one followed by one hundred zeros is known by what name?
• A: Googol • B: Megatron
• C: Gigabit • D: Nanomole
Ingram's £1 million question

Charles Ingram (born 6 August 1963) is a former British Army major who made headlines worldwide after cheating in the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2001. He was convicted of deception, although he maintains that he did not cheat.

The ITV programme was produced by Celador at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. The show, hosted by Chris Tarrant, was recorded on 9 September 2001 and 10 September 2001. After winning £1,000,000, the payout was suspended when Ingram was accused of cheating by having his wife, Diana, and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, cough as Ingram announced the correct answer from the available choices. Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court lasting four weeks (including jury deliberation for three-and-a-half days), which ended soon after a jury member was evicted for discussing the case in public, Charles and Diana Ingram and Whittock were convicted by a majority verdict of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" on 7 April 2003.

Robert Brydges (29 September 2001)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
Which scientific unit is named after an Italian nobleman?
• A: Pascal • B: Ohm
• C: Volt • D: Hertz
Brydges's £1 million question[11]

Robert Kempe Brydges[12] is an Oxford-educated banker from Holland Park, London.[13] He has previously acted as director of GNI Fund Management, an investment brokers firm, earning £300,000 a year and held the position of vice-president of US bank Hanover Trust.[14]

On 29 September 2001, he was a winner of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire UK;[15] depending on whether or not the controversial Charles Ingram, who won just twelve days in 18 September 2001,[16] is counted, he was either the third or fourth winner. Brydges himself has made light of this fact, calling Ingram and himself winners 3A and 3B.[17]

Brydges' participation in the show kicked off a lot of controversy because of how rich he was prior to participation - see #Robert_Brydges_affair.

Pat Gibson (24 April 2004)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
Which of these is not one of the American Triple Crown horse races?
• A: Arlington Million • B: Belmont Stakes
• C: Kentucky Derby • D: Preakness Stakes
Gibson's £1 million question

Pat Gibson (born 19 July 1961 Galway, Ireland) is an Irish quiz player. He is a multiple world champion in quizzing and one of the world's most successful quiz players. He is best known for winning several quiz shows and being a panellist on Eggheads. He was born and educated in Ireland but has lived in the United Kingdom for many years and competes as part of the England quiz team.

On 24 April 2004 he became the fourth contestant to win the £1m jackpot on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. On the question below, he still had his 50:50 and phone a friend. He used the 50:50 first, where B. Belmont Stakes and D. Preakness Stakes disappeared. He then used his phone-a-friend option, phoning Mark Kerr (a highly ranked British quiz player and winner of TV's "Brainiest Estate Agent" title) who said he was 90% sure the answer was Arlington Million, which was Pat's original instinct. He was the only person in the United Kingdom to reach the one million pound question with two lifelines remaining. He used his Ask-the-Audience on the £64,000 question, and kept 50:50 and phone a friend back until the final question.

He correctly answered 'Arlington Million' to win £1 million.

Ingram Wilcox (23 September 2006)

£1 million (15 of 15) – no time limit
Which boxer was famous for striking the gong in the introduction to J. Arthur Rank films?
• A: Bombardier Billy Wells • B: Freddie Mills
• C: Terry Spinks • D: Don Cockell
Wilcox's £1 million question

Ingram Wilcox (born 1944) is a British quiz enthusiast who is best known for becoming the fifth and final person to win one million pounds on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2006. When he reached the million-pound question, he had already used up all his lifelines. In two previous appearances he reached the "fastest finger first" stage but did not get through. His final question was "Which boxer was famous for striking the gong in the introduction to J. Arthur Rank films?" He correctly chose 'Bombardier' Billy Wells to win the prize.[18]

Celebrities

Several celebrities have appeared as contestants on the programme. Occasionally celebrities appear on special episodes that coincide with holidays, such as Christmas, Mother's Day, Remembrance Day or coinciding with the end of a school term.

Controversies

Incorrect answer to question accepted

In March 1999, contestant Tony Kennedy was asked "Theoretically, what is the minimum number of strokes with which a tennis player can win a set?", with possible answers of 12, 24, 36 and 48. He calculated that a player would need four shots to win a game, with six games in a set, giving an answer of 24. This won him the £64,000 question.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported the next day, with the pun headline 'Fault!', that a player could win a game without playing a shot if their opponent double-faulted on every serve. This would allow a winning set in 12 strokes, assuming the player aced each of his or her own serves. The programme acknowledged the mistake and apologised for it, but Kennedy was allowed to keep his prize money (an eventual £125,000).[19]

One Foot in the Grave

The broadcast of Judith Keppel's victory as the first jackpot winner on the UK version of Millionaire coincided with the transmission of the final episode of the popular BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave.[20] The news of Keppel's win, recorded the preceding Sunday, was leaked to the press; ITV announced Keppel's success at a press conference on the day of broadcast. David Renwick, writer of One Foot was annoyed that this would take "audience interest" away from the sitcom. He said that the early announcement of the outcome of Millionaire was "naked opportunism", and it "would have been more honorable to let the show go out in the normal way". He pointed out that they also "killed off any element off tension or surprise in their own programme", but "television is all about ratings".[20]

It was alleged that Millionaire's production company Celador had rigged the show to spoil the BBC's expected high ratings for the sitcom's finale. Richard Wilson in particular was quoted as saying that ITV had "planned" the win, adding "it seems a bit unfair to take the audience away from Victor's last moments on earth."[21] Richard Webber's account, in his 2006 book, cites "unnamed BBC sources" as those who "questioned the authenticity of Keppel's victory".[20] ITV was upset at the allegation, claiming that it "undermined viewers' faith in the programme." Leslie Hill, the chairman of ITV, wrote to Sir Christopher Bland, the chairman of the BBC Board of Governors, to complain about the issue. The corporation apologised, saying that any suggestion of 'rigging' "did not represent the official view of the BBC."[22] Eleven viewers complained about the quiz show to the Independent Television Commission (ITC), but Millionaire was cleared of any wrongdoing.[23][24][25]

Ambiguous question

On a special Valentine's Day celebrity edition of the show in 2006, which aired three days before the actual Valentine's Day, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen reached the £1,000,000 question, which was "Translated from the Latin, what is the official motto of the United States?" The Bowens chose answer A, "In God, We Trust", but the correct answer given was actually answer B, "One Out of Many," which is the English translation for the Latin E pluribus unum. Because they answered the £1,000,000 question incorrectly, they lost £468,000. However, the question turned out to be ambiguous, as "In God, We Trust" is the legal motto for the United States; the phrase is found on many American monetary coins. But "In God We Trust" was not taken from Latin origin. Because of this, they were invited back to play again, reinstating their previously lost £468,000 to bring them back up to £500,000. The contestants decided not to risk it this time and left with the £500,000.[26]

No other contestant since then has ever lost £468,000. Before that, the most money ever lost was £218,000, which has occurred twice when contestants have answered the 14th question incorrectly, lowering their prize from £250,000 to just £32,000. The two contestants were Duncan Bickley and Rob Mitchell in October 2000 and October 2003 respectively.

