Christopher John Tarrant
10 October 1946
|Education||King's School, Worcester|
|Alma mater||University of Birmingham|
(m. 1976;div. 1982)
(m. 1991;div. 2007)
|Partner(s)||Jane Bird (2008–present)|
|Children||4, including Toby|
Christopher John Tarrant,(born 10 October 1946) is an English radio and television broadcaster. He presented the ITV children's television show Tiswas from 1974 to 1981, and the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1998 to 2014. He was a Capital Radio host from 1984 to 2004.
Tarrant's career began in 1964, when he was hired by the since-dissolved television network ATV. He presented ATV Today, a current affairs programme serving the Midlands area of England, until 1982. Tarrant rose to prominence after becoming a co-host on Tiswas , the children's television show broadcast on a Saturday morning from 1974 to 1981.
In January 1982, along with Bob Carolgees, John Gorman, Randolph Sutherland and Lenny Henry, Tarrant launched a late-night show, O.T.T. , thought of as an "adult" version of Tiswas, but it did not prove popular. Tarrant was a Capital Radio host from 1984 to 2004, presenting the early-morning show Capital Breakfast . The show was highly popular, increasing Capital Radio's audience share in London.
Tarrant hosted the ITV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1998 to 2014, while also providing some audio recordings for some console games, and a tabletop game made by Tiger Electronics based on the show. He recorded 592 episodes, in which a total of five contestants won the cash prize of £1 million. Since Millionaire, Tarrant found successful presenting parts harder to come by, hosting a series of failed game shows for ITV. In 2012, Tarrant began a travel documentary series, Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways , which has been compared with similar programmes presented by Michael Palin and Michael Portillo.
Tarrant received an OBE in 2004 for his charity work, in particular his campaigning on behalf of disadvantaged children.
Tarrant was born in October 1946 in Reading, England, to Basil and Joan Tarrant. His father had joined a territorial unit of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1936 and was among those evacuated from Dunkirk in the retreat of May 1940. He was also active in the Normandy landings.Tarrant was educated as a boarder in Choir House at the King's School, Worcester from 1960 to 1964. He represented the school at hockey and cricket and gained A, B and D grades at A-level in English, history and ancient history. He then studied English at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1967.
Tarrant worked as a schoolteacher and also briefly as a film director for the Central Office of Information before joining ATV as a newsreader on ATV Today .
Tarrant rose to prominence after becoming a co-host on Tiswas , a children's television show broadcast on a Saturday morning from January 1974 to 1981. In 1982, he hosted the short-lived Saturday late-night show O.T.T. , which was billed as an adult version of Tiswas but was not such a success. After this, he did a stint on the breakfast television station TV-am .
In 1984, Tarrant joined Capital Radio as a presenter, initially presenting the station's Sunday lunchtime show before moving to a late-morning weekday slot, following David Jensen. From March 1987 until April 2004 he hosted Capital Breakfast . The show was highly popular, increasing Capital Radio's audience share in London. Tarrant had regular co-presenter Kara Noble (eventually replaced by Zabe Newsome for a very short duration) as his sidekick for the early years until Noble moved to Heart FM in 1995 with regular contributions from Flying Eye traffic reporter Russ Kane and newsreader Howard Hughes. It was on this show that he first coined his "Is that your final answer?" catchphrase.
At 9:00 am on 2 April 2004, after hosting 4,425 shows over 17 years on Capital Radio and giving away prizes to the value of £3.5 million, Tarrant said his farewell to the station.
Tarrant began hosting the popular television quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 1998. The format was sold to over 100 other countries, and in 2002, the UK version merged with the Irish version. Tarrant coined the format's catchphrase, "But we don't want to give you that," and continued his older catchphrase, "Is that your final answer?" contributing it to the format.
It was confirmed by UKGameshows.com that Tarrant is among the leading regular game show hosts for at least one full series on British television, with sixteen different series to his credit.
In September 2001, an oblivious Tarrant asked the questions of contestant Charles Ingram, then a British Army Major who was found to be cheating in a 2003 trial. The same year ITV themselves made a documentary about the incident: A Major Fraud.
