TV Times talks to David Suchet on his enduring friendship with co-star Zoe Wanamaker and preparing to say farewell to Poirot…

Is it fun having Zoe back playing Ariadne Oliver in this new adventure?
“Always! Zoe and I have been such good friends for a very long time. I was absolutely delighted when she first became Ariadne [in 2005’s Cards on the Table], and whenever she is set to appear, I look forward to it immensely. It is also great for Poirot to have a sparring partner, and Ariadne certainly provides that.”

Is your relationship in any way similar off screen?
“No, not in any way. We’re out of the roles as soon as filming finishes and go back to being just dear friends.”

What is different about the Halloween Party story?
“It is a classic Agatha Christie, a wonderful story with her usual twists and turns. There is nothing new in that, but what was different, as far as this story was concerned, is that he goes out into the countryside to solve the case.

“Poirot is always a bit out of touch when he goes into the country because he doesn’t like being outside very much. So he is out of his comfort zone, which was fun to play. He buys pictures of the countryside because it saves him visiting it! There is also a lovely summing up in this one, which takes place in a living room with a roaring open fire. It really fits with the Halloween theme.”

You have six more stories to film. How will it feel if you manage to complete them all?
“I think there will always be mixed feelings playing the last one – that I now have to put him to bed after all these years. It would be a great loss to me, but at the same time a great sense of achievement and a sense of closure on an iconic character that has been so successful. There would be a cocktail of emotions.

“I would feel more than privileged to be able to say that I have left behind me, the complete works. Times are hard, so we wait and see, but it would be a shame to get so near and not complete them all, wouldn’t it? That’s my feeling, but I am very biased!”

Agatha Christie: Poirot Hallowe’en Party will be screened on Wednesday, 27 October at 8pm on ITV1.