BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 10:19 GMT
Millionaire show denies copy claims
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Four people have answered the 1m question
The bosses of hit ITV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have vigorously denied its format had been stolen from a member of the public.

A spokeswoman for the network dismissed claims that detailed ideas for the show had been pitched to programme planners a year before it was launched.

Mike Bull, of Southampton, is threatening high court action against ITV after claims he suggested a similar quiz show called Help in 1997, it was reported on Tuesday.

Chris Tarrant
Host Chris Tarrant taunts the guests on the show
The ideas included contestants and a presenter sat on high chairs in the middle of the studio, allowing competitors to ask the audience or friends for help and the quizmaster taunting contestants.

Mr Bull claims that ITV was initially interested but later rejected his ideas.

Less than a year later the hit quiz show appeared on screens.

However, the ITV spokeswoman said any legal battle would be "defended vigorously".

"Certain named individuals have claimed the show is based on their format but that is absolutely not the case and there is no foundation to the claims.

"We were working on a format for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? a long time before we received ideas that were then rejected."

Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

21 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy's Millionaire hopes ended
01 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Millionaire winner denies elitist claim
27 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Fourth Millionaire 'is millionaire'
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories