Arts, Culture & Media

Detective Poirot says goodbye to fans in Britain, and even Iran


Actor David Suchet holds an umbrella as he attends an event for the TV series 'Poirot' as part of the MIPTV, the International Television Programs Market, event in Cannes April 8, 2013.


Eric Gaillard/Reuters

This week Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s mustachioed Belgian detective, said goodbye to his many TV fans.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

David Suchet played the role for 25 years. The TV series wasn't just popular in Britain, though. Iranians, for example, have been fans for years. In fact, if you ask any Iranian if they know Hercule Poirot, it’s most likely the answer would be "yes."

The series was dubbed into Farsi and aired on Iranian TV for years. Many Iranians have grown up watching it.

“It was dubbed so beautifully, it was done very well and many people in Iran, the impression that they have from the West, is perhaps created by these detective series that are very popular inside the country,” says one fan, Saeed Kamali Dehghan, a reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian.

“Perhaps the fact that women who appeared in the series wore modest clothing and there wasn’t really all that much to censor, made it a good option for the Iranian state TV,” he says.

It’s not just Poirot that has made it into the homes of Iranians. Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is another favorite.

One reason for the enthusiasm for detective stories, Kamali says, is that traditionally in Iran, there are not that many detective characters.

“We have a great tradition of poetry, we have novelists in Iran, we have short story writers, but we don’t have writers who write a series of detective stories like we have here in the West,” he says.

Kamali says when he first moved to London, he was surprised by the city that he saw.

"What I expected was the London that I saw in Sherlock Holmes. I didn't expect London to be the London I am living in now," he says.