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Nigel Planer, Kika Mirylees, Philip McGough and Rebecca Johnson.
Directed by Marcus Mortimer
First transmitted 24th May 1997
Ratings 8.28 million
Zola Zbzewski, the muse of cosmetic surgeon David Churchin, looks fantastic for her age. When Zola dumps Churchin in favour of a Swedish swimming instructor, however, the surgeon vows to seek revenge before Zola can publish details of their relationship in her autobiography.
Soon, after a confrontation between the pair during a TV interview, Churchin is shot dead. One of Zola's earrings is found at the scene of the crime.
Camcorder footage, apparently taken by Zola's stalker, provides her with an impressive alibi, but when Maddy subsequently finds Zbzewski dead in a wardrobe delivered to her flat, it's time for Jonathan Creek to get involved... [Solution]
Five quick questions to test your knowledge of the episode.
"That had some of the best comedy in it, with Nigel Planer. He was Maddy's suitor in that episode. It meant carrying a wardrobe up four flights of stairs, and when they got to the top it had a body in it. It was a brilliant episode - it was great and he was really nice, and really funny.
"I think he was on the list [of potential Jonathan Creeks, but] he never mentioned it at all. In fact, I only found out later that he'd been in and they'd talked to him about the possibility of playing Jonathan Creek. He could have been a good Jonathan Creek. It's hard for me - it's hard for anybody - to imagine anybody [else] in the role, but he came in and did that part anyway, which is good."
"Shelford's desperate answering machine messages remind me of the funniest one I ever received. Andrew Marshall and I had been working on a play called Angry Old Men, about a group of seminal comedians, loosely based upon Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and The Goons.
"We'd been talking all day long about a Peter Cook/Spike Milligan kind of faded genius character. And when I got home that night I switched on the answer machine to discover a message saying: "All I do is talk to f-g machines!" And it was Spike!
"I hadn't spoken to him for about six years, since we worked on his final series, There's A Lot Of It About. It just seemed so ironic that he got back to me on that day. We'd been talking about him all day long, and there he was on the machine, bless him."
Jonathan's reaction to the discovery of a corpse in a wardrobe in Maddy's flat is a classic example of his dysfunctionality. He regards it as a puzzle, not an outrage: "It's a good one, isn't it?"
Nigel Planer, once considered for the role of Jonathan Creek himself, plays Maddy's blind date, Shelford. He's the first of three stars of classic comedy series The Young Ones to appear in the show.
Rather appropriately, BBC2 is showing Summer Holiday on the night of Churchin's murder. The film starred Cliff Richard, who also had a massive hit with his single, The Young Ones.
The Solution: (point your mouse over the space below)
Sam Brinkman, Zola's agent, pretended to be her stalker, videotaping Zola as she supposedly watched TV at the time of Churchin's murder. She was, in fact, watching a fake tape of the same programmes shown that night, hastily assembled after the event.
Zola's mysterious appearance, dead in the wardrobe, came about after the incriminating fake tape accidentally fell into Maddy's hands. Trying to retrieve it by breaking into Maddy's flat, Zola hid in the wardrobe to avoid detection. Unfortunately, she had earlier sustained a head injury after being hit by a piece of loose scaffolding back at her house, causing a delayed fatal haemorrhage moments before she was discovered.
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