Chris Tarrant says Michael Sheen got his body language spot on in 'Quiz'

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Michael Sheen played Chris Tarrant in 2020 drama miniseries 'Quiz'. (Getty/ITV)
Michael Sheen played Chris Tarrant in 2020 drama miniseries 'Quiz'. (Getty/ITV)

Chris Tarrant has reacted to his portrayal by Michael Sheen in the three-part ITV drama Quiz in 2020.

Sheen played Tarrant in the dramatisation of the infamous "Coughing Major" scandal which dogged telly game show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in 2001.

He received critical acclaim for his performance — including from Tarrant's son — and now the man himself has delivered his verdict.

Read more: Chris Tarrant's grandson duped by Michael Sheen in Quiz

"The voice was pretty close and he is not an impressionist, he is an actor," said Tarrant of Sheen's portrayal to the Daily Star.

Tarrant had previously said he hoped that Sheen would not do a "sort of Rory Bremner" impression of him in the show.

Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen with Michael Sheen in 'Quiz'. (ITV/Matt Frost)
Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen with Michael Sheen in 'Quiz'. (ITV/Matt Frost)

The 75-year-old said parts of the series were "cringe-making", particularly when he noticed elements of Sheen's physicality that his wife pointed out were exactly like him.

Tarrant said: "What he got was the body language — just these weird things that I do. Like when I’m getting into the chair I do a sort of Fosbury Flop.

Read more: Charles and Diana Ingram set to appeal conviction

“And there is a bit when I am standing with my arm around a contestant when we are about to go on and I did something with my left arm and leg and it is like a demented duck."

Around nine million viewers watched Quiz, which was broadcast across three nights in April 2020 with Matthew Macfadyen as Charles Ingram and Sian Clifford as his wife Diane.

Chris Tarrant presented 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?' from 1998 until 2014. (PA/Getty)
Chris Tarrant presented 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?' from 1998 until 2014. (PA/Getty)

Tarrant confessed that he almost turned down Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? when he was first approached as he was busy with other work.

He added: "I did the pilot and I thought this is quite good, because the format is so perfect.

Read more: Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? crowns first winner of rebooted show

"We started a series in September for 10 nights and it just went through the roof and then 120 countries round the world. It is massive show. I loved it. I enjoyed it."

Tarrant stepped aside from the show in 2014 and it took a hiatus before it was revived in 2018 with Jeremy Clarkson as the new host.

Watch: Michael Sheen discusses make-up work in Last Train to Christmas

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