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Poirot gets in touch with his feminine side

We took him to our hearts as Agatha Christie's much loved Belgian detective Poirot, but now there's a chance to see actor David Suchet as you've never seen him before

All this week he's starring in a new theatre production at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre before it transfers to the West End. And it's not quite what you might expect...as Christine Alsford found out when she went to see him.

To prepare for the part, Suchet - who played Poirot on our television screens for 25 years - practised wearing a boned corset at rehearsals.

David Suchet preparing to play Lady Bracknell Credit: Nobby Clark

Poirot's David Suchet takes on a challenging new role

David Suchet in costume for his latest role

The actor David Suchet is currently appearing on stage at the Mayflower in Southampton in one of theatres' most famous roles. The thespian who became a household name playing Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, is now performing in Oscar Wilde's play the 'Importance of Being Earnest'.

Suchet said he was rather shocked at first, when he was asked to star as Lady Bracknell - the first female starring role in his long acting career.

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BGT's Isaac sat a GCSE exam today!

The final of Britain's Got Talent was watched by more than 13 million viewers last night - making it the most watched TV programme on any channel this year.

The winner was Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse, canine ability proving very popular again with audience. The judges and many who watched the series agreed the talent has been better than ever this year.

Many viewers, especially in the South, were big fans of 15-year old Isaac Waddington. He's from Portsmouth and wowed the judges with his performance.

We will be talking to Isaac later - he has been sitting a GCSE exam!

Thousands of people visit Rochester's Dickens Festival

A parade through the town kicked off the festival Credit: ITV news

Thousands of people are expected to visit Rochester's Dickens Festival, which started today. The event kicked off with the annual parade. This year's theme was Oliver Twist.

Dicken's "Fagin" joins the crowd Credit: ITV news

Dickens enthusiasts, strolling players, re-enactors, Dickensian 'characters', join the public in a Festival to commemorate and celebrate the life of Charles Dickens. The event also includes readings, competitions, re-enactments and street entertainment

Charles Dickens spent much of his childhood in Medway while his father worked at the Dockyards. Many of his novels and characters have been based on the places he visited and people he met whilst living in the area. Medway is proud of its history with this national legend, who created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and remains generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period.

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Rochester pays homage to its famous author

He's Rochester's most famous resident, and this weekend author Charles Dickens is being remembered along with his famous characters and novels. The Dickens Festival attracts thousands of people each year. Andrea Thomas spoke to Medway Council's events manager Carl Madjitey and Steve Martin from the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship. Oh, and a rather risque group of enthusiasts!

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