Charles Ingram affair

Main article: Charles Ingram

In an episode of the show recorded on 9 and 10 September 2001, Charles Ingram won the £1 million prize. During the recording it was noticed that a suspicious pattern of coughing could be heard. Ingram's unusual behaviour in the hot seat also drew attention. Analysed, it was believed that another contestant, Tecwen Whittock, sitting behind him, was offering him prompts in the form of coughs, indicating the correct answers. On some of the questions, Ingram read aloud all of the four answers, until a significant cough was heard, before choosing his answer. In some cases, he dismissed an answer, read aloud the answer choices again, and then picked the answer which he had earlier dismissed. It also appeared on the tapes that after Ingram repeated a particular incorrect answer several times believing it to be correct, Whittock coughed and then loudly whispered 'No!'

After Ingram won the million, Tecwen Whittock won the next Fastest Finger game and so took to the hotseat. He reached the £4,000 mark, but dropped back to £1,000 after answering a cookery question incorrectly.

The Prosecution suggested that Ingram's wife, Diana (who had won £32,000 on a previous show, as had her brother), had organised the scam. Pager telephone records revealed what appeared to be a practice session for another plan to cheat the system that was not subsequently carried out. The Prosecution claimed that the original plan was for Ingram to hide four pagers on his body that would vibrate when an accomplice called the pager indicating the correct answer. It would seem that during one of Diana's questions that an audible cough could be heard after Tarrant had read out all the questions to her, with the cough landing at the end of the correct answer.

Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court lasting four weeks, Ingram, his wife Diana and Tecwen Whittock were convicted of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" on 7 April 2003. Ingram and his wife were each given suspended 18-month prison sentences and fined £15,000, while Tecwen Whittock received a 12-month suspended sentence and was fined £10,000. Together with legal costs, the Ingrams had to pay £115,000, in addition to not receiving his £1,000,000.

Despite the conviction, the Ingrams and Tecwen Whittock continue to deny that they colluded or acted dishonestly. They appealed against the conviction. An ITV documentary entitled Millionaire: A Major Fraud, presented by Martin Bashir, was broadcast in Britain on 21 April 2003 with a follow-up two weeks later, Millionaire: The Final Answer. The first advert in the first advertisement break in Major Fraud was for cough medicine. Excerpts from the recording were broadcast but with enhanced audio highlighting the coughs emanating, the Prosecution alleged, from Tecwen Whittock. Immediately after Major Fraud the uncut recording, but again with enhanced audio, was broadcast on ITV2. Major Fraud included additional video recorded during the programme of Mrs Ingram sitting in the audience and apparently prompting Major Ingram with her own coughing and making glances in the direction of Tecwen Whittock. Major Fraud also contained interviews with production staff and some contestants present at the recording describing how they felt that something unusual had been happening. Notably, none of the defendants were interviewed. Ingram described Major Fraud and the programme broadcast on ITV2 as "one of the greatest TV editing con tricks in history".

On 24 July 2003, the British Army ordered Charles Ingram to resign his commission as a Major.

James Plaskett has argued in favour of the innocence of Ingram, his wife and Whittock.[27] Plaskett's essay led to journalist Bob Woffinden, who had a long-time interest in miscarriages of justice, publishing a two-page article in 9 October 2004 edition of the British newspaper the Daily Mail entitled 'Is the Coughing Major Innocent?' Jon Ronson, who attended the trial and had written two articles about it in The Guardian, wrote a piece about Plaskett's theory entitled 'Are the Millionaire three innocent?'.[28]

Plaskett may also be heard at Episode 29 of The Pod Delusion podcast[29] being interviewed by political blogger, Mark Thompson, who was himself led by Plaskett's essay to take an interest in the case of The Millionaire Three. In January 2006, Plaskett himself made it into the hot seat and won £250,000. He subsequently sponsored Ingram for £25,000 to run the 2006 Flora London Marathon for the charity SENSE.

Robert Brydges affair

The participation of Robert Brydges raised the ire of Brydges' neighbour, Sarah Elliott, who said "Bob is loaded. When I found out he was going on the show I knew he would win. He’s as sharp as a razor and has no problem under pressure. But gambling on the tricky questions must be a lot easier when you’re already worth millions. I suppose £16,000 must seem like loose change to him.".[14] Elliott's grandmother was less kind, saying "It is so unfair that someone like Robert should be allowed on the show. That family certainly does not need the money. It won't make any difference to them because they're filthy rich and live like millionaires anyway."[15] In addition, the show has been called elitist, with presenter Eamonn Holmes suggested live on GMTV that only millionaires or minor royals had a chance or winning the prize.[30] A spokesperson for Celador responded "Everybody has an equal chance to get on. It is impossible for us to check how much money people already have when they get on the show. We'd love a penniless binman as our next winner, but it never happens."[14]

Phone a Friend Syndicates

In March 2007, various UK newspapers reported that an organised syndicate had been getting quiz enthusiasts onto the show in return for a percentage of their winnings. The rate varied between a quarter and a half depending on the stage reached by the contestant. For this, the contestant received help in getting onto the show. In many cases, the initial calls were made on their behalf. In other cases the contestants made the calls and had the costs refunded but received help with the call back tie-breakers via Skype. In most cases, when the contestants were in the hot seat, they again received help with the phone a friend question which involved the syndicate using Google to find the answers.

The person behind the syndicate was Keith Burgess from Northern Ireland. Burgess admitted to helping around 200 contestants to appear on the show since 1999, for which he estimates to have made around half a million pounds. The show producers are believed to have been aware of this operation. Burgess stated, "The show knows about me and these types of syndicates but they cover it up to keep the show going." This syndicate resulted in the removal of the Phone-a-Friend lifeline in the United States in 2009.[31] [32]

An earlier version of a Phone a Friend syndicate was reported in the Northampton Chronicle and Echo during 2003.[33]

Paul Smith, the Managing Director of Celador Productions stated, "We are aware of Paddy Spooner, and what people similar to him are doing, and we have made a priority of changing our question procedure. We are confident we have now made it impossible for anyone to manipulate the system."[33]

Transmissions

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 4 September 1998 25 December 1998 11
2 1 January 1999 13 January 1999 13
3 5 March 1999 16 March 1999 12
4 3 September 1999 14 September 1999 13
5 5 November 1999 26 December 1999 18
6 16 January 2000 22 January 2000 7
7 26 March 2000 1 May 2000 13
8 7 September 2000 6 January 2001 54
9 8 January 2001 26 April 2001 45
10 4 September 2001 29 December 2001 43
11 5 January 2002 9 April 2002 55
12 31 August 2002 28 December 2002 19
13 4 January 2003 31 May 2003 22
14 30 August 2003 27 December 2003 21
15 3 January 2004 5 June 2004 23
16 18 September 2004 25 December 2004 16
17 1 January 2005 11 June 2005 24
18 17 September 2005 31 December 2005 11
19 7 January 2006 8 July 2006 27
20 9 September 2006 6 January 2007 13
21 10 March 2007 28 July 2007 17
22 18 August 2007 30 October 2007 11
23 1 January 2008 3 June 2008 19
24 16 August 2008 31 January 2009 18
25 13 June 2009 20 December 2009 20
26 13 April 2010 8 June 2010 8
27 3 August 2010 23 December 2010 11
28 2 April 2011 19 December 2011 6
29 3 January 2012 20 December 2012 11
30 1 January 2013 Late 2013 TBC

List of episodes and ratings

Episode Viewing figures from BARB.[34]

