Sunday, 13 September 2015

June Whitfield returns as Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4

The 89 year-old actress is returning to play the iconic character to mark the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth.

(c) BBC - June Whitfield as Miss Jane Marple 

June Whitfield will star as elderly amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple in “Miss Marple’s Final Cases”, a new three part radio drama series on BBC Radio 4. The series has been adapted from Agatha Christie’s short stories by Joy Wilkinson, who has adapted many of the author’s works for BBC Radio 4 in the past, including Endless Night and Crooked House.

June has previously played the character in all twelve Miss Marple novels on radio in the 1990s and is now returning to play the character for the final time. The actress describes the characters as “an extraordinary person because she has a talent for solving mysteries”.

Joy Wilkinson wrote a blog for the BBC Writersroom website saying, “This year, to mark Christie’s 125th anniversary, I finally got the chance to do a Marple. All the Marple novels had been done on radio and TV, so people knew them inside and out. What could I add? That temptation arose to do something different.”

The first of the thirty minute radio dramas is based on the short story “Tape-Measure Murder” from the collection of stories “Miss Marple’s Final Cases”.

Here’s the BBC’s description of the episode:

“Marking the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth this month, June Whitfield reprises her role as Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4 in the first of three new dramas by Joy Wilkinson. In episode one, rumours of a murdered wife and a husband under suspicion spread through St Mary Mead, and then Miss Marple is called as an alibi.”
The episode is written by Joy Wilkinson, and produced and directed by Gemma Jenkins for the BBC. It stars June Whitfield as Miss Marple; Rosie Cavaliero as Bunch; Stephen Critchlow as Inspector Slack; Jessica Turner as Miss Hartnell; Alison Pettitt as Miss Politt; Sam Dale as Mr Spenlow; and Chris Pavlo as Ted Gerard.
It's great to see that June Whitfield is revisiting Miss Marple this year, as we've already enjoyed a fresh adaptation of Christie's married sleuths Tommy and Tuppence this year, and will also look forward to seeing a new version of And Then There Were None too. It's safe to say that the BBC is Agatha Christie's new home.

The first episode will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 16th September at 11.30 am. If you miss it, you can catch up on BBC Iplayer Radio.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Six Agatha Christie Radio Dramas Coming Soon

Six "new" BBC Radio drama adaptations of Agatha's Christie's works are to be released on CD in the coming months.

The first radio drama collection is "Agatha Christie: The Lost Plays" which is a collection of three full cast radio dramas that are believed to have been lost for half a century and recently rediscovered and remastered. Two of them were written specifically for radio by Agatha Christie and one is an adaptation of her novel "Murder in the Mews".

Here's the BBC CD's product description:

“A triple bill of archive BBC radio dramas, believed lost for over half a century and only recently rediscovered. Butter in a Lordly Dish, written specially for radio in 1948, features Richard Williams as Sir Luke Enderby KC, whose infidelities lead him into trouble when he goes to meet his latest flame. Williams also stars as Hercule Poirot in Murder in the Mews, a 1955 adaptation of a short story. A young woman is found dead in her flat, the day after Guy Fawkes night. Did she die by her own hand, or someone else's? In Personal Call, also written specially for radio by Agatha Christie, a disturbing telephone call from a woman named Fay has consequences for both Richard Brent and his wife Pam. This 1960 production stars Ivan Brandt and Barbara Lott.”

This collection is available to pre-order from the BBC Shop and now and will be released on September 3rd 2015. It is clearly a must-have for Agatha Christie fans - a collection of classic radio dramas that have been lost and rediscovered.

Then there’s also a set of new radio dramas from the BBC to be released on CD in November. Acclaimed actress June Whitfield is returning to play Agatha Christie's renowned sleuth Miss Marple in three brand new radio plays based on the collection of short stories “Miss Marple’s Final Cases”. June Whitfield completed recording the twelve Miss Marple novels back in 2001, and is now returning again to play the character in some new adaptations of Miss Marple short stories for BBC Radio.

Here’s the CD’s product description:

“June Whitfield stars as Miss Marple in three brand new BBC Radio 4 dramatisations. The short stories on which the adaptations are based were published in a variety of magazines during Agatha Christie's lifetime, and then collected posthumously as the book Miss Marple's Final Cases. Duration: 2 hours 30”

It is possible that the three radio dramas will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the coming months, but this is not confirmed. However, I must say that I am pleased that June Whitfield is returning to play Miss Marple in some new radio dramas as it’s great to see (or rather hear) the character back on radio again. Each episode will be 50 minutes long and are all full cast BBC radio adaptations starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple. The audio CD is due to be released on November 5th 2015 and is available to pre-order on Therefore it is likely that the radio plays will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the coming months.

Are you excited about these “new” radio dramas? Leave a comment below or tweet me @AChristieWeb

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Partners in Crime: Episode One Preview (26th July)

(c) Laurence Cendrowicz - Jessica Raine as Tuppence and David Walliams as Tommy 
David Walliams and Jessica Raine star in the series premiere of Partners in Crime

The first episode of the much anticipated Partners In Crime starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine as Tommy and Tuppence will be broadcast on BBC One on this Sunday. The episode is based on Agatha Christie’s novel The Secret Adversary and has been adapted by Zinnie Harris and directed by Edward Hall.

Guest stars include Clarke Peters, Alice Krige and Jonny Phillips as well as series regulars Matthew Steer and James Fleet. The original novel has been split into three parts, the first of which will be broadcast this Sunday.

