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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 13:38 UK
How Agatha Christie grew to dislike Hercule Poirot
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

Agatha Christie pictured at Greenway in 1946
Agatha Christie pictured at Greenway in 1946

Of all the many characters killed off in Agatha Christie's novels, it seems the one she really wanted to bump off was her detective, Hercule Poirot.

The little Belgian restricted her style, according to her grandson, Mathew Prichard.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Mr Prichard reveals she wanted to "exorcise herself of him".

But Poirot had become so popular with her readers that she came to regard him as her "bread and butter".

Agatha Christie in 1937
The author with actor Anthony Holles, recording Poirot for BBC radio in 1937

"She was never short of ideas for books," Mr Pritchard says of his grandmother, who was born in Torquay and had a home overlooking the River Dart at Greenway, near Galmpton in south Devon.

"But some of these ideas were inappropriate for Poirot, so she was very keen to exorcise herself of him by writing different stories with new characters.

"But her agents and publishers, who were in charge of the pounds and pence, were very keen on Poirot. He was her most popular character."

The result, says Mr Prichard, was that Dame Agatha continued to "churn out" Poirot whodunnits.

In the interview, Mr Prichard says that after several generations, the Christie writing gene might, finally have been passed down: "My eldest grandduaghter reads voraciously and I think she has inherited the writing gene - unlike the rest of us."

Dame Agatha was born Agatha Miller in Torquay in 1890 and died in 1976.

Her home at Greenway was gifted to the National Trust following the deaths of her daughter Rosalind and son-in-law Anthony Hicks.

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