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David Suchet, who played Belgian sleuth Poirot for 24 years, says he was recently reminded of the far-reaching effect of the long-running ITV drama…

A few weeks ago, the 
68-year-old actor
 and his wife Sheila went to Prague for a weekend they’d bid for in a silent charity auction.

He said: “We walk into the hotel and there’s these young people behind reception who see me and go bananas because they grew up in the Nineties, and with all the problems in Prague, watching Poirot gave them comfort.

“One person had tears in their eyes to say that their mother and father were kept going by the series. You just do the job and go home – but it’s had such a wonderful, far-reaching effect beyond just being entertainment, and that’s very humbling.”

The final episode of the detective show, based on Agatha Christie’s novels, may have aired last year, but David reckons he will never stop being recognised for the role.

He said: “I’ll never let him go. I’ll never be able to because he’s on our screens all the time somewhere in the world.

“I was in Rome last week and he was on TV – speaking Italian! I’m told by ITV there could be 760 million viewers worldwide, that’s quite a lot.”

David Suchet as PoirotDavid Suchet as Poirot (ITV)

David can be seen next week in a new two-part documentary in which he explores the life of apostle and first pope, St Peter. 

David Suchet: In The Footsteps Of St Peter is on BBC One on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.