Backstage: Luke Blackall

David Suchet: 'Sign me up to Poirot the film'

 

David just called  – he wants his moustache back

Fittingly for a programme that has been on air since the late Eighties, ITV is making much of the final episodes of Poirot, starring David Suchet. But Suchet has hinted that he might not have hung up the moustache completely.

At a screening of Dead Man’s Folly, the penultimate Poirot, at the BFI in London this week, he admitted that while he wouldn’t be keen on treading the boards with Hercule, his head might be turned by an offer on the silver screen.

“To do a two-hour stage performance in all that padding and costume and make-up, I was so exhausted after that one performance that I don’t actually know whether it would be possible to do a six-month run, or even a 12-month run,” he said of a one-off performance of the Poirot play Black Coffee that he performed. “Put me in a film, yes,” he added. “I’d love to do one of the television plays as a remake in the movies”

Or as the crime novelist Sophie Hannah has been commissioned to write a “new” Poirot book, perhaps David will get the call when the film rights come up for grabs…

David also managed a fraternal dig at his newsman brother John, who was at the screening, and who he claims discouraged him from taking what has become his best-known role: “I rang my brother John, who I know is here tonight – because he’s always wise, being my older brother, and I said, ‘I’ve just been offered the possibility of playing [Hercule Poirot] and I wondered what you think.’ He said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘I just wondered what you might think.’ He said, ‘Oh God, don’t touch it with a barge pole.’ The moral of that story is never listen to your older brother.”

How to have an absolutely fabulous dinner party

Today is National Crowdfunding Day. It is not a day, admittedly, with a rich history, but it is more relevant now that performers increasingly rely on crowdsourcing. The latest is the actor and comedian Helen Lederer, who is hoping to raise £10,000 to put on two instalments at the St James Theatre in London of WTF? (Why the Fuss?) which is part stand-up, part chat show. The first is set to involve Kimberley Walsh, Suzanne Moore and the i columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. The eventual hope is to raise £25,000, which would allow Lederer to make a WTF? pilot to pitch to TV channels. Benefactors can get signed Absolutely Fabulous box-sets, or even (for £1,000) have Helen come to their next dinner party. If that sounds your thing, click here.

Helen is not the only one wanting your money. So too is Sir David Attenborough. He probably doesn’t have trouble getting programmes made, but he is hosting a press conference today to launch Flora and Fauna International’s campaign to get people to donate to Mountain Gorilla projects in Africa.

All promotion and no work

Lionel Shriver complains that one symptom of a desperate publishing industry and the rise of authors-as-celebrities, is that there is no time to actually be a writer. “Writing the books themselves gets fit in here and there, like making time for taking out the trash before bed,” the author writes in the ‘New Republic’. All well and good, but shouldn’t she be getting on with the next novel?

Lie back and think of jingles

The UK’s first “Sleeping Gig” is to be held at Wilton’s Music Hall – its attendees encouraged to nap while listening to the Urban Soul Orchestra. It is hosted by Direct Line, who probably owe the country one after their annoying ad jingle.

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