Marple: The Pale Horse

Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple

MISS Marple returns to TV in a new film this Bank Holiday Monday.

Including a hair-raising experience for Holly Willoughby as a 17th century witch.

The Dancing On Ice and This Morning presenter is famous for her flowing locks and bubbly smile.

But she looks very different in her cameo appearance as Goody Carne in ITV1 Agatha Christie film The Pale Horse.

“I wanted them to put her hair down so that you knew instantly it was Holly. But it was all tied back,” Julia McKenzie, who plays spinster sleuth Marple, told me recently.

Holly, 29, is almost unrecognisable as wealthy widow Goody in a theatrical Bonfire Night show depicting her execution by hanging, even though she was probably innocent.

One local explains: “She was accused by the squire of having unnatural traffic with the Devil.”

Holly and the rest of the cast were left dancing on ice during the freezing cold night shoot in February.

“She was very sweet, very quiet and very cold,” recalls veteran actress Julia.

“I was strapped down with hot water bottles and layers of vests, Long Johns and hand warmers. I’ve never been so cold in all my life.”

Holly is a huge Marple fan and it was her ambition to appear in one of the films.

“She’s always wanted to do it. But after a night in a field freezing to death, I don’t know whether she’d ever want to do another one,” added Julia.

The film features guest stars including former Neighbours actress Holly Valance as Kanga Cottam, Neil Pearson (Inspector Lejeune), Sarah Alexander (Lydia Harsnet), Nigel Planer (Mr Venables) and Cutting It actor Jason Merrels as Dr Kerrigan.

Marple: The Pale Horse is on ITV1 at 9pm on Monday August 30.

Agatha Christie Official Site

Follow Ian Wylie on Twitter

Holly Valance as Kanga

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