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British actor David Suchet

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People of the Year: David Suchet on BBC Radio 4

David Suchet talks about playing detective Hercule Poirot for the last time, after 25 years in the role.

Suchet reveals the hidden Poirot at the Royal Hall

Graham Chalmers // Ripon Gazette. Photo by Paula Duck

TV crime’s biggest superstar David Suchet is sitting on a Harrogate stage on a cosy armchair being questioned by Geofffrey Wansell, co-author of his new book, Poirot and Me, who’s also on a cosy armchair.

It’s as if they were any normal pair of chums having a chat in someone’s front room.

Seconds earlier, Suchet had arrived on stage to applause more expected for a rock star than a classically-trained actor.

The popular Suchet had leant forward and taken an extravagantly low bow — much like members of The Beatles had done on the exact same stage 50 years earlier.

Ostensibly appearing at the Royal Hall to talk about his 25 years on TV playing Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective, the packed-out event quickly turned into a genteel cauldron of hero worship.

Suchet seemed simultaneously delighted and a little uneasy with the attention while pricking the bubble occasionally with gentle mickey-taking.

“I’m sorry there’s no moustache tonight,” he says, “it’s at home having a rest.”

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Hercule Poirot star delights East Coast passengers with sell-out book signing

// East Coast Media Centre

David Suchet, star of ITV’s popular crime drama Poirot, has been meeting fans of the series at an exclusive book signing event on an East Coast train from London to York.

The award-winning English actor, famous for his starring role in the televised version of Agatha Christie’s “Poirot”, took time out from his journey to meet passengers and sign copies of his new book ‘Poirot and Me’ about the series and his character, , as well as answering questions about his career in a live chat on East Coast’s Twitter feed, @eastcoastuk.

David played the iconic role of the Belgian detective on ITV for more than two decades. His last appearance as Poirot was broadcast last month when he played out the final scenes of “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. He has now filmed stories from every Hercule Poirot book written by Agatha Christie.

Charlotte Green meets Hercule Poirot himself — the actor David Suchet

// Classic FM

David Suchet is not just the brother of Classic FM's weekday morning presenter John Suchet – as grand a claim as that may be – but he's also known to millions as one of the most iconic detectives in television history, Hercule Poirot. David joins Charlotte to talk about life as Agatha Christie's famous crime-solving creation and what it was like to film Poirot's final episode.

Interview: David Suchet on Poirot

Graham Chalmers // Ripon Gazette

Such was the solemnity of the screening of Poirot’s last-ever case, I was made to agree to certain restrictions by ITV before I could even talk to David Suchet.

Before interviewing the man behind one of TV’s greatest achievements, I was sworn to secrecy on certain key developments in the final episode. I was not allowed to reveal the identity of the first murderer. I was not allowed to reveal the identity of the second murder who kills the first murderer.

And, as for what happens to Poirot himself, I was forbidden from mentioning this in the paper or online on pain of death!

But nothing has ever been straightforward in the 25 years that Suchet played Agatha Christie’s famous fictional detective in his distinctive hat, moustache, suit and dicky bow.

Perhaps that’s the reason the love affair between Poirot and TV audiences lasted so long.

If it is, that’s largely down to the seriousness with which Suchet himself approached the task of portraying this arch-perfectionist.

“The earlier hour-long episodes were based on the short stories which were more jocular and lighter in tone with the lovely Miss Lemon, Chief Inspector Japp and Captain Hastings. I played the role as an eccentric but not too much so.”

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“My agony as Poirot drew his last breath”, by David Suchet: Shock as the little Belgian sensationally turns out to be the killer in his own final case

David Suchet // Daily Mail. Extracted from “Poirot And Me” by David Suchet and Geoffrey Wansell, published by Headline.

Spoiler Alert: don't read if you do not want to know the final outcome!

Final case

For more than two decades, viewers have been used to seeing him solve murder after murder. But in his final TV appearance last night, the killer turned out to be Hercule Poirot himself. In a dramatic finale to the long-running ITV series, the Belgian detective — played for 25 years by David Suchet — was seen shooting a man in the head before signing a dramatic deathbed confession.

After a lifetime spent solving crime, he died of a heart attack and was found slumped in bed by his best friend Captain Hastings.

Agatha Christie fans will not have been surprised to see Poirot die in the last episode, since the novel it was based on — Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case — was first published in 1975.

But the ending was kept a guarded secret by ITV nonetheless. Even those devotees who knew the outcome found themselves wishing it would end differently. Writing online shortly before it screened last night, one viewer wrote: ‘Poirot can’t die, he just can’t.’ Another said: ‘I can’t believe Poirot’s gonna die next episode. I’m not prepared for this.’

Over 13 series, Poirot has featured 1,124 actors, including the new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi and Homeland star Damian Lewis.