In October 2013, it was confirmed that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was to come to an end after airing for 15 years on ITV. The channel made the decision to coincide with Tarrant stepping down as host.Of this, Tarrant said:
It's been a huge part of my life for 15 years and I've loved every minute of it, but it is time for me to move on from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
Tarrant's final live edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was a celebrity edition which aired live on 19 December 2013. On the day before, Tarrant pre-recorded two other celebrity episodes that were shown in February 2014.
In 2018, ITV commissioned another series of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, to be presented by new host Jeremy Clarkson. In a television interview, Tarrant stated he had chosen not to watch the revived series, saying, "I did it for 15 years, about 600 shows. I loved it – I had a fantastic time but I don't want to do any more, so good luck. It’s a great show." Tarrant said he would have "politely turned down" an offer by the network to return to the show had he been approached.[ citation needed ]
Chris is also known to have worked at Salford Royal Foundation Trust as a Hospital radio presenter.
Tarrant narrated the schools programme Stop, Look, Listen, made by ATV and later Central Television.
Tarrant hosted Everybody's Equal in 1989, although the programme came to an end in 1990 (the format was revived in 1997 by Channel 5 as Whittle, with Tim Vine as host). In 1991 he hosted the second series of Cluedo which was part panel quiz and part murder drama, based on the board game of the same name. On 1 January 1993, after Thames Television lost its ITV franchise had been replaced by Carlton Television, Tarrant hosted the first programme of the new contractor, A Carlton New Year. Also in 1993, Tarrant hosted Lose A Million , in which contestants started off with a (fictional) million pounds and were required to lose it by aiming to answer a set of questions incorrectly. Tarrant would later host Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? , in which the objective of the game is to do the opposite. From 1996 to 1999 Tarrant hosted the UK edition of Man O Man.
In 1994, Tarrant hosted a revival of Pop Quiz , previously hosted by Mike Read. It ran one series and eight episodes in total, airing again on Saturday nights (as Read's version did).
Tarrant was also the long-term host of Tarrant on TV , a programme which shows clips featuring a number of unusual television programmes from around the world. He presented the show from 1990 to 2006. In 1998, Tarrant released a compilation album entitled Ultimate Party Megamix on PolyGram Television's record label. A second edition entitled Ultimate Summer Party was also released. Both albums contain songs compiled by Tarrant himself in the form of a megamix.
In 2003, he did voice over work on the film Johnny English , where he starred as himself hosting a radio presentation of Sauvage's coronation. In 2008, he presented the game show It's Not What You Know on Challenge. In January 2009, Tarrant began hosting a new ITV show, The Colour of Money , which was cancelled after seven episodes after failing to perform well in the ratings.
In June 2008 it was announced he would return to radio, hosting a weekly Saturday morning show for the GMG Radio network of stations including London's 102.2 Smooth Radio, Real Radio in Scotland and the North West's Century Radio.The show would air in direct competition to Jonathan Ross's show on BBC Radio 2 and began on 26 July. It was aired for 12 months until July 2009.
In 2009, UKTV signed Tarrant to present a show for Watch called Tarrant Lets the Kids Loose . The eight-part series, beginning on 4 October, gives three- to six-year-olds the chance to fulfil their greatest ambitions in the adult world; whether running a photographic studio, a radio station or an ice-cream van. The show will be executively produced by Lisa Perrin and Tess Cumming.
In April 2010, Tarrant become one of the first three celebrities to be subjected to the British version of the American institution of a comedy roast, on Channel 4's A Comedy Roast .In August 2010, Tarrant launched the Fishing with Chris Tarrant application for iOS devices in association with Angling Times magazine.Also in 2010 he presented ITV1's The Door, a game show in which celebrities faced unpleasant and scary challenges to win money for charity.
In January 2011, he appeared on BBC's The Magicians and was voted to do the forfeit trick (walking barefoot on broken glass and swords)[ citation needed ]
Tarrant has sat in for Steve Wright on his BBC Radio 2 show on at least ten occasions between 2010 and 2013.[ citation needed ]
On 13 April 2012, Tarrant made an appearance in the BBC show Would I Lie to You? on David Mitchell's team alongside Mel Giedroyc.
In 2012, Tarrant filmed the Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways series for Channel 5, with locations including the Congo-Ocean Railway, the Ghan across Australia and the Konkan Railway. The series was aired in December 2012.A second series was shown in 2015. In 2013, Channel 5 aired a new series called Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing. A year later Tarrant began appearing in the ITV daytime game show Show Me the Telly as the TV legends team captain.
