"A Murder Is Announced" is the title of the upcoming episode of the series and features Geraldine McEwan as Agatha Christie's famous sleuth with a special guest appearance by musical theatre star Elaine Paige as Dora Bunner. The program will also include Zoë Wanamaker, Alexander Armstrong, Keeley Hawes and Robert Pugh with Claire Skinner, Cherie Lunghi, Frances Barber, Catherine Tate, Christian Coulson, Sienna Guillory, Matthew Goode and Virginia McKenna. According to production notes, "A Murder Is Announced" concerns "the villagers of Chipping Cleghorn [who] are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, September 25th, at Little Paddocks at 7:30 PM.' A childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out, a man bursts into the room and fires three shots. When the lights are turned back on, Letitia is wounded but the mysterious gunman lies dead on the floor."
Matthew Read produced the episode, which features a screenplay adaptation by Stewart Harcourt and direction by John Strickland. Co-produced by Granada, Agatha Christie Limited and WGBH Boston, "A Murder Is Announced" will air at 9 PM.
Arguably Britain's most successful musical theatre actress, Elaine Paige has starred on the London stage in Evita, Cats, Chess, Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard and The King and I. She made her Broadway debut to much acclaim in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, and her recordings are numerous. Paige recently appeared in the New York City Opera's production of Sweeney Todd, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance as Mrs. Lovett.