Anyone who wasn’t brought up in the UK who has a desire to learn about the culture will often look to television series to get a taste of all things Britain. Soap operas like Coronation Street and Eastenders are excellent fictional offerings to learn about the way of life here, but there are plenty of reality shows as well.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire is one of the most well-loved game shows to have ever emerged from the country, and it’s hugely popular in households up and down the British Isles. This could be one of the best options for people who want to learn about the culture in the UK.
Shock When the Show Was Discontinued
The original Millionaire first started in Britain, and it ran for more than 15 years from 1998 to 2014. It was a staple on ITV and viewers were used to seeing Chris Tarrant’s familiar face regularly on their television sets. Indeed, millions of people around the country were able to see the national treasure on screen for 592 episodes during its first run.
There was utter shock and disbelief among many people when the series was cancelled. For some, saying that there’d be no more Millionaire to watch on an evening was akin to being told that they also had to stop drinking cups of tea. This was an essential part of British culture, and it felt wrong to be without it during its four-year hiatus. Luckily, it came back in 2018 and will hopefully stick around for much longer this time.
Series Has Sparked a Sprawling International Franchise
Watching the British series is the perfect way for international viewers to experience British accents, humour and way of life. But there are other ways to enjoy the themes for people who want options they’re more familiar with. The offering created by David Briggs, Steve Knight and Mike Whitehill spawned a massive franchise, with various international versions for viewers to enjoy.
There are now versions in countries all over the world, with some of the best-known iterations in the United States, Australia, and India. There are also plenty of games that players can take part in to feel as if they’ve entered an episode of the show. These include mobile options like Millionaire Trivia: TV Game from Sony Pictures Television, and the online casino game Who Wants to be a Millionaire from Big Time Gaming. The latter uses the Megaways engine so there are more than 100,000 ways to make winning combinations on the reels.
Show Reborn with Clarkson at the Helm
When Millionaire returned to screens in the UK in 2018, it was only supposed to be back as a 20th anniversary special. This time, Jeremy Clarkson was in the host’s chair, replacing Tarrant and ushering in a new era. Because this fresh version was so popular, it returned on a permanent basis.
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There have now been 74 episodes since the show returned to screens, and it has even spawned a spinoff called Fastest Finger First. Clarkson appears fond of his role and there’s a strong chance he’ll continue presenting the series indefinitely.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire is a quintessentially British programme and one that’s managed to endear itself to a vast proportion of people in the country. Watching it is a great way to get a taste of the culture in the UK.