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'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' to End U.K. Run After 15 Years

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - India
Sony Entertainment Television
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" became a global hit, including in India.

With its host quitting, ITV says it will stop airing special episodes of the long-running global quiz show hit.

LONDON – ITV will stop airing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire specials after its host told U.K. media that he would call it a day.

"I can confirm we are not planning any further special episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire beyond the remaining programs, which are still to come on ITV," a spokeswoman said.

Host Chris Tarrant, 67, had told newspapers here that he would step down as the long-running quiz show's face.

Millionaire launched on ITV in 1998 and became a big daily hit in the U.K. and made a large impact around the globe. For example, it helped drive ABC's ratings in the U.S. for a while and was the inspiration for the show featured in Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Following its regular run on ITV, the network has in recent years used the show in the form of specials, mostly featuring celebrities who were raising money for charities.

"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 said in a statement to U.K. media. "It's been the most remarkable journey, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been associated with Millionaire from its inception."

Among the celebrities he had on the show were Paul McCartney, George Michael, Simon Cowell and Stephen Fry.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai