The head of the British company that produces "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" says he agrees with the noncustodial sentences given this week to the army major and his wife found guilty of cheating the television quiz show.

"Their lives have been ruined," Celador Managing Director Paul Smith told the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

"They've been discredited and I doubt they have many friends, but I think it's important there's some kind of stability for their children," he added.

Maj. Charles Ingram and his wife, Diana, were found guilty on Monday of hatching a plot with college lecturer Tecwen Whittock to con their way to the 1 million pound ($1.57 million) top prize by using coughs to indicate the correct answers.

The Ingrams were fined 15,000 pounds ($23,585) each and given suspended 18-month jail terms.

Whittock was fined 10,000 pounds ($15,723) and given a 12-month suspended jail sentence.

"I have no particular sympathy with the major. The guy is a criminal and charlatan," Smith said. "He tried to undermine the show, we spotted him and we're pleased about that."

British commercial channel ITV is to broadcast a 90-minute documentary on the case on Monday April 21, the paper added.

Martin Bashir, whose recent documentary on Michael Jackson won massive audience ratings worldwide, will present the program.

"Millionaire" has become one of the most successful global television formats, broadcast to hundreds of millions of people and syndicated to more than 100 countries since it first aired in Britain in 1998.