Date: 21st November 2000

Millionaire Awards Biggest Prize - In The U.K.

After more than two years, the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire has produced its first 1-million ($1.43 million) winner. Judith Keppel, a garden designer from London, won the big prize - the most ever won on a television show anywhere in the world - by correctly answering the question, "Which King was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?" (Answer: Henry II.) ITV, which carried the program, said that it drew 13.9 million viewers, representing 48 percent of the TV audience, beating the final episode of the BBC's One Foot in the Grave in which a central character who had been featured on the show for ten years, died. The BBC said that after Keppel was handed her winnings, more than one million viewers switched over to Grave, lowering Millionaire's audience to 12.7 million and raising Grave's to 11.6 million, representing 36 percent of the total audience. ITV said that it was "absolutely thrilled" with the results -- especially after word of the win leaked out earlier in the day. An ITV spokesman said that the commercial network was "very disappointed" that the leak had occurred, adding: "We really wanted to keep it a secret so as not to spoil viewers' enjoyment of the program." Asked how she felt after winning the 1 million, Keppel replied, "Rich."

Source: Studio Briefing