Frears in talks to adapt Quiz for ITV

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Stephen Frears is in advanced talks to direct a forthcoming adaptation of James Graham's Quiz for ITV.

The acclaimed English director is making the show after being approached by Andy Harries, the Chief Executive of Left Bank Pictures, an independent television production company.

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Stephen Frears has been one of the most influential directors of his generation

It's not clear whether the show is a one-off or multi-part drama.

Graham, 36, is a British playwright who has written a series of blockbuster hits about the world of politics in recent years, including This House and Ink, which chronicled Rupert Murdoch's ownership of The Sun newspaper.

Quiz, which premiered at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester in 2017, centred on the scandal of a British Army major who was accused of cheating on the ITV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It later transferred to London.

Graham described the incident, in which the major's wife and a friend coughed in the audience each time he said the right answer, as "the most British crime in the history of the world."

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Successful playwright James Graham whose productions include Labour of Love (2017) and The Vote (2015)

Earlier this year, Graham wrote Brexit: The Uncivil War for Channel 4, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch.

The combination of Frears and Graham will excite fans of both - which is to say, much of the British film and television establishment.

Frears is among the most garlanded English directors still working today, with credits including My Beautiful Laundrette, High Fidelity, The Queen and Philomena.

Last year he directed A Very English Scandal, a three-part drama for the BBC, starring Hugh Grant as the former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe.

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Image caption,
Andy Harries is founder of Left Bank Pictures, which made The Crown for Netflix

Like Graham, Andy Harries is a graduate of the University Hull. In recent years he has become one of the most powerful figures in British television, having made The Crown for Netflix. That show was a signature acquisition for the American streaming giant, declaring its ambition to swim in creative waters traditionally dominated by the likes of the BBC and ITV.

A date for broadcast of the ITV adaptation of Quiz has not yet been set.