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.