More classic crime news from the BBC this morning. Matt Lucas will play classic sleuth Henry Cuckoo in a new 6-part series this autumn.
P. August Hernsmith wrote 15 Cuckoo stories between 1917 and 1931, publishing them in the ‘Housewife’s Herald and News’.
His rotund, wheezing sleuth had a previous TV airing in 1974’s Cuckoo’s Egg, until the star, Roy Kinnear, resigned to play Superintendent Grubbs in One of our Dinosaurs is Missing.
Lucas, who is a real expert on this, said: ‘Cuckoo is amongst Hernsmith’s greatest creations. The concept of a greengrocer identifying criminals by the contents of their fruit and veg orders was groundbreaking at the time. Plus, it’ll give me the chance to be suggestive with melons and cucumbers, etc.’
Samantha Janus will play Cuckoo’s glamorous and unconventional love interest Mrs April Daventry.
Saskia Pertwee, BBC Commissioning Editor, said: ‘Cuckoo is a real 1920s crime classic, ripe for being updated to the 1960s because all of the costumes from Call the Midwife are already booked out of the wardrobe department. We’ll definitely be keeping the name, at least. Probably.’
The cast of Holby City will play the remaining parts.