Read Poirot and Me Online

Authors: David Suchet,Geoffrey Wansell

Tags: #Biography & Autobiography, #Entertainment & Performing Arts

Poirot and Me

Copyright © 2013 David Suchet and Geoffrey

Wansell The right of David Suchet and

Geoffrey Wansell to be identified as the

Authors of the Work has been asserted by

them in accordance with the Copyright,

Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Apart from any use permitted under UK

copyright law, this publication may only be

reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any

form, or by any means, with prior permission

in writing of the publishers or, in the case of

reprographic production, in accordance with

the terms of licences issued by the Copyright

Licensing Agency.

First published as an Ebook in the UK by

Headline Publishing Group in 2013

Cataloguing in Publication Data is available

from the British Library

Epub conversion by Avon DataSet Ltd,

Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

eISBN: 978 0 7553 6420 6

Plate sections designed by Fiona Andreanelli

All photographs © ITV plc, except where

marked

The Mysterious Affair at Styles reprinted by

permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ©

1920 Agatha Christie. The Kidnapped Prime

Minister reprinted by permission of

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd © 1924 Agatha

Christie. The Disappearance of Mr

Davenheim reprinted by permission of

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd © 1924 Agatha

Christie. Five Little Pigs reprinted by

permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ©

1942 Agatha Christie. The Mystery of the

Spanish Chest reprinted by permission of

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd © 1960 Agatha

Christie. Halloween Party reprinted by

permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ©

1969 Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie: An

Autobiography reprinted by permission of

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd © 1977 Agatha

Christie. Thirteen at Dinner reprinted by

permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ©

1933 Agatha Christie.

Every effort has been made to fulfil

requirements with regard to reproducing

copyright material. The authors and

publishers will be glad to rectify any

omissions at the earliest opportunity.

All jacket photographs © James Eckersley

AGATHA CHRISTIE and POIROT mark are

registered trade marks of Agatha Christie

Limited which owns all rights relating to the

Poirot character including in his name and

image. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER

This is David Suchet’s personal account of his

life playing Poirot and has been written by

him independently (but with necessary

permission) from ITV and the Agatha Christie

estate.

HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP

An Hachette UK Company

338 Euston Road

London NW1 3BH

www.headline.co.uk

Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

About the Book

About the Authors

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Prologue

Chapter 1 I wouldn’t touch it with a barge

pole

Chapter 2 We must never, ever, laugh at him

Chapter 3 I’m sorry, but I am not going to

wear that suit

Chapter 4 I’m afraid they’re going to be too

tame, or too eccentric

Chapter 5 It was like being hit over the head

with a mallet

Chapter 6 I wanted him to become even

more human

Chapter 7 I felt that I had become the

custodian of Dame Agatha’s creation

Chapter 8 Television’s unlikeliest heartthrob .

. . the mango man

Chapter 9 You have to make sure that

nothing goes to your head

Chapter 10 I could be saying goodbye to

him, perhaps for a year, perhaps forever

Chapter 11 A very long way indeed from

Poirot

Chapter 12 There hasn’t been any trouble,

has there?

Chapter 13 I had forgotten how hard he was

to find in the first place

Chapter 14 One of the turning points . . . a

legacy to Dame Agatha

Chapter 15 Easily the worst book I ever

wrote

Chapter 16 Why-why-why did I ever invent

this detestable, bombastic, tiresome little

creature!

Chapter 17 You’re not going to wear those

horrible hairnet or moustache-net things, are

you?

Chapter 18 It is never finished with a

murder. Jamais!

Chapter 19 But most of all, to you all, au

revoir and merci beaucoup!

Poirot: Character Notes’ Facsimile

Picture Section

Index

About the Book

Hercule

Poirot,

with

his

distinctive

moustache and fastidious ways, is one of

Agatha Christie’s finest creations and one of

the world’s best-loved detectives.

Through his television performance in ITV’s

Agatha Christie’s Poirot , David Suchet has

become inextricably linked with the ‘little

Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love

dearly through an intimate relationship

lasting more than twenty years.

I n Poirot and Me, he shares his many

memories of creating this iconic television

series and reflects on what the detective has

meant to him over the years.

About the Authors

DAVID SUCHET is an

award-winning English

actor, best known

around the world for his

portrayal of Hercule

Poirot. In a career that

has spanned more than

four decades David has

appeared in many

theatrical productions.

He is also an Associate

Artist of the Royal

Shakespeare Company.

He has won awards for

his portrayals of the

university teacher John

in David Mamet’s

Oleanna and the

composer Antonio Salieri

in Peter Shaffer’s

Amadeus in the theatre,

as well as for playing

two disgraced tycoons,

Augustus Melmotte in

Anthony Trollope’s The

Way We Live Now and

Robert Maxwell, on

television. A keen

photographer, he is

married with two adult

children and lives in

London. David was

awarded the CBE in

2011 for services to

drama. This is his first

book.

GEOFFREY WANSELL is the author of more

than a dozen books, including biographies of

the movie star Cary Grant, the billionaire Sir

James Goldsmith and the playwright Sir

Terence Rattigan. He was also the

authorised biographer of the Gloucester

serial killer Frederick West, appointed to the

role by the Official Solicitor to the Supreme

Court, and is now the official historian of the

Garrick Club in London. As a journalist, he

has worked for The Times, the Observer, the

Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail, among

many other newspapers and magazines in

Britain and around the world. He first met

David Suchet when he appeared in the film

When the Whales Came for Twentieth

Century Fox, when Geoffrey was the

executive producer, and the two have

remained close friends.

For my wife Sheila

Acknowledgements

Playing Hercule Poirot for a quarter of a

century would not have been possible for me

without the help of many, many people, all

of whom I owe my most grateful thanks. The

television executives, directors, producers,

writers, production teams all helped to make

it an unforgettable experience. To all the

teams over all the shows, to the costume

designers, costumiers, tailors, dressers,

personal make-up artists, set designers and

the art directors, who made the production

values of Poirot so special, let me say at

once, I could not have done it without you,

thank you all so much.

I must also thank all the extraordinary and

talented actors and actresses who have

appeared alongside me and supported me

throughout the years, especially Hugh

Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran –

the central members of the Poirot family at

the very beginning and for so many episodes

thereafter. I cannot thank them enough.

But there are another special group whom I

really must thank individually for their

contribution to making the programmes with

me. The first among those are the late

Rosalind Hicks, Dame Agatha’s daughter,

and her husband, the late Anthony Hicks,

who believed that I was capable of bringing

Poirot to life for an audience around the

world, a view that was reinforced by their

son Mathew Prichard. I could not have

created and sustained Poirot without their

help.

Then there is Brian Eastman, who first

approached me about playing the role in

1988 and produced the series through its

formative years with the greatest skill and

determination. I owe a similar debt to

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