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Whodunnit? As the Agatha Christie Festival gets under way and ITV prepare to show the last ever episode of Poirot, the question is – who created the Poirot gorilla that’s been wowing shoppers in Torquay this summer?

This time it wasn’t the butler – it was the students of South Devon College.

They created a remarkable gorilla version of Agatha Christie famous detective, Hercule Poirot, as part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project.

Celebrating the 90th birthday of Paignton Zoo, the project has put life-size model gorillas, sponsored by businesses and community groups and painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists, around Exeter and the English Riviera this summer in a very special public art trail.

The dapper gorilla is wearing a smart blue jacket and comes complete with spats, pince-nez and wing collar. Poirot is on display in the window of Hoopers department store, on The Strand in Torquay.

South Devon College students were inspired by Torquay’s literary tradition. They have paid homage to local author Agatha Christie by creating her iconic Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, in gorilla form.

Art degree student Becks Blackman came up with the idea, which was chosen from nearly a hundred entries. Students from the Foundation and BTEC Art (16-19) course worked on the design, led by tutor Liz Tucker. The design and painting took a month.

They took their cue from actor David Suchet’s portrayal of Poirot in the popular television drama series.

As part of the English Riviera's Agatha Christie Festival, Living Coasts is hosting Tea on the Terrace between 15th and 22nd September at 2:30pm. The menu includes cream tea and a selection of finger sandwiches. To book telephone 01803 202499 or email [email protected] for details.

Quotes Brilliant, loved every minute of it especially the free activities throughout the day. Quotes Review