Series 1 (1998)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 4 September 1998 9,470,000 11 Graham Elwell (the first ever contestant) becomes first ever £64,000 winner.
First time the "50:50" and "Phone-a-Friend" lifelines are used.
2 5 September 1998 7,760,000 20 First time the "Ask the Audience" lifeline is used
Arlene Harper becomes the first contestant to get a question wrong on the show
3 6 September 1998 12,370,000 5 Ross Jackson wins £64,000
4 7 September 1998 8,970,000 20
5 8 September 1998 9,920,000 15
6 9 September 1998 11,780,000 8 John McKeown wins £64,000
7 10 September 1998 10,700,000 11
8 11 September 1998 12,300,000 7 Matthew Asbury wins £64,000 (His wife went into labour during recording)
9 12 September 1998 10,550,000 13 Eva Whittam wins £64,000
10 13 September 1998 12,470,000 6
11 25 December 1998 8,960,000 14 Christmas Special
Dave Reagan wins £64,000
Cheryl Turner becomes the first contestant to take £500

Series 2 (1999)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 1 January 1999 11,870,000 10
2 2 January 1999 12,330,000 7
3 3 January 1999 17,570,000 2 Paul Beverly becomes the first contestant to lose £32,000 and go home with £32,000.
First time that the majority answer provided in the "Ask The Audience" lifeline is not the correct answer.
4 4 January 1999 11,210,000 19
5 5 January 1999 10,200,000 22 David Hogg wins £64,000
6 6 January 1999 13,920,000 9 Neil Muir wins £64,000
7 7 January 1999 13,710,000 10 Fiona Wheeler enters the hotseat
8 8 January 1999 15,410,000 7 Fiona Wheeler continued and won £32,000
9 9 January 1999 13,960,000 8 Martin Skillings and Ian Horsewell become first ever £125,000 winners on the same edition
10 10 January 1999 18,090,000 3 John Davidson becomes first ever £0 winner
11 11 January 1999 13,840,000 8
12 12 January 1999 12,780,000 11
13 13 January 1999 16,010,000 6

Series 3 (1999)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 5 March 1999 13,360,000 7 David Snaith wins £0
2 6 March 1999 13,030,000 8 Paul McLoughlin wins £64,000
3 7 March 1999 19,210,000 2 Highest rated edition
4 8 March 1999 13,010,000 13 Tony Kennedy wins £125,000
5 9 March 1999 13,570,000 10
6 10 March 1999 14,570,000 8
7 11 March 1999 16,050,000 5
8 12 March 1999 14,520,000 9
9 13 March 1999 13,500,000 11
10 14 March 1999 17,570,000 3
11 15 March 1999 13,260,000 7
12 16 March 1999 16,240,000 5 Last episode to be broadcast in 4:3 format

Series 4 (1999)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 3 September 1999 11,150,000 7 First episode to be broadcast in 16:9 format
The Money screen on the front of the computers was removed
2 4 September 1999 8,740,000 12 Jonathan Green becomes first ever £250,000 winner and is also the first person to have Ask The Audience on the £500,000 question
3 5 September 1999 13,740,000 3 Tony Stanton wins £125,000
4 6 September 1999 11,970,000 10 Neil Reid wins £64,000
5 7 September 1999 13,640,000 5
6 8 September 1999 12,590,000 9
7 9 September 1999 13,400,000 7
8 10 September 1999 8,410,000 19 Peter Arnold wins £64,000
9 11 September 1999 (18:45) 10,590,000 13
10 11 September 1999 (20:15) 13,320,000 8 Perry Poole loses £32,000
11 12 September 1999 14,770,000 2
12 13 September 1999 12,820,000 4 Neil Hathaway and Simon Murray win £64,000 on the same edition
13 14 September 1999 12,270,000 6 Last show to use the old Fastest Finger First Computers

Series 5 (1999)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 5 November 1999 (Repeated on 4 March 2000) 12,400,000 9 50th show.
First show with new Aqua Fastest Finger First Computers
2 6 November 1999 (Repeated on 11 March 2000) 11,760,000 10 Dave Ferguson wins £64,000
3 7 November 1999 (Repeated on 18 March 2000) 15,770,000 3 Ben Bartle wins £125,000 without using Ask The Audience
As the klaxon sounded, Gerry Lennon was on £4,000
4 8 November 1999 (Repeated on 25 March 2000) 13,250,000 9 Gerry Lennon wins £125,000 without going with 93% of the audience. 93% is the highest percentage for an answer on a £250,000 question.
5 9 November 1999 (Repeated on 8 April 2000) 10,560,000 22 Liz Whitlock reaches £16,000 without using any lifelines, and she eventually wins £32,000.
6 10 November 1999 (Repeated on 15 April 2000) 15,940,000 5 Pete Walsh wins £32,000 without using Phone a Friend
7 11 November 1999 (Repeated on 22 April 2000) 14,480,000 7 Barbara McGee, Bernard Marco and Peter Burnes win £64,000 on the same edition. Bernard Marco was the show's oldest ever contestant aged 75.
8 12 November 1999 (Repeated on 29 April 2000) 13,450,000 8 David Shill wins £64,000. As the klaxon sounded, Zulma Dudgeon was on £300.
9 13 November 1999 (Repeated on 6 May 2000) 12,760,000 13 James Plaskett's first appearance on the show as a Fastest Finger contestant.
Zulma Dudgeon, and Mark Rogers both win £4,000 on the same edition.
Lee Cartwright wins £16,000.
As the klaxon sounded, Lance Jones was on £32,000.
10 14 November 1999 (Repeated on 13 May 2000) 14,860,000 6 Lance Jones, Malcolm Cawley and Sarah Vallotton win £64,000 consecutively on the same edition.
As the klaxon sounded, Kate Brookes was on £300.
11 15 November 1999 (Repeated on 27 May 2000) 12,330,000 10 Kate Brookes wins £16,000. As the klaxon sounded, Ted Cadman was on £16,000.
12 16 November 1999 (Repeated on 17 June 2000) 11,500,000 12 Ted Cadman walks away with the £16,000 he won the previous day having not known the answer to the £32,000 question although his initial instinct was correct.
13 17 November 1999 (19:00) (Repeated on 24 June 2000) 14,070,000 6 Jon Underwood wins £32,000 without using 50:50
14 17 November 1999 (22:30) (Repeated on 24 June 2000) 13,350,000 8 Charlie Pryde wins £16,000.
Robert Hipkiss wins £64,000.
15 24 December 1999 10,400,000 17 Christmas Special (Part 1)
16 25 December 1999 (18:00) 8,110,000 24 Christmas Special (Part 2)
Sylvia Nixon wins £125,000
17 25 December 1999 (20:30) 12,430,000 7 Christmas Special (Part 3)
Mark Bowerman wins £64,000
18 25 December 1999 (22:30) 11,220,000 13 Christmas Special (Part 4)
Jim Barwick wins £125,000

Series 6 (2000)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 16 January 2000 (Repeated on 19 August 2001) 11,450,000 9 Tony Birkby wins £64,000
Mike Sackett enters the hotseat
2 17 January 2000 (Repeated on 20 August 2001) 11,640,000 13 Mike Sackett continues winning £64,000
David Neale wins £250,000
3 18 January 2000 (Repeated on 21 August 2001) 10,370,000 14 Peter Lee becomes first ever £500,000 winner
4 19 January 2000 (Repeated on 22 August 2001) 15,880,000 4 Margaret Whittaker becomes the first female contestant to win £250,000
5 20 January 2000 (Repeated on 23 August 2001) 12,850,000 10 Denise Fowler wins £32,000
6 21 January 2000 (Repeated on 24 August 2001) 14,250,000 7 Jane Wicks wins £64,000
7 22 January 2000 (Repeated on 25 August 2001) 13,230,000 8 Alli Hamilton wins £64,000
Chris Hatton wins £8,000
Last show to use Windows 98 Graphics.