Here’s the BBC’s description of the first episode:

1952. Married couple Tommy and Tuppence have a chance encounter on a Paris train with an agitated young woman, named Jane Finn, who suddenly disappears and never returns to her seat. Back in England, Tommy is focussed on their fledgling honey business, Tuppence is much more concerned about the missing girl and her investigations bring them into contact with Tommy’s uncle, and Third Floor bigwig, Major Anthony Carter. It turns out that Jane Finn was carrying a secret recording that would potentially reveal the identity of a legendary Soviet assassin, known only as Mr Brown, who they believe will strike soon in Britain. Carter believes Brown’s cronies must have kidnapped Jane – they can only hope she managed to hide the recording before they got to her. Despite Carter’s attempts to keep them out of it, Tommy and Tuppence soon find themselves compelled to infiltrate Brown’s gang in the hopes of finding Jane Finn, the recording and foiling Brown’s next hit.

Cast and Credits:

Tommy Beresford - David Walliams
Tuppence Beresford - Jessica Raine
Major Anthony Carter - James Fleet
Albert Pemberton - Matthew Steer
Julius Hersheimmer - Clarke Peters
Rita Vandemeyer - Alice Krige
Lucky - Paul Brennen
Whittington - Jonny Phillips
James Peel - Andrew Havill
Jane Finn - Marie Beeput

Watch a teaser clip from the first episode below:

Partners In Crime: The Secret Adversary begins Sunday 26th July on BBC One starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Coming Soon: Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime, Starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine

(c) Laurence Cendrowicz - Jessica Raine as Tuppence and David Walliams as Tommy 
The new six-part series based on the Tommy and Tuppence novels is coming to BBC One on Sunday 26th July.

In February 2014, it was announced that David Walliams would star in a new BBC series based on the Tommy and Tuppence novels by Agatha Christie, with Jessica Raine playing the role of Tuppence and Walliams playing Tommy. After waiting patiently since then, Partners in Crime is coming to BBC One this July.

Starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine, the series is based on two Agatha Christie novels, The Secret Adversary and N or M?, which have been split into three parts in this new series. Episodes One-Three have been written by Zinnie Harris and Episodes Four-Six have been written by Claire Wilson. All six episodes are directed by Edward Hall (Downton Abbey).

Set in 1950s England, Tommy (David Walliams) and Tuppence Beresford (Jessica Raine) have been married ten years and have been struggling to keep afloat after the austerity that struck Britain after the second world war. To try and earn some money, Tommy has been working on various business enterprises, most of which turn out to be failures. But when Tommy’s uncle, the mysterious Major Anthony Carter (James Fleet) presents the Beresfords with a delicate mission of national importance, Tommy and Tuppence soon find themselves embroiled in a world of mysterious, intrigue and murder.

Alongside David Walliams and Jessica Raine, a whole host of talented actors also appear in the series. Partners In Crime co-stars Matthew Steer (Silent Witness) and James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Tommy and Tuppence’s friends and allies Albert Pemberton and Anthony Carter.

The series also features notable guest stars Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey), Clarke Peters (The Wire), Christina Cole (Poirot and Marple), Roy Marsden (Inspector Dalgliesh) and Hannah Waddingham (Les Miserables).

Watch the series trailer below:

Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime is coming to BBC One on Sunday 26th July 2015. Don't miss it!

Starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine, Matthew Steer and James Fleet

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Cast Announced for BBC's And Then Were None

The cast for the BBC's new adaptation of Agatha Christie's best selling novel And Then There Were None has been announced. 

With filming for the three part drama due to commence this weekend, the cast has been announced and includes Poldark star Aidan Turner and Game of Thrones star Charles Dance.

And Then There Were None has been adapted for the BBC by Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy) and stars Aidan Turner (Poldark), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Toby Stephens (James Bond), Miranda Richardson (Mapp and Lucia), Anna Maxwell Martin (Death Come to Pemberley), Douglas Booth (Great Expectations), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises), Noah Taylor (Peaky Blinders) and Maeve Dermody (Black Water).

Here's the BBC's description of the upcoming drama:

"The 10 strangers include a reckless playboy, a troubled Harley Street doctor, a formidable judge, an uncouth detective, an unscrupulous mercenary, a God-fearing spinster, two restless servants, a highly decorated general and an anxious secretary. One by one they are picked off. Who will survive? And who is the killer? Copies of an ominous nursery rhyme hang in each room, the murders mimicking the awful fates of its ‘Ten Little Soldier Boys’.

And Then There Were None is currently filming now and is due to be broadcast some time later this year, in order to tie in with the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth. It will be broadcast in the US in early 2016.

In other news, the BBC's other Agatha Christie drama, Partners In Crime, will be broadcast this July and will star David Walliams and Jessica Raine as Tommy and Tuppence Beresford.

Cast and characters 

Anthony Marston - Douglas Booth
Justice Lawrence Wargrave - Charles Dance
Vera Claythorne - Maeve Dermody
William Blore - Burn Gorman
Ethel Rodgers - Anna Maxwell Martin
General John McArthur - Sam Neill
Miss Emily Brent - Miranda Richardson
Dr Edward Armstrong - Toby Stephens
Thomas Rodgers - Noah Taylor
Phillip Lombard - Aidan Turner

And Then There Were None commences filming this weekend and will be broadcast on BBC One later this year. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Agatha Christie's 125th Anniversary

(c) Agatha Christie Web 
This year, 2015, marks 125 years since Agatha Christie's birth. 

On 15th September 1890, 125 years ago this year, Agatha Christie was born. To mark this anniversary, Agatha Christie Limited are celebrating in many different ways. Here's a round up of what's going on this year and how you can be involved in the celebrations.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Geraldine McEwan 1932 - 2015

(c) ITV - Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple 

Geraldine McEwan, best known for playing Miss Marple from 2004 - 2009, died peacefully on 30th January 2015 following a stroke in October, her family announced yesterday.