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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 12:50 GMT
Actress McKenzie to play Marple
Julia McKenzie
McKenzie will be the seventh actress to portray the Miss Marple character
Former Fresh Fields sitcom star Julia McKenzie has landed the role of Miss Marple in the ITV crime drama series.

The 67-year-old actress recently appeared in film Notes On A Scandal and also starred in BBC period drama Cranford as Mrs Forrester.

"I'm very excited, but also slightly daunted by the enormous responsibility that comes with taking on such an iconic role," she said.

McKenzie replaces Geraldine McEwan, who announced she was leaving last month.

'Unique interpretation'

"Just about everybody in the world knows about Miss Marple and has an opinion of what she should be like, so I'm under no illusions about the size of the task ahead," said McKenzie.

She is due to start filming A Pocketful of Rye at the end of this month.

McKenzie's starring role alongside Anton Rodgers in 1980s sitcom Fresh Fields - later revived as French Fields - helped establish her as a familiar face on TV.

She has also appeared on stage, and won an Olivier for her performance as Mrs Lovett in the National Theatre production of Sweeney Todd.

McKenzie will be the seventh actress to portray the character in the series, based on Agatha Christie's crime novels.

Other actresses who have also played Miss Marple include Gracie Fields, Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury and Helen Hayes.

Joan Hickson was perhaps the best known, playing the character on the BBC from 1984 to 1992.

ITV director of drama Laura Mackie said: "Julia McKenzie will bring another dimension to a classic character, and I hope the public are as excited as I am to see her bring her own unique interpretation to one of fiction's most well-loved detectives."

Miss Marple actress to leave show
23 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
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13 Sep 05 |  Magazine
New Miss Marple gets modern edge
22 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Miss Marple defects to ITV
12 Nov 02 |  Entertainment

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