Since 2014, Tarrant has been a brand ambassador and has appeared in commercials for Lottoland.
In 2017, Tarrant became a continuity announcer for the TV channel Challenge.
Tarrant had two children from his marriage to Sheila Roberton, Helen in 1977 and Jennifer in 1980. The couple married in Southend-on-Sea in 1976and divorced in 1982. Tarrant met his second wife, Ingrid Dupre-Walsh, when they both worked for TV-am. The couple married in 1991 and divorced in 2007. After a series of tabloid stories, on 18 September 2006 the couple announced that they were separating. The couple previously lived with their two children, Sammy and Toby, in Esher, plus two children from Ingrid's previous marriage, Dexter and Fia, the latter a radio presenter with Heart. In a statement in September 2006, Tarrant said: "I am deeply sorry for the hurt I have caused to my loyal wife and wonderful children, all of whom I adore. I have only myself to blame for the breakdown of my marriage." Since 2008, Tarrant has been in a long-term relationship with legal assistant Jane Bird.
In June 2000, Tarrant's River Thames launch boat the Ben Gunn was vandalised and burnt at its mooring in East Molesey.Tarrant's father died in 2005 and his mother died in 2012. Whilst Tarrant was preparing for his mother's funeral, he discovered his father's war diary in an open desk. Tarrant stated, "For the first time, I had his own record of his wartime experiences."
On 12 March 2014, it was reported that Tarrant had suffered a mini stroke whilst onboard a return flight from Bangkok to London Heathrow on 1 March 2014, returning from overseas shooting for Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways . [ citation needed ]Upon landing, he was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital where doctors did emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his right leg.
Tarrant is a fan of rock group Status Quo, and in 1991 followed them on their Rock 'til You Drop tour, which covered four concerts in one day (Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London) in aid of Nordorff-Robbins. In 2013, he attended the premiere of the band's feature film Bula Quo! in London. He is also a supporter of Reading F.C.
Tarrant's son Toby has followed in his father's footsteps as a radio DJ employed by Global Radio, hosting programmes initially for Capital FM and now Radio X.Tarrant’s other daughter from Ingrid's previous marriage, named Fia Tarrant, also followed her father's footsteps, now currently presenting on Heart weekdays from 10pm-1am, and is also employed by Global Radio.
Tarrant's charity work, for which he received an OBE in 2004includes: being an ambassador for the homeless charity, Centrepoint; trustee/patron of the New School at West Heath for disadvantaged children (the school previously being a private school for girls that Diana, Princess of Wales attended); patron of Milly's Fund, set up in memory of murdered Surrey teenager Amanda Dowler; patron of Swings & Smiles, a charity for children with special needs.
He was a patron of the Headway Thames Valley, until he left in 2006, blaming "work commitments".
Tarrant is a patron of the Trooper Potts VC Memorial Trust, Reading.As well as Berkshire Vision , a charity that supports the visually impaired in the Berkshire County.
On 13 May 2007, Tarrant was arrested on suspicion of assault at an Indian restaurant and was released on police bail. The incident took place at the MemSaab Restaurant on Maid Marian Way, Nottingham, where Tarrant, who had been joking with a couple dining at an adjacent table, threw an item of cutlery towards the man. – it genuinely makes no sense. I got back from the station at 1 am and to this minute I am completely bemused by what happened." On 25 May 2007, Tarrant was formally cautioned by Nottinghamshire Constabulary with regard to the incident.Tarrant admitted to the BBC that he did jokingly "lob" some cutlery onto the couple's table after asking them to leave him alone to discuss work with his colleagues. He said: "I've no idea what his [the accuser's] motives were
On 5 March 2009, Tarrant was arrested on suspicion of assault at his home in Esher. He was later released without charge.
