THE long-running television quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is to be axed after host Chris Tarrant announced he wishes to step down from presenting the programme.
The 67-year-old TV veteran said he had reached a point where he wanted to call it a day, after having been with the show since its inception.
ITV has said there will be no further specials beyond those already planned.
The show was the first televison programme to offer viewers a chance to win a £1 million prize, even if that target was rarely ever reached, and became a major hit around the world, inspiring the blockbuster movie Slumdog Millionaire.
Tarrant said: “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.
“It’s been the most remarkable journey and I consider myself very fortunate to have been associated with Millionaire from its inception.
“ITV have been fantastic in their support from day one and to see its huge success has been thrilling.”
The show was stripped across ITV’s schedule when it launched in 1998, appearing daily and Tarrant proved to be a master of building tension.
In recent years, it has been used more as a platform for fundraising celebrity specials.
Tarrant went on: “The calibre of the celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Sir Alex Ferguson, Simon Cowell, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Terry Wogan, Stephen Fry and Matt Lucas is just one indication of how much this show has touched a nerve with everybody.”