Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Agatha Christie Will Always Thrill; David Walliams Stars in the BBC's Upcoming Adaptation of Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and Talks about Being a Lifelong Christie Fan, Punching above His Weight and James Bond Fantasies

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Agatha Christie Will Always Thrill; David Walliams Stars in the BBC's Upcoming Adaptation of Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and Talks about Being a Lifelong Christie Fan, Punching above His Weight and James Bond Fantasies

Article excerpt

Have you always been an Agatha Christie fan? YES! I saw the movie of Murder On The Orient Express aged about 8, and was completely blown away by the story - I certainly didn't see the twist coming, I was really haunted by it for a long time afterwards.

No other writer has succeeded in creating such an amazing body of work. I read Christie's biography recently, and you get the sense of a brave, lovely lady who could somehow dream up these terrible murders. These stories are always going to thrill people.

What does the role of executive producer entail? THE reason I am executive producer is because I came to the owners of Christie with the idea of bringing Tommy and Tuppence to a new TV audience.

I said, 'Look, no-one is doing these stories and perhaps we can have a slightly different take on it than has been done before. We can have some humour and make a little bit more of Tommy and Tuppence's relationship.' I have been involved for the last couple of years, meeting writers, that sort of thing. It seems strange because I am used to being on the other side of it, to being rejected! I've really enjoyed it. It's something totally different for me and I love a new challenge.

What made you want to adapt Partners In Crime in particular? THERE was something that really appealed about the idea of a husband and wife detective duo. I thought there was something really delicious at the centre of it.

There are Agatha Christie's brilliant plots, but there's also a human story. These were characters who are not geniuses; they're normal people.

What do you like about Tommy as a character? I LIKE that he has to defer to Tuppence. A lot of viewers will recognise the situation of the woman being in charge; Tuppence is definitely running the show.

She's more intelligent and heroic than Tommy is, just like women tend to be in real life! I think Tommy's punching above his weight with Tuppence. She's an incredible catch; very glamorous, intelligent and forthright.

Did you enjoy playing a mix of comedy and drama? EARLY on we were thinking that the drama and the jeopardy had to be real; we didn't want to be parodying the Christie world.

The bad guys really are bad and people really do get killed, but there's some humour within the relationship between married people trying to go on this adventure together.

Why are detective stories so popular? YOU'RE a very active viewer when you're watching a detective story, because you're trying to piece it together too - you're trying to second guess the ending.

People like gristly stories as well, they like murders.

Are you up for doing a David Suchet and playing a Christie character for 25 years? YES, but there are only five Tommy and Tuppence novels, so we're going to have to invent a lot. If people still want to see them in 25 years, it would be wonderful. …

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