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Millionaire returns with a new host

Contestants on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have relied on phoning their brainy friends for nearly 600 episodes.

But bosses have decided that in this modern age, they want their pals where they can see them.

When the show returns later this year, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, the lifeline will be ditched and instead contestants will be forced to video call their mates on Skype.

Rebranded Ask a Friend, it will stop helpers being tempted to Google an answer away from the eyes of producers.

A source said: “The familiar lifelines Ask the Audience and 50:50 will remain but bosses have decided to bring Phone a Friend up to date.

“The option they’re looking at will see contestants Skype their mates. The risk of a pal using the internet to find out an answer is too great now, and with £1million in play bosses aren’t taking any chances.

“But they also want everyone to be involved, even your nan who might not have Skype, so are trying to work out how to do that.”

Contestants’ cheating pals became such a big issue on the US version that the show was axed in 2009.

The UK series, which ended in 2014 after being presented by Chris Tarrant since 1998, returns this spring for its 20th anniversary.

Jeremy, host of The Grand Tour, will ask the questions, as revealed by The Sun, and ITV plans to air seven episodes in a week.

That could be an expensive seven days for them if the contestants’ luck is in.

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