Series 7 (2000)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 26 March 2000 15,210,000 2 Tina Nicol wins £16,000
First show to use Windows 2000 Graphics
2 27 March 2000 12,090,000 13 Leslie Palmer wins £125,000
Judy White wins £32,000
Sue Davies wins £16,000
3 28 March 2000 12,980,000 6 Brian Jones wins £125,000
4 29 March 2000 13,200,000 4 Richard Kendall sticks on £32,000 without using Ask The Audience
5 30 March 2000 12,050,000 14 Dennis Evans loses £3,000 and drops back to £1,000 after getting the £8,000 question wrong.
Paddy Spooner wins £250,000.
6 31 March 2000 12,410,000 8 David Philips & Richard Westlake win £32,000 consecutively on the same edition.
All 10 FFF contestants didn't get the Jack & Jill sequence in the right order.
7 1 April 2000 12,330,000 10 Keith Morgan wins £125,000
8 2 April 2000 12,520,000 7 Alistair McNaughton reaches £125,000 and has no lifelines left as the klaxon sounds.
9 3 April 2000 13,590,000 5 Alistair McNaughton walks away with the £125,000 he won the previous day.
10 4 April 2000 12,970,000 7 Nick Osborne loses £15,000 and drops back to £1,000.
11 5 April 2000 13,240,000 6 Jim Titmuss becomes the first contestant to lose £93,000.
12 6 April 2000 12,330,000 8 James Markwick wins £32,000.
13 1 May 2000 13,900,000 2 Celebrity Special
Carol Vorderman wins £125,000
Kirsty Young wins £64,000

Series 8 (2000–2001)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 7 September 2000 11,010,000 6
2 8 September 2000 9,750,000 11
3 9 September 2000 10,220,000 7 Mark Townsend wins £250,000
4 10 September 2000 13,160,000 5
5 11 September 2000 10,020,000 7
6 14 September 2000 9,940,000 9
7 17 September 2000 13,090,000 4
8 18 September 2000 12,230,000 5
9 21 September 2000 10,700,000 7
10 24 September 2000 12,550,000 4
11 25 September 2000 12,060,000 5
12 28 September 2000 12,510,000 4 Graham Hickin wins £250,000
13 1 October 2000 12,550,000 3 100th show
14 2 October 2000 11,290,000 6
15 5 October 2000 10,160,000 10
16 8 October 2000 15,410,000 2
17 9 October 2000 12,500,000 8
18 12 October 2000 12,410,000 9
19 15 October 2000 13,690,000 7
20 16 October 2000 10,610,000 8
21 19 October 2000 11,640,000 6
22 21 October 2000 10,060,000 14 Duncan Bickley becomes the first contestant to lose £218,000
23 23 October 2000 11,290,000 7
24 26 October 2000 12,550,000 5
25 28 October 2000 11,040,000 8
26 30 October 2000 13,130,000 6
27 2 November 2000 9,730,000 13 Kate Heusser wins £500,000
28 4 November 2000 10,540,000 10
29 6 November 2000 12,410,000 5
30 9 November 2000 11,460,000 9
31 11 November 2000 11,680,000 8 Andy Martin wins £250,000
32 13 November 2000 11,290,000 8
33 16 November 2000 11,170,000 9
34 18 November 2000 10,660,000 13
35 20 November 2000 14,870,000 2 Judith Keppel becomes the first person ever in the UK to win £1,000,000.
36 23 November 2000 11,780,000 7 All 10 FFF contestants didn't get the traffic lights sequence in the right order
37 25 November 2000 11,460,000 10
38 27 November 2000 11,440,000 13 John Randall wins £500,000 and is the first person to have a lifeline on £1,000,000 question
39 29 November 2000 12,620,000 9
40 30 November 2000 11,970,000 12
41 2 December 2000 12,530,000 10
42 4 December 2000 10,510,000 12
43 7 December 2000 11,250,000 7
44 9 December 2000 10,310,000 13
45 11 December 2000 10,650,000 8
46 14 December 2000 10,580,000 9
47 18 December 2000 10,670,000 8
48 21 December 2000 11,060,000 6 Roger Waldron wins £250,000
49 23 December 2000 9,060,000 15 John Brandon loses £93,000 and drops all the way back to £32,000.
50 25 December 2000  ?  ?
51 25 December 2000 9,948,000 9 Couples Special (Part 1)
52 1 January 2001 12,650,000 6 Couples Special (Part 2)
53 2 January 2001 10,640,000 12 Couples Special (Part 3)
54 4 January 2001 12,130,000 8 Couples Special (Part 4)
55 6 January 2001 10,080,000 14 Couples Special (Part 5)

Series 9 (2001)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 8 January 2001 11,790,000 8 Richard Godefroy wins £64,000
2 11 January 2001 11,380,000 10 Jonathan Hughes wins £125,000
3 13 January 2001 10,030,000 14
4 15 January 2001 12,330,000 7
5 18 January 2001 12,010,000 8 Jill Howard loses £3,000 without touching 2 lifelines
As the klaxon sounded, Steve Devlin was on £500,000. (First of two)
6 20 January 2001 11,700,000 9 Steve Devlin wins £500,000
7 22 January 2001 12,120,000 6 Chris Lea loses £32,000 after getting the £125,000 question wrong.
8 25 January 2001 11,200,000 11
9 27 January 2001 10,670,000 13 150th show

Keith Wilcock wins £250,000

10 29 January 2001 11,680,000 7 Arrol Toplin wins £125,000
11 1 February 2001 9,910,000 17 Brian Adams wins £32,000 without using 50:50
12 3 February 2001 11,110,000 12
13 5 February 2001 11,580,000 6 Dave Pink loses £3,000 without using Phone a Friend
14 8 February 2001 10,280,000 13 Shiela McHale loses £93,000
15 10 February 2001 10,930,000 10 Malcolm Knight wins £32,000
Charles Walton and Sue Coles win £64,000 on the same edition. (Stuart Crawford in FF seat No. 1)
16 12 February 2001 9,340,000 14 Howard Brooks wins £32,000
17 15 February 2001 10,360,000 12
18 17 February 2001 10,470,000 10 Simon Wardill wins £64,000

Michelle Simmonds wins £0

19 19 February 2001 10,700,000 9 John Sexton wins £250,000
20 22 February 2001 10,730,000 7 Jim Whitaker wins £64,000