On 18 December 2017, Tarrant appeared in court charged with drink-driving. He returned to court on 18 January 2018 and received a £6,000 fine and a 12-month driving ban.
|1964–1981||ATV Today||Presenter||ATV||Regular presenter|
|1989–1991||That's Showbusiness||Panelist||BBC1||4 episodes|
|Everybody's Equal||Host||ITV||3 series|
|1990–2006||Tarrant on TV||15 series|
|1993||Lose A Million||1 series|
|1994||Pop Quiz||BBC1||7 episodes|
|1996–1999||Man O Man||ITV||7 episodes|
|1998–2014||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||30 series|
|2007||The Great Pretender||30 episodes|
|2008||It's Not What You Know||Challenge||30 episodes|
|2009||The Colour of Money||ITV||7 episodes|
|Tarrant Lets the Kids Loose||Watch||1 series|
|2010||The Door||ITV||2 episodes|
|2011||The Magicians||Contestant||BBC||1 episode|
|2012–present||Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways||Presenter||Channel 5||6 series|
|2013||Show Me the Telly||Team captain||ITV||20 episodes|
|2017||The Railways That Built Britain with Chris Tarrant||Presenter||Channel 5||3 episodes|
|2018||Intercity 125: The Train That Changed Britain||Narrator||Channel 5||2 episodes|
|2019||World's Busiest Train Stations||Narrator||Channel 5||4 episodes|
|1982||Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts||Himself|
|1983||Kellogg's Rice Krispies||Himself|
|1990||Kentucky Fried Chicken||Himself|
|1992||Pontin's||Himself, voice only|
|1997||101 Dalmatians||Himself, voice only|
|2005||Tesco||Himself, voice only|
|1981||British Academy Television Awards||'Harlequin' (Drama/Light Entertainment)||Tiswas||Nominated|
|2000||Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Performer (Non-Acting)||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||Won|
|National Television Awards||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Tarrant on TV||Nominated|
|Special Recognition Award||N/A||Won|
|2001||RTS Television Award||Best Presenter||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||Nominated|
|2006||British Comedy Awards||Lifetime Achievement||N/A||Won|
In 2020, a TV mini-series, Quiz , about Charles Ingram's attempt to win a million pounds on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? by cheating, was released. Tarrant was portrayed by the actor Michael Sheen.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is an international television game show franchise of British origin, created by David Briggs, Mike Whitehill and Steven Knight. In its format, currently owned and licensed by Sony Pictures Television, contestants tackle a series of multiple-choice questions to win large cash prizes in a format that twists on many game show genre conventions – only one contestant plays at a time, similar to radio quizzes; contestants are given the question before attempting an answer, and have no time limit to answer questions; and the amount offered increases as they tackle questions that become increasingly difficult. The maximum cash prize offered in most versions of the format is one million of the local currency.
Tiswas was a British children's television series that originally aired on Saturday mornings from 5 January 1974 to 3 April 1982, and was produced for the ITV network by ATV.
Sir Trevor McDonald is a Trinidadian-British newsreader and journalist, best known for his career as a news presenter with ITN.
Charles William Ingram is a former British Army major who gained infamy for his appearance on the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. In episodes recorded in September 2001, Ingram correctly answered fifteen questions to win the show's maximum prize of £1 million, but was denied the winnings due to suspicion of cheating. Following a lengthy trial at Southwark Crown Court, Ingram was convicted on a single count of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception. He was subsequently convicted of an unrelated offence involving insurance fraud in 2003, and ordered to resign his commission as a major by the Army Board.
Bob Carolgees is a comedy entertainer who appeared on the Saturday morning TV series Tiswas and then later in its adult versions O.T.T. and Saturday Stayback. He is best known for appearing with a canine puppet named Spit the Dog. Carolgees also worked for eight years on the TV show Surprise Surprise and on children's game show Concentration. In popular culture he has cameo roles with Spit the Dog.
Éamonn Holmes is a broadcaster and former journalist from Northern Ireland. Holmes co-presented GMTV for twelve years between 1993 and 2005, before presenting Sky News Sunrise for eleven years between 2005 and 2016. From 2006 until January 2021, he co-hosted This Morning with his wife Ruth Langsford on Fridays, and since 2021, during the school holidays only. He has also presented How the Other Half Lives (2015–present) and It's Not Me, It's You (2016) for Channel 5. Holmes is an advocate of numerous charities and causes including Dogs Trust, Variety GB and Northern Ireland Kidney Patients' Association.
Za Gaman (ザ・ガマン) "The Endurance" [sic] is a Japanese television program from the 1980s. It is not particularly well-known or remembered in Japan, but it became famous in other countries, particularly the United Kingdom. This is likely due to its appearance on the British television program Clive James on Television and subsequently Tarrant on TV, under the name Endurance.
