Who Wants To Be A Millionaire changes
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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire praised for Covid-friendly changes

Host Jeremy Clarkson joked about the new format

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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire returned to screens last night with some big changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ITV quiz show, hosted by former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, is back – only this time there is no studio audience, while the contestants are now separated by perspex screens.

Jeremy Clarkson on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire debuted its Covid changes, including filming without an audience (Credit: ITV)

What changes has ITV made to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

As a result, the show has had to drop its often-essential Ask The Audience lifeline, replacing it with a second Phone A Friend option.

Jeremy joked about the changes as he stepped into the studio.

We’re going to have to ramp this applause up and pretend there’s a lot of people here.

“Thank you, hello and welcome to a brand new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” he said enthusiastically. “Now, nothing much has changed since we were last here… except for the entire world.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire changes
Host Jeremy Clarkson joked about the changes (Credit: ITV)

“And for reasons related to that, we have no audience. But we do have six contestants sitting in perspex confessionals. And they’re all hoping to be a millionaire by the time we finish.”

When the first contest stepped up to play and the others clapped, Jezzer quipped: “Guys, that sounds like a village cricket match. We’re going to have to ramp this applause up and pretend there’s a lot of people here.

Read more: Jeremy Clarkson fans stunned as he shares new photo of girlfriend Lisa Hogan

“Just clap, like you’re clapping for the NHS.”

Jeremy went on to explain the changes to the lifelines.

He said: “They’re exactly the same as they were before except for the lifelines. You’ve got 50/50 and then you’ve got two Phone A Friends. They can’t be the same people.”

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire has no Ask The Audience lifeline at present (Credit: ITV)

What did Who Wants To Be A Millionaire viewers think of the coronavirus changes?

Those watching at home were positive about the changes. Some even admitted they preferred the Covid-friendly version of the series, which ITV has teased features the programme’s sixth millionaire.

One said on Twitter: “#whowantstobeamillionaire has worked well without the audience. Love the changes!”

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Another wrote: “#whowantstobeamillionaire It’s actually better without an audience!

They added, in reference to the Coughing Major scandal: “I suppose the millionaire winner did it on his own this time – no coughing!”

A third wrote: “Actually don’t miss the audience… #whowantstobeamillionaire.”

“#whowantstobeamillionaire virtual audience will be the future,” predicted a fourth.

Someone else said they thought having no Ask The Audience lifeline will make it a lot more difficult. They tweeted: “The loss of the audience is a real killer in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Not being able to ask the audience makes it a much harder game. #WWTBAM #Millionaire.”

“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire without an audience is losing a big part of the show,” admitted another. “But difficult to have come up with a solution in the current circumstances. Mind you, last thing you want in these times is someone coughing the right answers.”

One tweeted: “Watched #whowantstobeamillionaire last night. Strange with no audience but must admit, #JeremyClarkson carries the show beautifully. If ever a show was tailor made.”

“#WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire So bizarre to watch without an audience,” said another.

https://twitter.com/Richard_GJS/status/1303245234197991424

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