I'm in New York for the International Emmy Awards. I had no idea how big the awards are; the place was flooded with reps, agents, writers, actors.
As we are about to leave our hotel, my wife Sheila and I realise that no one has arranged to get us there, so we splash out and book a limo. The ballroom in the New York Hilton where the awards are being held is huge and we are sat as far away from the podium as you can possibly get, so we assume there's no chance of me winning. The Brits get award after award, it's phenomenal. When they call out my name for the winner of the Best Actor award for Maxwell, my jaw hits the table. I do the huge walk from my table to the podium, do a quick speech and then a ton of interviews. Interviewers from all round the world say "we're so happy you won because we love Poirot". It's lovely. Sheila and I don't have a lift home so we find ourselves in a cab queue carrying this huge box with my Emmy in it, which we find very amusing.
I have 82 emails from friends and colleagues congratulating me. I spend all day fielding calls from people while trying to pack my suitcase at the same time. We weren't prepared for this as I didn't think there was a hope in hell of winning, so we had arranged to fly home today, barely with time to breathe. We get to the airport, and as I'm going through security the guard says, "Don't I know you from somewhere? You're Poirot!" He then asks me what's in my big box that I'm taking on as hand luggage. I tell him he'll soon find out as I place it on the conveyor belt to be X-rayed. When my Emmy appears on his screen he shouts out, "Fantastic!"
We arrive back in London in the morning. To congratulate me on the award, BA had upgraded us so it was a very comfortable flight. I arrive home to lots of lovely cards and flowers from my agents and people at ITV, which is very kind of them all.
I feel ghastly today and have been struck down by flu. I lie in bed and read my John Le Carré novel but I can't really take my eyes off BBC News 24 and everything that is happening in Mumbai. It's very sobering and certainly brings me down to earth. These extraordinary parallels of existence.
I'm in bed again all day but I'm desperate to go out to celebrate my award. It will remain for me the most extraordinary experience, as far as award shows go, in my 40-year career. I was so proud to be one of the many Brits who won. It's such a little place on the map but we have the most extraordinary creativity in our blood. As soon as I'm better, I'm going to take Sheila out for a nice dinner and have some champagne. I've not had a drink since winning.Reuse content