Tony Emans wins £250,000

21 24 February 2001 9,710,000 13 Stewart Duncan wins £32,000 without using Phone a Friend
22 26 February 2001 10,690,000 9 Alan Scrutton wins £64,000
23 1 March 2001 8,970,000 15 First time the audience poll was split half with 51% saying one answer and 49% for another with the 50:50 used up. (This was one of the times when the poll is split near 50% with a 50:50 being used)
24 3 March 2001 9,470,000 13
25 5 March 2001 10,750,000 7
26 8 March 2001 10,520,000 10
27 10 March 2001 8,870,000 14
28 12 March 2001 9,800,000 11 Mike Pomfrey wins £500,000
29 15 March 2001 9,960,000 9 Couples Special (Part 1)
Peter and Valene Tungate win £0
30 17 March 2001 9,510,000 13 Couples Special (Part 2)
31 19 March 2001 9,680,000 15 Couples Special (Part 3)
32 22 March 2001 10,250,000 13 Couples Special (Part 4)
33 24 March 2001 9,070,000 18 Couples Special (Part 5)
John and Doreen Lawrence wins £250,000
34 26 March 2001 9,750,000 11 Couples Special (Part 6)
35 29 March 2001 10,220,000 8
36 31 March 2001 8,640,000 15 Nathan Birtle wins £250,000
37 2 April 2001 9,680,000 11
38 5 April 2001 8,560,000 15 Steve Butler wins £64,000
39 7 April 2001 8,970,000 13
40 9 April 2001 10,470,000 6 Diana Ingram wins £32,000
41 12 April 2001 9,110,000 11 Martin Jenkins wins £250,000
42 14 April 2001 8,980,000 13
43 19 April 2001 9,850,000 8 Steve Keen loses £3,000 after getting the £8,000 question wrong and dropping back to £1,000 having 2 lifelines unused.
Chris Hamer gets the £125,000 question wrong and loses £32,000 also with 2 lifelines remaining having reached £64,000 without using any lifeline.
Dee Richards gets the £8,000 question wrong and loses £3,000 and like the previous 2 contestants had 2 lifelines remaining.
44 21 April 2001 11,200,000 4 Michael McGinty wins £8,000
David Edwards becomes the second person in the UK to win £1,000,000.
45 26 April 2001 9,530,000 10 Maureen Warrilow wins £64,000.
Last show to use the first opening titles sequence and last episode of first studio set

Series 10 (2001)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 4 September 2001 10,850,000 7 First show to use the second opening titles sequence, new studio and style of contestants' computers
Coronation Street special
2 8 September 2001 8,850,000 13
3 11 September 2001 8,100,000 12
4 15 September 2001 7,410,000 14
5 18 September 2001 9,020,000 12 Charles Ingram's £1,000,000 win was removed from the show.
6 22 September 2001 8,470,000 13 Celebrity Special
7 25 September 2001 8,800,000 10
8 29 September 2001 7,790,000 12 Robert Brydges becomes the third person in the UK to win £1,000,000.
9 2 October 2001 9,210,000 10 Parent and Child Special (Part 1)
10 4 October 2001 9,170,000 11 Parent and Child Special (Part 2)
11 6 October 2001 7,870,000 14 Parent and Child Special (Part 3)
Derek and Delia Banks wins £250,000.
12 9 October 2001 7,700,000 13 Parent and Child Special (Part 4)
13 11 October 2001 8,980,000 11 Parent and Child Special (Part 5)
200th show.
14 13 October 2001 8,050,000 12 Parent and Child Special (Part 6)
15 16 October 2001 7,730,000 15 Peter Spyrides wins £500,000 without using 50:50.
16 20 October 2001 8,120,000 14
17 27 October 2001 7,900,000 16
18 30 October 2001 8,010,000 13
19 1 November 2001 8,320,000 12
20 3 November 2001 7,610,000 15
21 6 November 2001 8,220,000 15 Women Only Special (Part 1)
22 7 November 2001 10,280,000 10 Women Only Special (Part 2)
23 10 November 2001 9,130,000 13 Women Only Special (Part 3)
24 13 November 2001 8,180,000 15 Women Only Special (Part 4)
Diane Hallagan wins £250,000
25 14 November 2001 10,760,000 9 Women Only Special (Part 5)
26 17 November 2001 8,030,000 16 Women Only Special (Part 6)
Kate Mathieson wins £250,000
27 20 November 2001 9,690,000 12
28 24 November 2001 9,330,000 14 Karl Shuker wins £250,000
29 27 November 2001 8,520,000 14 Briony Poole wins £250,000
30 1 December 2001 8,030,000 15
31 3 December 2001 8,240,000 13 First Show to use carry over FFF rollover contestants
32 4 December 2001 7,610,000 15
33 8 December 2001 8,580,000 12
34 10 December 2001 9,210,000 14 Couples Special (Part 1)
35 11 December 2001 8,020,000 17 Couples Special (Part 2)
36 12 December 2001 9,100,000 15 Couples Special (Part 3)
37 16 December 2001 10,920,000 7 Couples Special (Part 4)
38 17 December 2001 7,600,000 14 Couples Special (Part 5)
39 18 December 2001 7,760,000 12 Couples Special (Part 6)
40 22 December 2001 7,640,000 13 Doug Kelly wins £250,000
41 25 December 2001 10,230,000 9 Christmas Special (Part 1)
First show to remove Fastest Finger First for Celebrity specials
42 26 December 2001 10,340,000 8 Christmas Special (Part 2)
David Baddiel and Frank Skinner win £250,000 for their chosen charities (£125,000 each)
43 29 December 2001 8,020,000 14

Series 11 (2002)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 5 January 2002 7,110,000 18
2 6 January 2002 9,000,000 11
3 7 January 2002 7,740,000 12
4 8 January 2002 6,980,000 16
5 12 January 2002 6,990,000 15
6 13 January 2002 8,920,000 10
7 14 January 2002 7,410,000 15
8 15 January 2002 6,620,000 19
9 19 January 2002 6,900,000 17
10 20 January 2002 9,920,000 8
11 21 January 2002 7,990,000 14
12 22 January 2002 6,740,000 22
13 26 January 2002 7,510,000 18
14 28 January 2002 8,120,000 17
15 29 January 2002 6,430,000 22
16 2 February 2002 6,990,000 20
17 3 February 2002 11,610,000 5
18 4 February 2002 8,500,000 15
19 5 February 2002 6,110,000 20
20 9 February 2002 7,790,000 19
21 10 February 2002 11,340,000 7 250th show
22 11 February 2002 8,960,000 12
23 12 February 2002 6,910,000 17 Paul Cleary loses £32,000 without touching a lifeline
24 16 February 2002 6,160,000 20 Patrick Calthorop wins £250,000
25 17 February 2002 9,240,000 11
26 18 February 2002 8,100,000 13
27 19 February 2002 8,050,000 14
28 23 February 2002 6,930,000 19
29 24 February 2002 10,750,000 5
30 25 February 2002 7,430,000 15
31 26 February 2002 8,170,000 12 Roger Walker wins £500,000
32 2 March 2002 7,510,000 14 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
33 3 March 2002 11,200,000 4 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
34 4 March 2002 9,280,000 10 Celebrity Special (Part 3)
35 5 March 2002 7,960,000 15 Celebrity Special (Part 4)
36 9 March 2002 6,230,000 18 Celebrity Crossover
37 10 March 2002 8,540,000 14
38 11 March 2002 7,280,000 16
39 12 March 2002 7,410,000 13
40 16 March 2002 6,380,000 19
41 17 March 2002 9,000,000 11 Kim Totman wins £250,000
42 18 March 2002 6,560,000 16
43 19 March 2002 7,580,000 11 Den Hewitt wins £250,000
44 23 March 2002 6,560,000 15 Twins Special (Part 1)
45 24 March 2002 9,200,000 8 Twins Special (Part 2)
46 25 March 2002 7,660,000 12 Twins Special (Part 3)
47 26 March 2002 6,850,000 14 Twins Special (Part 4)
First tie-breaker in Fastest Finger First
Ray & David Prior win £250,000
48 2 April 2002 8,080,000 12 Newlyweds Special (Part 1)
49 3 April 2002 7,220,000 14 Newlyweds Special (Part 2)
50 4 April 2002 5,030,000 23 Newlyweds Special (Part 3)
51 5 April 2002 4,930,000 24 Newlyweds Special (Part 4)
52 6 April 2002 6,250,000 18 Newlyweds Special (Part 5)
53 7 April 2002 4,850,000 25 Newlyweds Special (Part 6)
54 8 April 2002 7,880,000 12 Newlyweds Special (Part 7)
55 9 April 2002 8,360,000 11 Newlyweds Special (Part 8)