O.T.T. was a late-night adult version of the anarchic ATV children's show Tiswas, which was made by its ITV franchise successor Central Independent Television. It was broadcast at 11.00pm on Saturday nights for one series in 1982. O.T.T. was created and presented by Chris Tarrant, and also starred ex-Tiswasians John Gorman, Lenny Henry and Bob Carolgees. Helen Atkinson-Wood was the female sidekick replacement for Sally James, who stayed behind to present the concurrent and final series of Tiswas alone.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a British television quiz show, created and formerly produced by David Briggs, and made for the ITV network. On air since September 1998 and devised by Briggs, the show's format sees contestants taking on multiple-choice questions based upon general knowledge, winning a cash prize for each question they answer correctly, with the amount offered increasing as they take on more difficult questions. If an incorrect answer is given, the contestant will leave with whatever cash prize is guaranteed by the last safety net they have passed. However, a contestant can decline to answer a question, and thus walk away with their full winnings. Contestants are given "lifelines" to help answer questions.
Claudia Emma Rosencrantz FRTS is a British television executive and journalist. She was formerly the Controller of Entertainment for ITV, for over ten years. She was also Director of Television for Virgin Media for five years and worked with Jamie Oliver, including as CEO of the Jamie Oliver Media Group. Rosencrantz is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and a trustee of JW3.
UKGameshows.com is a website dedicated to British game shows. The site currently provides information on more than 1,500 British game show formats from 1938 to the present day, over 500 mini-biographies of hosts, along with numerous other background articles.
William Hanrahan is a British television/radio producer and presenter best known for working on BBC programmes such as Watchdog and Good Morning. Since 1994 he has headed an independent TV company which currently produces studio programming and documentaries for the BBC and Sky TV, A&E, Foxtel, Netflix, CBS, Discovery and UKTV. He is a three-times Royal Television Society Award winner and his programmes are currently airing in over 70 countries. He has executive produced for both the BBC and ITV working with Alistair McGowan on the BBC Restoration project, and Chris Tarrant on the BBC Four History of the World in 100 objects series. He is a law graduate with experience in consumer and legal programming. In 2013/14, Hanrahan also returned to radio presenting as a guest host on BBC Radio in 2014 and 2015. In 2017, his legal TV series 'The Jury Room' for CBS Reality also saw him present a six-part Podcast.
Matthew Strachan is an English composer and singer-songwriter.
Vernon Charles Kay is an English television presenter, media personality, and former model. He presented Channel 4's T4 (2000–2005) and has presented various television shows for ITV, including All Star Family Fortunes (2006–2015), Just the Two of Us (2006–2007), Beat the Star (2008–2009), The Whole 19 Yards (2010), Splash! (2013–2014), and 1000 Heartbeats (2015–2016).
Trevor James East was originally presenter of Tiswas; stooge to Chris Tarrant and Derby County obsessed. He was subsequently ranked 27 in The Guardian's "Media 100" most influential people in the industry.
...on Television or ...on TV, is a long-running late night television programme on ITV. The programme, which was made first by LWT and then Granada Productions, featured a number of clips from unusual or amusing television programmes and commercials from around the world.
This table lists all international variants in the television game show franchise Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? that have been broadcast since the debut of the original British version of the show on 4 September 1998.
R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T. was a 2003 English Crown Court fraud case in which Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and college lecturer Tecwen Whittock were found guilty of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception—obtaining a signed cheque for £1 million—by cheating on the filming of the UK game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The charge was that Charles Ingram used coughs by his wife and Whittock to guide him to the correct answers in order to win £1 million in violation of the rules of the game. The Ingrams were sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence and Whittock to one of 12 months. The three also received fines and were ordered to pay costs.
Quiz is a British drama television serial by James Graham, based on Graham's play of the same name commissioned by William Village and the book Bad Show: the Quiz, the Cough, the Millionaire Major by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett. It is directed by Stephen Frears and consists of three hour-long episodes. The series focuses on Charles Ingram, a former army major in the Royal Engineers, and how he unexpectedly won the £1,000,000 jackpot on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001, followed by a criminal trial in which he and his wife were convicted of cheating their way to success.