John Gibson: I tried and failed to imitate Poirot

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What more to be penned about David Suchet (Hercules Poirot to you, me and millions like us) other than add my tuppenceworth? His final, his very last, episode coming up?

This is the chacteristically modest Suchet owning up: “I am very squat and stocky. I am not the handsome man, I was never going to be the next Cary Grant and now I look back and thank God for it.”

He’ll be peeling off the trademark moustache after 25 years as the Belgian sleuth. All of 70 episodes. In the final edition we’ll see him in a wheelchair, wasted. Shadow of the man we’ve known. Here’s Suchet again: “He’s a walking brain, so when he’s in the wheelchair all the energy is here... Poirot has been my best friend, part of my family, part of my life. I’ve lived with this man. He has allowed me the career I don’t think I would have had without him. He has give me stability in a profession that is insecure.”

Suchet adds: “People write to me from all over the world telling me how Poirot has seen them through bereavements and illnesses. They tell me how Poirot has comforted them because they feel safe with him.”

It’s that mincing wee walk that’s grabbed me. I’ve tried and failed to imitate it but only privately, behind closed doors. One could end up in court and get six months for that.


. . . can’t raise much from the Beeb about their elfinish business correspondent, Scot Emma Simpson. I won’t let go. Intrigued.