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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
New Miss Marple gets modern edge
Miss Marple
Geraldine McEwan said she felt it was her destiny to play the role
The latest incarnation of TV detective Miss Marple has been unveiled, with actress Geraldine McEwan stepping into the role of the determined sleuth.

ITV has adapted four Agatha Christie novels to give them a more modern feel and evolve the detective's character.

The late author's estate has welcomed the modernised adaptations, hoping they will attract a new audience.

McEwan, 72, star of 1970s drama The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, takes over from Joan Hickson, who died in 1998.

"With Miss Marple, I feel that I have been entrusted with a national treasure of whom I already feel both protective and extremely fond," said McEwan.

"I love Miss Marple and when I was asked to play her, I just felt it was - well it sounds a bit dramatic - but I thought it really was right that I was asked to play this part.


"I felt it was my destiny really, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. She is still evolving for me, and she's still becoming more things to me as I discover more about her," she added.

Joan Hickson
Joan Hickson last played Miss Marple on the BBC
Other cast members in the series include Joanna Lumley, Simon Callow, Tara Fitzgerald and Stephen Tompkinson.

Christie's grandson, Mathew Pritchard, who is also chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd, said he hoped the new series would bring "the classic stories to a whole new generation".

The new episodes, set in the 1950s, will reveal more of Miss Marple's past, showing the spinster did have a romantic side and a relationship in her younger days.

She is also less judgemental than in her previous incarnations, and is depicted as an unshockable modern woman with many young friends.

The first four books to be adapted are The Body in the Library, The Murder at the Vicarage, 4.50 From Paddington and A Murder is Announced.

ITV plans to make another four next year.

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