Series 12 (2002)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 31 August 2002 7,950,000 10 First show with new Fastest Finger First computers and graphics
The audience get to vote on every question from this series onwards
2 7 September 2002 7,690,000 17 Pete Vernon wins £250,000 without using Phone-A-Friend
3 14 September 2002 6,970,000 15
4 21 September 2002 6,370,000 17 Celebrity Special
5 28 September 2002 6,810,000 15
6 5 October 2002 6,800,000 15
7 19 October 2002 6,850,000 18
8 26 October 2002 7,520,000 14
9 2 November 2002 6,860,000 18
10 9 November 2002 7,150,000 17
11 16 November 2002 8,170,000 13 Dougie Wilson, brother of actor David Rintoul, wins £250,000
12 23 November 2002 7,410,000 12
13 30 November 2002 7,450,000 13 300th Show (LIVE)
Martin Baudrey wins £0
14 7 December 2002 6,900,000 17
15 14 December 2002 6,120,000 19
16 21 December 2002 6,530,000 18
17 24 December 2002 7,760,000 13 Christmas Special (Part 1)
18 25 December 2002 5,330,000 25 Christmas Special (Part 2)
19 28 December 2002 7,160,000 14 Emma North wins £0

Series 13 (2003)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 4 January 2003 7,850,000 12
2 11 January 2003 7,650,000 16
3 18 January 2003 7,940,000 16 Hugh Swainston wins £250,000
4 25 January 2003 7,320,000 18
5 1 February 2003 7,740,000 16
6 8 February 2003 7,530,000 18
7 15 February 2003 7,590,000 15 Valentine's Day Special
8 22 February 2003 7,270,000 17
9 1 March 2003 7,850,000 17
10 8 March 2003 6,780,000 19
11 15 March 2003 7,270,000 16
12 22 March 2003 7,130,000 18
13 29 March 2003 6,940,000 19 Mother's Day Special
Isabel and James Morgan wins £250,000
14 5 April 2003 6,600,000 19
15 12 April 2003 7,020,000 19 Bob Ginger and Andrew Whitley win £250,000 on the same edition
16 19 April 2003 7,220,000 16 Easter Special
17 26 April 2003 6,660,000 17 Stephen Fitzsimons wins £250,000<
18 3 May 2003 7,410,000 23
19 10 May 2003 6,890,000 21
20 17 May 2003 6,480,000 18
21 24 May 2003 6,460,000 16
22 31 May 2003 5,750,000 16

Series 14 (2003)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 30 August 2003 6,590,000 18
2 6 September 2003 5,330,000 25 5th Birthday Special (The Millionaires Return) (Part 1)
3 9 September 2003 5,590,000 22 5th Birthday Special (The Millionaires Return) (Part 2)
4 13 September 2003 5,770,000 21
5 20 September 2003 5,750,000 22
6 27 September 2003 6,310,000 18 Fiona Bangert wins £250,000
7 4 October 2003 5,530,000 18
8 11 October 2003 6,090,000 22 Professors and Freshers Special (Part 1)
9 14 October 2003 5,420,000 24 Professors and Freshers Special (Part 2)
10 18 October 2003 6,290,000 21
11 25 October 2003 6,330,000 20
12 1 November 2003 7,580,000 18 Rob Mitchell becomes the second contestant in the UK to lose £218,000 after Duncan Bickley in October 2000.
13 8 November 2003 6,980,000 18 Couples Special (Part 1)
14 11 November 2003 5,840,000 22 Couples Special (Part 2)
15 22 November 2003 7,420,000 20
16 29 November 2003 8,210,000 15
17 6 December 2003 6,990,000 19
18 13 December 2003 7,160,000 18
19 25 December 2003 (17:15) 5,470,000 26 Christmas Special (Part 1)
20 25 December 2003 (22:35) 6,360,000 18 Christmas Special (Part 2)
21 27 December 2003 8,540,000 8 Christmas Special (Part 3)

Series 15 (2004)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 3 January 2004 6,580,000 22
2 10 January 2004 6,550,000 20
3 17 January 2004 7,060,000 20
4 24 January 2004 6,680,000 20
5 31 January 2004 7,190,000 24 Mark Kerr wins £250,000
6 7 February 2004 6,550,000 23
7 14 February 2004 7,200,000 17 Valentine's Day Special
8 21 February 2004 5,870,000 20
9 28 February 2004 6,500,000 19
10 6 March 2004 6,450,000 20
11 13 March 2004 7,360,000 17 Paul Taylor wins £250,000
12 20 March 2004 7,140,000 17 Mother's Day Special
13 27 March 2004 6,180,000 19
14 3 April 2004 6,390,000 18 Bill Copland wins £0
15 10 April 2004 6,990,000 19 Easter Special (Part 1)
16 17 April 2004 7,500,000 16 Easter Special (Part 2)
17 24 April 2004 6,620,000 17 Pat Gibson wins £1,000,000
18 1 May 2004 5,410,000 21
19 8 May 2004 5,770,000 17 Bill Honeywell wins £250,000
20 15 May 2004 6,100,000 17 Olympic Special (Part 1)
21 22 May 2004 5,090,000 21 Olympic Special (Part 2)
22 29 May 2004 4,210,000 25
23 5 June 2004 4,490,000 24 Chris Pattinson wins £250,000
Last show to use the second opening titles sequence

Series 16 (2004)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 18 September 2004 (18:00) 4,950,000 21 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
First show to use the third opening titles sequence.
The staircases change colour for the first time
Light pink - First 5 questions
Blue - Second 5 questions
2 18 September 2004 (20:10) 6,110,000 17 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
3 25 September 2004 5,800,000 19 Cops and Robbers Special (Part 1)
Staircases change colour to red during Fastest Finger First for the first time
4 2 October 2004 6,620,000 19 Cops and Robbers Special (Part 2)
5 9 October 2004 5,830,000 25
6 16 October 2004 6,160,000 21
7 23 October 2004 7,090,000 18
8 30 October 2004 6,180,000 23
9 6 November 2004 5,770,000 23
10 13 November 2004 6,440,000 20
11 20 November 2004 6,810,000 20 Steve Kidd wins £250,000
12 27 November 2004 7,220,000 26
13 11 December 2004 5,810,000 21
14 18 December 2004 7,750,000 15 Christmas Special (Part 1)
15 24 December 2004 7,230,000 15 Christmas Special (Part 2)
16 25 December 2004 6,470,000 18 Christmas Special (Part 3)

Series 17 (2005)

The first five episodes of Series 17 were recorded in December 2004.