In his final case, Poirot decides to kill a hotel guest, Stephen Norton, who has caused the deaths of five people without being convicted, and who plans to kill again.

After shooting him, Poirot commits suicide by failing to take the amyl nitrate he needs for his heart condition. At the end of the episode, he writes a confession explaining his actions to Hastings. As he dies in bed, he is heard to utter: ‘Forgive me.’

Here David Suchet, 67, tells the amazing story of why he came to play the role of Poirot, how he made it the definitive portrayal of the fastidious Belgian detective — and his sadness at having to say a last farewell...

On a damp, chilly November morning I am feeling old, very old. So old, indeed, that I am on the brink of death. You can barely hear my voice as the angina invading my body takes an ever-increasing toll. Every whisper seems to bring another racking cough. I have lost 2st, my face is the colour of aged parchment and my hands are gnarled like human claws.

James Naughtie meets Hercule Poirot

// BBC Radio 4 The Today

The Today programme’s James Naughtie speaks to Hercule Poirot (played by David Suchet), pictured above with Geoffrey Wansell, who co-wrote “Poirot And Me”.

David Suchet says goodbye to “Poirot”: The actor on making TV history

Morgan Jeffery // Digital Spy

The end is near... and now Hercule Poirot must face the final ’Curtain’.

David Suchet has achieved what many thought was impossible — 25 years on from his first appearance as the iconic Belgian detective, the 67-year-old actor has completed Agatha Christie’s entire Poirot canon for ITV.

In a new interview, Suchet talks saying goodbye to Hercule, making TV history, how he almost walked out on the show and how he’d feel watching another actor play Poirot...

On saying goodbye to Poirot...

"There is a complete strange mixture of... I now have to say goodbye, because I’ve done it, and then euphoria for exactly the same reason — I’ve done it! So it’s a mixture of things.

"The predominant emotion is celebration, that actually it is time for him to go. The book was written; it’s been on our bookshelves since 1975. Anybody could have read it, so nobody should be really surprised, especially the fans of Agatha Christie.

“She felt it was time, and having done all the stories, it is time [for me too]. So I’m very pleased to have done it — what a thing to leave behind, and personally, what a thing to have done.”

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Remembering the master of Poirot, David Suchet, at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter

Ken Windsor // Exeter Express and Echo

I write this in the week that the final episode is due to be broadcast on British television of that long running series “Poirot”.

The character, created by Agatha Christie and played by David Suchet, is one of those “you love them or hate them” detectives.

Agatha Christie’s grandson Mathew has been reported as saying: “Personally, I regret very much that she (Agatha Christie) never saw David Suchet. I think that visually he is much the most convincing and perhaps he manages to convey to the viewer just enough of the irritation that we always associate with the perfectionist, to be convincing.”

There is no doubt that the nation took this portrayal to their hearts, which resulted in the series running from 1989 to the year 2013.

In theatrical terms curtains go up as well as down and in the private life of David Suchet there was a moment when the curtain went up on a new episode in his life — his discovery of Christianity.

David touched upon this and his acting career when we met at the height of the series popularity when he was appearing at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter.

David Suchet: Poirot and me

Emma John// The Observer

Few TV detectives have been as well loved as Poirot; and when the final episode airs this week, after 25 years, no one will be sorrier to say goodbye than David Suchet. He talks to Emma John about his defining role. Plus, famous cast and crew explain what the little Belgian means to them.

David Suchet likes to think of life as a spider’s web. The spider, you see, spins his web from behind; he can’t see what he’s creating. “The only time he can check what led to what is when he turns around,” says Suchet pensively. “So in our life. We don’t know what we’re spinning, what we touch, what we do...”

It’s a philosophy that is particularly on his mind today. Twenty-five years ago, Suchet was asked to play Agatha Christie’s fussy little Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, in an ITV drama series set eternally in his late-1930s world. Suchet’s brother John, the ITV newsreader, warned him off the role — “I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole,” he told him, “It’s not you at all” — and Suchet himself hadn’t read any of the books. But he agreed. And next week, as Poirot solves his final case on ITV, Suchet will say adieu to the character who has become the defining — and best-loved — figure of his career.

He has solved the ABC Murders. He has unravelled the Mysterious Affair at Styles. He has witnessed Death on the Nile. In the final series of dramas, surrounded by their typically acute period detail, Poirot is ageing, and there is one more death that we know he cannot escape. Today, as Suchet looks out on a grey, mizzly skyline from the 14th floor of ITV’s studios on Southbank, the city is in a suitably sombre mood. “I haven’t fully mourned him yet,” says Suchet gently. “I suppose that will come. And I will miss him from my life until I die. But everybody has their time. And this is his.”

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