David Walliams has signed up to play one half of an Agatha Christie crime-fighting duo as part of a new deal to bring some of the writer’s works to the BBC during the 125th anniversary pf her birth.
The six-part BBC One series, called Partners In Crime, is based on two of Christie’s books about married sleuths Tommy and Tuppence. David will play Tommy, but show bosses are yet to cast his on-screen wife.
He said: “In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters.
“I was first drawn to the delicious notion of a married couple solving crimes together, and the more I read of the Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories I realised they are among Christie’s very best work.”
The channel will also show a new adaptation of Christie’s And Then There Were None – her most successful work, having sold more than 100 million copies.
The story, about 10 strangers marooned on an island who are killed off one by one, has already inspired previous film and TV versions and will be shown across three episodes, with BBC bosses pencilling it in for Christmas 2015.
Sarah Phelps, who worked on EastEnders and adapted the BBC version of Great Expectations, will adapt the book. A series of documentaries about Christie, who was born in 1890, are also planned.
BBC drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson said: “I am delighted that the great British institution that is the BBC is going to have a long-term relationship with the works of Agatha Christie – both the BBC and Christie are as brilliantly British as it is possible to get.”
Mathew Prichard, chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and the author’s grandson, said: “It is fantastic that, in her all-important 125th anniversary year, my grandmother is to be welcomed with such enthusiasm to the BBC: a wonderful new home for her much-loved characters and their stories, and one which she would be delighted with.
“The commitment to these productions from all those involved is great to see, and I’ve no doubt will result in compelling new adaptations, to be enjoyed by fans old and new.”