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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April, 2003, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Millionaire boss backs quiz sentence
Celador MD Paul Smith agrees the judge was right to think of the Ingrams children
The head of the TV company that makes Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has said he agreed with the decision not to jail the three quiz show cheats.

Celador managing director Paul Smith told the Daily Telegraph that Army Major Charles Ingram and his wife Diana needed to be around for their children.

The couple, along with college lecturer Tecwen Whittock, received suspended prison sentences after a jury found them guilty of plotting to defraud the show out of 1m.

"Their lives have been ruined," Mr Smith told the newspaper.

"They've been discredited and I doubt they have many friends, but I think it's important there's some kind of stability for their children," he added.

The Ingrams were fined 15,000 each and given 18-month jail terms, suspended for two years.

Whittock, who coughed to indicate the answers to Ingram, was fined 10,000 and given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

Charles and Diana Ingram
Ingram and his wife Diana had denied cheating
"I have no particular sympathy with the major. The guy is a criminal and charlatan," Mr Smith said.

"He tried to undermine the show, we spotted him and we're pleased about that."

Granada Television is to show a 90-minute documentary about the case on 21 April, presented by Martin Bashir.

Viewers will be able to see for the first time how Ingram cheated his way to the 1m jackpot.

Celador has seen Who Wants to be a Millionaire? become a global phenomenon as more than 100 countries screen a format of the show.




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