Agatha Christie’s novels would have had sex ‘if had been acceptable’
16th December 2018

Agatha Christie’s novels would have had sex, drugs and swearing ‘if it had been acceptable’

Agatha Christie would have included sex, drugs and swearing in her novels – if only it had been acceptable, according to a TV writer.

Sarah Phelps – who has adapted Miss Christie’s The ABC Murders for the BBC – said the author’s background in pharmacy meant she wouldn’t have flinched from the realities of life.

‘She was a dispensing chemist. There was a woman who knew the difference to life and death that a grain of morphine could make,’ she said. 

‘Don’t tell me this woman is a stranger to controversy, that she is a stranger to blood and guts.’


Sarah Phelps, who has adapted Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders for the BBC, said she would have included sex and swearing if it had been acceptable. John Malkovich (right) will star as Hercule Poirot (left David Suchet in the role) in the drama

Her upcoming adaptation of the 1936 novel sees John Malkovich star as Hercule Poirot as he tries to catch a killer on a spree linked to towns across the railway network.

She told this week’s launch of her dramatisation that Miss Christie ‘may never write a lot about sex and swearing and drug taking, but I am sure she would have if she could.’

Miss Phelps added that she is not afraid of showing intimacy or violence on TV over Christmas, saying: ‘Yeah, like nobody ever had sex before like 1963.’

Miss Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard also said he was ‘sceptical’ about TV bosses axing Poirot’s famous moustache. He said: ‘It took me a little while to get used to.’

The ABC Murders starts on BBC1 on Boxing Day.

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