First, in 2013 Penguin decided to re-release the entire Maigret series by Georges Simenon at a rate of one a month. Now, in 2015, there’s more excitement for fans of the detective as an ITV dramatisation of two Maigret stories has been announced.
At The Groucho Club in London on Saturday 13 June, the Literary Agency Peters, Fraser & Dunlop hosted a reception celebrating the life and works of Georges Simenon. Guest of honour was the author’s son John. Part of the afternoon was given over to the upcoming ITV programme that will feature two Maigret stories with Rowan Atkinson as the pipe-smoking Parisian commissaire. The first will be based on the 1955 novel Maigret Sets a Trap, and the second on Maigret’s Dead Man from 1948. The programme goes into production in September and episodes are likely to air next year.
John Simenon (pictured above with Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters, Fraser & Dunlop) explained that the filming would begin soon, but in Prague, as it is now much too difficult to find Paris locations that fit the 1950s ambience. He spoke very warmly of his father – as a father, as opposed to a successful novelist – and of his own great affection for Maigret.
It’s not the first time Maigret has been adapted – far from it. More than a dozen actors have reprised the roll since the 1930s. However, as the new TV adaptations aim to reach a modern audience, and with Penguin’s new translations of the books, it looks as if the great detective has plenty of life left in him.