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 1 January 2005 5,120,000 26
2 8 January 2005 5,780,000 19
3 15 January 2005 6,090,000 19
4 22 January 2005 6,150,000 17 Simon Curtis wins £250,000
5 29 January 2005 6,430,000 17 Dave Scholefield wins £0
6 5 February 2005 5,750,000 21 Barry Simmons wins £64,000
7 12 February 2005 8,070,000 12 Valentine's Day Special (Part 1)
8 19 February 2005 6,620,000 17 Valentine's Day Special (Part 2)
9 26 February 2005 6,380,000 20 Ken Owen loses £93,000
10 5 March 2005 6,560,000 20 Mothers Day Special
11 12 March 2005 6,500,000 16
12 19 March 2005 6,100,000 19 400th show
13 26 March 2005 6,910,000 16 Easter Special (Part 1)
14 2 April 2005 6,640,000 15 Easter Special (Part 2)
15 9 April 2005 6,600,000 19 David Rainford wins £250,000
16 16 April 2005 5,890,000 20
17 23 April 2005 5,080,000 20
18 30 April 2005 4,190,000 22 Gordon Barrass wins £250,000
19 7 May 2005 5,170,000 19
20 14 May 2005 4,460,000 20
21 21 May 2005 5,260,000 20
22 28 May 2005 4,130,000 24
23 4 June 2005 4,800,000 18
24 11 June 2005 4,360,000 22

Series 18 (2005)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 17 September 2005 6,060,000 17 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
2 24 September 2005 6,730,000 17 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
Gloria Hunniford & Frederick Forsyth win £250,000 for their charities (£125,000 each)
3 5 November 2005 5,850,000 21
4 12 November 2005 6,660,000 20
5 19 November 2005 6,530,000 20
6 26 November 2005 6,810,000 27
7 10 December 2005 6,749,000 15 Elizabeth Northey wins £250,000
8 17 December 2005 7,020,000 16
9 24 December 2005 6,090,000 18 Christmas Special (Part 1)
10 25 December 2005 6,550,000 14 Christmas Special (Part 2)
11 31 December 2005 5,910,000 17 Christmas Special (Part 3)

Series 19 (2006)

The first four episodes of Series 19 were recorded in December 2005.

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 7 January 2006 6,110,000 22
2 14 January 2006 6,850,000 17
3 21 January 2006 6,960,000 16 James Plaskett wins £250,000
4 28 January 2006 6,310,000 18
5 4 February 2006 7,010,000 16
6 11 February 2006 7,740,000 15 Valentine's Day Special
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with his wife Jackie raised £500,000 for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice
7 18 February 2006 6,240,000 17
8 25 February 2006 6,450,000 19
9 4 March 2006 7,300,000 16 Jerry Walder loses £93,000
10 11 March 2006 5,580,000 19
11 18 March 2006 5,730,000 17 Charles Dickson wins £250,000
12 25 March 2006 6,180,000 16
13 1 April 2006 4,650,000 23
14 8 April 2006 5,420,000 17
15 15 April 2006 4,800,000 20 Easter Special (Part 1)
16 22 April 2006 5,380,000 18 Easter Special (Part 2)
Russell Grant with Sheila Ferguson are the second of two celebrity pairs to lose £93,000
17 29 April 2006 4,270,000 22
18 6 May 2006 4,460,000 19
19 13 May 2006 4,080,000 19
20 20 May 2006 3,300,000 28 Prince's Trust Special
21 27 May 2006 Under 3,230,000 Outside Top 30
22 3 June 2006 3,930,000 22
23 10 June 2006 4,090,000 20
24 17 June 2006 Under 3,500,000 Outside Top 30
25 24 June 2006 3,620,000 21
26 1 July 2006 Under 3,020,000 Outside Top 30
27 8 July 2006 3,900,000 13 Celebrity Special

Series 20 (2006–2007)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 9 September 2006 4,240,000 21 The text game was then moved to in-between breaks
2 16 September 2006 Under 3,640,000 Outside Top 30 As the klaxon sounded, Ingram Wilcox was on £500,000 (Second of two)
3 23 September 2006 6,360,000 15 Ingram Wilcox wins £1,000,000
4 28 October 2006 6,140,000 17
5 4 November 2006 6,540,000 17
6 11 November 2006 4,000,000 30
7 18 November 2006 4,260,000 28
8 25 November 2006 4,300,000 28
9 2 December 2006 Under 4,040,000 Outside Top 30
10 23 December 2006 4,840,000 18 Christmas Special (Part 1)
11 26 December 2006 4,640,000 21 Christmas Special (Part 2)
12 30 December 2006 4,630,000 22 Christmas Special (Part 3)
13 6 January 2007 5,270,000 19

Series 21 (2007)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 10 March 2007 5,640,000 20
2 24 March 2007 5,470,000 19
3 31 March 2007 3,970,000 23
4 7 April 2007 4,240,000 18
5 14 April 2007 4,610,000 19
6 21 April 2007 4,300,000 21
7 28 April 2007 3,730,000 23
8 5 May 2007 3,550,000 23
9 12 May 2007 Under 3,340,000 Outside Top 30
10 19 May 2007 3,960,000 25
11 26 May 2007 3,670,000 22 John Gallantry wins £250,000
12 2 June 2007 4,200,000 19
13 23 June 2007 3,740,000 17
14 30 June 2007 4,020,000 21
15 14 July 2007 3,980,000 19
16 21 July 2007 4,060,000 20 David Edgeworth wins £64,000 (Final contestant to face the 15 question format)
17 28 July 2007 4,030,000 20 Celebrity Special
Last Show to use the original 15 question format, the third opening opening titles sequence and music cues

Series 22 (2007)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 18 August 2007 6,230,000 14 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
First Show to use the new 12 question format, the fourth opening titles sequence, music cues and graphics
2 25 August 2007 5,790,000 12 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
Bill Kenwright and Jenny Seagrove are the first celebrity pair to lose £19,000 in the 12 Question format.
3 1 September 2007 5,860,000 15 Celebrity Special (Part 3)
Eamonn Holmes and Kay Burley are the first celebrity pair to win £150,000
4 4 September 2007 3,740,000 20 Celebrity Special (Part 4)
5 11 September 2007 4,080,000 19 Celebrity Special (Part 5)
Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams win £150,000
6 15 September 2007 5,270,000 14 Celebrity Special (Part 6)
7 22 September 2007 5,570,000 16 Celebrity Special (Part 7)
Ben Ofoedu and Vanessa Feltz win £150,000
8 25 September 2007 3,730,000 25 Nurses Special
9 9 October 2007 4,420,000 20 Newlyweds Special
10 16 October 2007 4,580,000 22
11 30 October 2007 3,960,000 24 Rachel Adkins becomes the first non celebrity contestant to win £150,000

Series 23 (2008)

Somewhere in this series, Jonathan Pash did FFF in 0.97 seconds (The fastest speed in FFF in less than a second)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 1 January 2008 5,400,000 17 Reality TV Special
2 5 January 2008 5,600,000 15 Dancing On Ice Special
3 8 January 2008 4,610,000 26 Family Special
4 12 January 2008 5,650,000 20 Celebrity Special
Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness lose £19,000
5 15 January 2008 4,420,000 28
6 22 January 2008 3,950,000 29
7 29 January 2008 4,180,000 28
8 5 February 2008 4,270,000 21
9 12 February 2008 4,210,000 24
10 26 February 2008 4,430,000 23
11 11 March 2008 4,020,000 26
12 18 March 2008 4,060,000 22 500th show
13 25 March 2008 4,640,000 22
14 15 April 2008 4,090,000 21
15 6 May 2008 3,810,000 24
16 13 May 2008 3,620,000 23
17 20 May 2008 3,680,000 22
18 27 May 2008 4,360,000 22
19 3 June 2008 3,760,000 21

