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Quiz successfully weaves many threads.

Quiz successfully weaves many threads. Credit:

Quiz

★★★★

Wednesday 1 July 8.30pm, BBC First, On Demand

You don’t need to be obsessed with television to enjoy Quiz, but if you are, it certainly adds to one’s relish. What makes a show “event” TV, how and why we watch what we watch, and the nuts and bolts of putting a programme together are all central to the story. But Quiz is also about much more than that, as we explore the real-life scandal that briefly gripped Britain at the turn of the century: the scamming of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It’s a yarn that weaves together many threads: greed, family dynamics, the weird attraction of competing in quizzes, the classic British eccentric. Plus, of course, the meat and potatoes of the plot: the mechanics of the supposed swindle. The script, by playwright James Graham, is unpretentious but spiked with wit. Stephen Frears directs with a typically deft hand. And the cast is superb. Michael Sheen transforms himself once again to play real-life TV personality Chris Tarrant. Mark Bonner is the TV exec who created the show – and gradually realises he’s created a monster. And Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and the endlessly versatile Matthew Macfadyen are terrific as the “ordinary” couple who end up charged with a million-pound theft. Melinda Houston