ITV has ordered more episodes of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? for 2019, with Jeremy Clarkson once again in the chair.
The global hit game show returned in May 2018 for a one-week anniversary special, with the former Top Gear host replacing Chris Tarrant as quizmaster and presenter. The show, as ever, offered members of the public the chance to win £1,000,000. Each contestant had the opportunity to answer 15 questions on their way to winning the life changing prize, helped along the way by familiar lifelines of Ask The Audience; Phone a Friend; 50:50; and a new lifeline, Ask The Host.
It won favour with us, as our review praised Clarkson for “playing the role of disgruntled quizmaster like Jeremy Paxman’s grouchy cousin”.
“He berates contestants for not knowing answers (“Now, it’s hopefully time for someone with some actual general knowledge”), but that lack of facade means that when he tries to encourage them or compliments them, it comes across as genuine – just the right balance of charming and rude,” we wrote. “Expect a proper renewal order soon.”
The seven-episode special, which was stripped across one week, was certainly a success with viewers, launching with 6.1 million viewers and a 31% audience share, before going on to win the slot each night it was broadcast. Now, ITV has officially given the green light for another run.
Airing as a stripped event across a fortnight, the 10 hour-long episodes will be produced by Stellify Media with filming taking place in Manchester. Commissioned for ITV by Siobhan Greene, Head of Entertainment, with Ben Kelly Commissioning Editor, it will be executive produced by Fiona Clark and Stellify’s joint managing directors Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy, with Directors Julia Knowles and Richard Valentine.
Clarkson says: “I absolutely loved hosting the anniversary shows and cannot wait to spend a few precious hours away from James May and Richard Hammond, making the new ones.”
Worthy adds: “Ask The Host is back! And a quick tip for future contestants: don’t use it on questions about fine art, haute cuisine or the scouting association.”
The series will play out nightly on ITV in early 2019.