Series 24 (2008–2009)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 16 August 2008 6,480,000 9 Coronation Street Special
2 23 August 2008 5,600,000 15 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
3 30 August 2008 4,900,000 14 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
4 2 September 2008 4,260,000 19 Armed Forces Special
Broadcast two days before the 10th anniversary of the first episode.
5 23 September 2008 3,990,000 21 Firefighters Special
6 7 October 2008 4,470,000 21 Nurses Special
7 14 October 2008 4,430,000 22 Ian Gretton wins £75,000
8 28 October 2008 3,730,000 27
9 11 November 2008 4,180,000 24
10 18 November 2008 4,910,000 20
11 2 December 2008 4,330,000 22
12 4 December 2008 4,760,000 19
13 16 December 2008 4,490,000 18
14 23 December 2008 5,420,000 15 Christmas Special
15 29 December 2008 5,040,000 17 Olympic Special
Sarah Webb and Zac Purchase lose £19,000
16 3 January 2009 4,360,000 30 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
17 24 January 2009 4,520,000 20 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
18 31 January 2009 4,330,000 23 Celebrity Special (Part 3)

Series 25 (2009)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 13 June 2009 3,900,000 16
2 20 June 2009 4,110,000 18
3 27 June 2009 3,630,000 20
4 4 July 2009 3,760,000 17 Chris Mapp wins £150,000
5 11 July 2009 4,200,000 18
6 18 July 2009 3,610,000 20 Jill O'Donnell loses £9,000 by going with 81% of the audience (Highest percentage for a wrong answer with a 50:50 being used, and is overall the highest percentage ever for a wrong answer)
Last show to use Windows Vista Graphics
7 25 July 2009 3,550,000 19 First show to use Windows 7 Graphics
8 1 August 2009 4,150,000 17
9 8 August 2009 4,110,000 14
10 1 September 2009 3,710,000 22 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
11 8 September 2009 3,450,000 21 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
12 15 September 2009 3,380,000 25 Celebrity Special (Part 3)
13 22 September 2009 3,530,000 24
14 29 September 2009 3,470,000 24
15 6 October 2009 3,420,000 29
16 13 October 2009 Under 3,390,000 Outside Top 30
17 20 October 2009 Under 3,430,000 Outside Top 30
18 27 October 2009 Under 3,570,000 Outside Top 30
19 3 November 2009 3,440,000 29 Pat Collard wins £75,000
20 20 December 2009 4,650,000 15 Christmas Special

Series 26 (2010)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 13 April 2010 3,100,000 22 Emmerdale Special
2 20 April 2010 3,240,000 20 Celebrity Special (Part 1)
3 27 April 2010 3,160,000 23 Celebrity Special (Part 2)
4 4 May 2010 3,020,000 27 Celebrity Special (Part 3)
5 11 May 2010 Under 2,730,000 Outside Top 30
6 18 May 2010 3,330,000 18 None of the Fastest Finger First contestants get the question about soap couples in the order they first appeared correct.
7 25 May 2010 3,270,000 17
8 8 June 2010 3,370,000 27 Last Show to use Fastest Finger First contestants and the fourth opening titles sequence

Series 27 (2010)

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 3 August 2010 3,890,000 15 First Show to use the Clock Format, the fifth opening titles sequence and new stage lights
The word 'MILLION' is replaced with six zeros in the money tree
2 10 August 2010 3,570,000 16
3 17 August 2010 3,390,000 19
4 24 August 2010 3,280,000 23
5 31 August 2010 3,280,000 23
6 7 September 2010 3,120,000 28
7 14 September 2010 3,420,000 22
8 21 September 2010 3,640,000 23
9 28 September 2010 3,400,000 22
10 5 October 2010 3,550,000 24
11 23 December 2010 6,670,000 14 Christmas Special (LIVE)
Chris Evans had a Déjà vu moment, losing £4,000 as in the previous Christmas Special

Series 28 (2011)

Series 28 was broadcast with celebrity contestants playing for charity. The 'Clock Format' was still used.

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 2 April 2011 4,890,000 17 Mother's Day Special
First show with new computers and prizes
David Walliams and his mum lose £19,000
2 15 July 2011 4,650,000 14 School's Out Special
3 20 August 2011 4,160,000 15 Soap Stars Special (Part 1)
4 21 August 2011 4,240,000 14 Soap Stars Special (Part 2)
5 9 November 2011 4,470,000 23 Remembrance Special
6 19 December 2011 4,620,000 17 Christmas Special

Series 29 (2012)

Series 29 was broadcast throughout 2012. Most episodes had celebrity contestants playing for charity but the 'People Play' specials had members of the public playing. The 'Clock Format' was still used.

Episode Date Total Viewers ITV Weekly Ranking Notes
1 3 January 2012 Under 3,720,000 Outside Top 30 New Year’s Special
2 18 March 2012 5,310,000 16 Mothering Sunday Special
Antony Cotton with his mother lose £19,000
3 6 May 2012 3,490,000 21 Britain's Got Talent Special
4 20 May 2012 3,140,000 19 Celebrity Couples Special
5 9 July 2012 3,830,000 17 The People Play Special (Part 1)
6 10 July 2012 3,170,000 20 The People Play Special (Part 2)
Dawn Harkins wins £75,000
First time the audience had to hold up their answer cards because of the technical difficulties showing 0% voted for any answer
7 11 July 2012 3,130,000 22 The People Play Special (Part 3)
8 26 August 2012 3,170,000 18 School's Out Special
9 9 November 2012 3,220,000 26 I'm a Celebrity Special
Second time the audience had to hold up their answer cards because of the technical difficulties showing 0% voted for any answer
10 9 December 2012 Under 2,850,000 Outside Top 30 Pantomime Special
11 20 December 2012 3,730,000 15 Christmas Special
Des O'Connor and Lee Mack win £150,000

Series 30 (2013)

Series 30 was broadcast throughout 2013. Most episodes had celebrity contestants playing for charity but the 'People Play' specials had members of the public playing. The 'Clock Format' was still used.

Episode Date Total viewers ITV weekly ranking Notes
1 1 January 2013 Under 3,090,000 Outside Top 30 New Year's Special (Part 1)
2 8 January 2013 Under 3,420,000 Outside Top 30 New Year's Special (Part 2)
Greg Rutherford and Duncan Bannatyne win £150,000
The Ask The Audience majority percentage, 44%, was tied with another answer
3 17 March 2013 Under 2,940,000 Outside Top 30 'Best of Friends' Special
4 7 May 2013 Under 2,930,000 Outside Top 30 The People Play Special (Part 1)
5 14 May 2013 Under 2,600,000 Outside Top 30 The People Play Special (Part 2)
6 21 May 2013 Under 2,650,000 Outside Top 30 The People Play Special (Part 3)
7 22 June 2013 Under 2,440,000 Outside Top 30 'Family' Special

References

Footnotes

Bibliography

External links

  • itv.com
  • stv.tv
  • Template:U.tv
  • Internet Movie Database
  • 2waytraffic
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