Sir David Suchet, 74, became a household name to many as fan-favourite detective Hercule Poirot, until he bid farewell to the character he still refers to as his “best friend” in 2013. His death was a sad affair, not only for loyal viewers of the series but for the actor himself, who after 25-years portraying the French inspector also felt like part of him was dying.
In a recent interview, Suchet admitted that his upsetting demise felt like he had lost a real-life family member.
“As a human being, losing your real family is always painful,” he said.
“But my saddest day as an actor was filming Poirot’s death.
“I miss him in my life because he was my life for 25 years and I’ve lost my best friend.”
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On the ITV television series, Poirot died in October 1949 from complications of a heart condition at the end of Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case.
When asked what he thought the essence of Hercule Poirot was after all these years, Suchet explained: “He comes across as very self-sufficient, but Agatha Christie has him mention on several occasions that the greatest gift from God to human beings is a husband-and-wife relationship.
“I’d try to bring that out more as I aged with Poirot – that he would’ve loved to have had a companion.”
But he added cheekily: “However, no one person could have put up with him. He would be impossible to live with! He’s an egotistical perfectionist.”
But the actor isn’t ready to give up on his on-screen alter-ego just yet.
Before lockdown, he took Poirot on tour in Australia and New Zealand with his one-man show Poirot and Me: A Retrospective, but he has hopes to revive it in the UK.
Wanting to showcase the show, which is an even split between the actor’s life story and his time as the detective, in the West End and then with a national tour, Suchet revealed it might “try to get people back into the theatre”, after what has been a dismal year for the performing arts sector.
And the ITV series, which ran for a total of 70 episodes between 1989 to 2013, has been enjoying a bit of a lockdown revival since it was added to ITV Hub, to which the actor admitted has done wonders for his popularity.
“My fan mail has increased three-fold with people who have watched the whole box set twice!” he told Radio Times.
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“I’m humbled that it has increased worldwide.”
Despite being his “best friend”, Suchet confessed he had never watched the show until he walked in on his wife rewatching the box sets.
“I don’t watch him – actually, that’s not true. My wife does,” he smiled.
“I walked into the room the other day and he was on and I sat next to her and watched him. I’m here to say that I actually quite enjoyed it!”
Suchet’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.
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Chelsea and Manchester City are set to make a late surge in the transfer battle to land Bayern Munich star David Alaba this summer. The defender will see his contract expire amid strong interest from Real Madrid.
Alaba’s wage demands have allowed Chelsea and City back in the race to sign the defender ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The Austria international will see his contract expire at Bayern Munich at the end of the season and it appears that all negotiations are off.
It means the 28-year-old is set to depart when his deal is up in the summer with a host of elite clubs desperate for his signature.
Real Madrid were believed to be his first choice, while Barcelona are also in the race, with Alaba looking at Spain as his next destination.
But his wage demands have blown the Spanish giants out of the water, with him asking for £400,000-a-week.
Amid financial uncertainty and the Covid-19 crisis, neither Real or Barca have the necessary cash to stump up such a deal.
According to the Daily Star, that has allowed Chelsea and City to reenter the battle.
Both clubs are keen to sign the Austrian but were starting to believe that he would not pick the Premier League over La Liga.
But that is now changing while Pep Guardiola knows all about the player having coached him during his time in charge at Bayern.
Thomas Tuchel is a known fan as the Blues hunt an established defender to bolster their backline while his agent Pini Zahavi is a close pal of Roman Abramovich’s.
Though neither club would likely fork out £400,000-a-week, that total could be reached through a number of matchday bonuses.
David Attenborough warns world leaders about climate change
The naturalist has spent nearly seven decades at the BBC and fronted many of the nation’s favourite wildlife shows. In recent years, Sir David has warned of the impending dangers posed by climate change. But in a series of blunt statements, the documentarian weighed-in on the Brexit debate.
Sir David, who returns to screens this weekend on Attenborough’s Life In Colour, spoke out about the problems before Brexit.
Nearly five years ago, the historic EU referendum concluded with 52 percent of the public in favour of leaving the bloc.
While Sir David did not reveal whether he voted Leave or Remain, he did seem to understand the frustrations of the public.
When asked about whether he was a Brexiteer, he replied: “There had to be a change, one way or another.”
Sir David felt the EU had allowed itself to do things that “irritated” people in member states.
David Attenborough spoke out about the European Union (EU) in a rare interview (Image: GETTY)
David Attenborough has spent nearly seven decades at the BBC (Image: GETTY)
In 2019, he told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “I think that [there is] irritation [from] the ways in which the European community has interfered.”
Sir David explained that it had “interfered with people’s lives on silly levels”.
He believed the public took affront to “silly issues” and that had left them uncertain about the benefits of the EU.
Sir David continued: “[It] has irritated a lot of people who don’t actually understand what the advantages and the disadvantages are.”
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David Attenborough returns to TV screens this weekend with Attenborough’s Life In Colour (Image: GETTY)
He argued that the public were “fed up” with an overseas group deciding laws that would affect the UK – and other member states.
Sir David claimed the language barrier may have been a problem for some people too.
He suggested some people may have grown tired of everyday frustrations – such as being told “how much money they have got to charge for tomatoes”.
Sir David believed “something silly” like that could have turned people against the EU.
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The Brexit timeline (Image: EXPRESS)
He also believed that the bloc had not concentrated on the smaller things cared about by members.
Sir David said: “Maybe the European Union didn’t pay enough attention.”
He explained that they could have ignored the “sorts of things that members…care about”.
Sir David continued: “[The EU] has allowed themselves to do all sorts of things which irritate the members.”
After the 2016 referendum, Sir David was reported to have “expressed his sadness” at the prospect of leaving the EU, according to the Guardian.
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When asked about how Brexit could affect the environment, he said: “That is sad.”
He seemed concerned that certain wildlife protections could be removed once the UK left the EU.
Sir David noted that swallows, migrant birds “and so on” were “not members of the union” but may be affected by its decisions.
He said: “One just hopes that collaboration on these issues, conservation issues, will transcend political divisions.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer’s record on Brexit (Image: Express)
Previously, Sir David was concerned that Brexit had already taken too much time to discuss on the international stage.
He feared that “hideous” environmental problems were being ignored due to talks about leaving the bloc.
Sir David described how the UK and the rest of the world were “occupied with these silly squabbles about Brexit”.
He also raised concern about facism, as witnessed in the Thirties and Forties.
David Attenborough was concerned that wildlife could suffer as a result of Brexit (Image: GETTY)
Sir David feared the public were “losing reason” and “becoming enraged”.
He hoped that they would remember the “lunacy that overtook Europe” during that period of time.
Sir David said: “We had German Jewish refugees living in our house throughout the war.
“When I see mobs… mobs of people are a very, very ugly sight.”
Attenborough’s Life In Colour airs at 7pm Sunday on BBC One.