To mark the 20th anniversary of the global hit game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, the iconic programme will return to ITV for a week of celebratory episodes, starting this Saturday. Airing as a stripped event across the week, the 7×60 minute episodes will play out every night and will be hosted by brand new presenter, Jeremy Clarkson.
The show will offer members of the public the chance to win £1,000,000. Each contestant will have the opportunity to answer 15 questions on their way to hopefully winning this life changing prize.
The contestants will be helped along the way by familiar lifelines of ‘Ask The Audience’, ‘Phone a Friend’ and ’50:50’, plus a brand new fourth lifeline; ‘Ask The Host’.
This brand new, additional lifeline allows the contestant to ‘Ask The Host’ if he [Jeremy Clarkson] knows the answer or if he has an opinion on what it might be. Jeremy never sees the questions ahead of the contestants so there is no guarantee he will know the answer. Will Jeremy be able to help someone along the way to winning one million pounds or will it cost them everything?
In another twist, contestants will be able to set their own second safety net amount. There is a fixed safety net at £1,000, meaning once a contestant has successfully answered Question 5 and won £1,000, that’s the minimum they will take home.
Traditionally, the second safety net was automatically set at £32,000. However, in these seven celebratory episodes, this new twist will allow the second safety net to be set by each contestant. Once they have banked £1,000, they will be given the opportunity to set their safety net ahead of the next question being asked. They can set their safety net only once and anywhere from £2,000 to £500,000. Will contestants be brave enough to risk losing big money in the hope to go all the way?
Jeremy Clarkson said “If the contestant chooses that lifeline [Ask The Host], they get to ask me if I know the answer. God help them. Anyone who doesn’t win £1,000,000 is bound, at some point, to ask me if I know the answer. And if it’s 1970’s prog rock music, I probably will. If it’s anything other than that, I probably won’t.”
On talking about the safety net changes, Jeremy Clarkson added “They can choose where it goes. So they choose how much they are going to lose at any given moment, which is a very clever idea. That requires balls of steel. To go beyond, say £32,000, when you’re going to drop back to £1,000 if you get it wrong. To say, ‘no I’ll set it at £64,000 and risk losing £63,000 if I get it wrong’, balls of steel.”
The series 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 Julia Knowles as Director. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is a Sony Pictures Television format.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? starts Saturday 5th May at 9.15pm on ITV and continues nightly thorough-out the week at 9pm
More Details on All The Format of The Show:
In each episode, six different contestants will play ‘fastest finger first’ for the chance to win a place in the coveted chair and play the game. If a game concludes with one contestant, the remaining contestants will play ‘fastest finger first’ again for another opportunity to play for one million pounds.
Each contestant can see the question, answers, use their lifelines and still choose not to play the question and walk away with any money they have banked. The host is never shown the answer in advance of the contestant deciding to play the question and locking in their answer by saying ‘Final Answer’. The host does not have an earpiece or have any way to find out the answer.
Fastest finger first
The host will read out a question and four answers. Contestants will need to put the answers in the correct order. Fastest finger first questions are timed and the contestant who answers correctly in the fastest time, wins a place in the chair to play for one million pounds.
The contestants will face 15 questions for the chance to win one million pounds. Money will increase in the following increments:
Question 1 – £100
Question 2 – £200
Question 3 – £300
Question 4 – £500
Question 5 – £1,000
Question 6 – £2,000
Question 7 – £4,000
Question 8 – £8,000
Question 9 – £16,000
Question 10 – £32,000
Question 11 – £64,000
Question 12 – £125,000
Question 13 – £250,000
Question 14 – £500,000
Question 15 – £1,000,000
There is a fixed safety net at £1,000. This means that once a contestant has answered the £1,000 question correctly, this is the minimum they will take home. Traditionally, the second safety net was automatically set at £32,000.
However, in these seven celebratory episodes, a new twist will allow the second safety net to be set by each contestant in play. Once they have successfully answered Question 5 and won £1,000, they will be given the opportunity to set their safety net ahead of the next question being asked. They can set their safety net anywhere from £2,000 to £500,000. The can only set this once during their game and until they set their second safety net, they will be asked ahead of seeing the next question. If they choose to set their safety net at the next question, they must correctly answer that question for it to be set and be in play. For example; A contestant has successfully answered Question 10 and won £32,000, they could then be asked if they want to set their safety net at £64,000. If they say yes, they will then see the question, four possible answers and can decide if they want to play. If they play and correctly answer the question, the minimum they will go home with is £64,000. They can continue the game and their safety net will remain at £64,000. This cannot be moved or reset. If they answer the question incorrectly, they will lose £31,000 and leave with £1,000.
Four lifelines are available to all contestants to use once at any point in their game, one more than was traditionally available.
The four lifelines available to each contestant in the chair are:
Contestants can choose to use this lifeline to remove two random wrong answers, leaving one correct answer and one random wrong answer. Even after they have used this lifeline, the contestant can still choose to not answer the question and take the money that they have currently banked.
Ask The Audience
If a contestant decides to use this lifeline, the host will read the question and all possible answers. The host will ask the audience to vote for the answer they think is correct via an electronic keypad within an allotted time. The audience will not have access to any device where they could find out the answer from a third party or Internet. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game. The contestant can still choose to take the money they have currently banked.
Phone A Friend
If the contestant wants to contact a friend, the host will lead the call and explain to the chosen friend that the contestant needs assistance on a question. Once the host hands the call over, the contestant will have 30 seconds to read the question, possible answers and have any discussions. The ‘friend’ will not see the countdown clock. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game. They can still choose to take the money they have currently banked.
Prior to arriving to set, each contestant will be asked to select two ‘phone a friends’ and give their details. On the day that each contestant is set to play the game (six contestants per episode), Production will send an independent security team to all phone a friend residents in that episode. Once a contestant plays fastest finger first and wins a place in the chair, the security team will enter both of the ‘phone a friends’ residents. This is to ensure that if and when phoned, the friend does not source outside help to answer the question. Once the contestant has finished their game or used their lifeline, security will leave.
Ask The Host
This is a brand new, additional lifeline available once to all contestants. This lifeline allows the contestant to ‘Ask The Host’ if he [Jeremy Clarkson] knows the answer or if he has an opinion on what it might be. The host can give his opinion, answer or share his thoughts but there is no guarantee he will know the answer. Once he has shared his thoughts / given as much as he can, he will say ‘That’s my final answer’ which signifies the end of his assistance and the contestant can not ask the host any more questions. The host is never shown the answers in advance of the contestant saying this is my ‘Final Answer’. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game and can still choose to take any money they have currently banked. If the contestant does decide to play, the contestant will select the answer and say ‘final answer’. Once the answer is locked in, the contestant and host will have the answer revealed at the same time.