***Stellar casting for new marple film*** The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side

Company News September 4, 2009

The first of another four cases for Miss Marple to solve on ITV1

Julia McKenzie, Agatha Christie’s famous spinster sleuth, Miss Marple, returns to ITV1 joined by an outstanding cast in the first of a series of new Marple films.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side stars Samuel Barnett (Desperate Romantics, History Boys), Hugh Bonneville (Lost in Austen), Brennan Brown (Orange cinema commercials), Michele Dotrice (Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em), Lindsay Duncan (Margaret, Criminal Justice), Nigel Harman (Hotel Babylon, EastEnders), Martin Jarvis (Taking the Flack, Numb3rs), Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous), Caroline Quentin (Blue Murder, Life of Riley), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, The Take), Victoria Smurfit (Trial & Retribution), Neil Stuke (Monday, Monday), Hannah Waddingham (Spamalot) and singer Will Young.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side tells the story of Hollywood star Marina Gregg (Lindsay Duncan), who has left the palm trees and bright lights of Los Angeles for the leafy lanes and picturesque countryside of St Mary Mead, England. Having taken up residence at Gossington Hall with her dashing young English husband, film director Jason Rudd (Nigel Harman), his secretary, Ella Blunt (Victoria Smurfit) and Marina’s exclusive personal assistant, Hailey Preston (Brennan Brown), it’s not long before she becomes lady of the manor.

When the glamorous couple decide to throw a benefit for the St John Ambulance, the grounds are abuzz with curious locals including previous owner of Gossington Hall, Dolly Bantry (Joanna Lumley). But when a local fan, Heather Badcock (Caroline Quentin) consumes a poisoned daiquiri, Marina finds herself starring in a real-life mystery – supported by Miss Marple and Inspector Hewitt (Hugh Bonneville), who suspect that the lethal cocktail was intended for someone else. But who? If it was meant for Marina, then why?

Which other characters from the Mary Mead cast will perish before the end credits roll? And will Miss Marple produce yet another stellar performance to steal the show?

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side has been adapted by Kevin Elyot and directed by Tom Shankland. Karen Thrussell produces both current Marple and Poirot series.

Julia McKenzie said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to the role. I’m very much looking forward to filming with such a wonderful guest cast.”

Renowned for her work with Stephen Sondheim, Julia has starred in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic, and has achieved numerous awards, both on Broadway and in the West End. She won an Olivier for her performance as Mrs Lovett in the National Theatre production of Sweeney Todd. Julia has appeared in Cranford as Mrs Forrester and the critically acclaimed Notes on a Scandal. Earlier credits include Fresh Fields, Bright Young Things and Blott on the Landscape.

Julia is the seventh actress to take on the much-loved character on screen, following in the footsteps of Geraldine McEwan, Gracie Fields, Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes and Joan Hickson.

The Marple stories are co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd, a Chorion company, and US network WGBH. Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck and Damien Timmer executive produce Marple on behalf of ITV Studios. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for WGBH.

Christie remains the most popular novelist in history, with her work being published in 50 languages in over 70 countries and more than two billion of her books sold to date. As well as the renowned Poirot and Miss Marple series, Christie also wrote the detective series Tommy and Tuppence and a wealth of other murder mysteries and thrillers between 1920 and 1976 including the bestselling And Then There Were None and the record breaking play The Mousetrap.

LWT began broadcasting Agatha Christie’s Poirot in 1989 and the BBC was previously the producer of the Miss Marple dramas.

Note to editors: Four new Marple films; A Pocket Full of Rye, Murder is Easy, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and They Do It with Mirrors have already been filmed. For up to date scheduling information please refer to the ITV press centre website: www.itv.com/presscentre

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side is currently filming on location.

Please advise Natasha Bayford if you would like to secure interviews with the cast.

Natasha Bayford – 0161 952 6209 / natasha.bayford@itv.com

Patrick Smith – 0207 157 3044 / patrick.smith@itv.com