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In the short story The Adventure of the Cheap Flat, John Robinson was a recent acquaintance of Hastings' friend Gerald Parker. At one of the parties hosted by Parker, Robinson told the assembly that he and his wife Stella had recently managed to rent a flat at Montagu Mansions for 80 pounds a year. This flat was in the fashionable Knightsbridge area where the rent should usually be in the order of several hundreds of pounds. Poirot later rented a unit there for 10 guineas a week (546 pounds a year).


John Robinson was played by John Michie in the film adaptation of The Adventure of the Cheap Flat in Series 2 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot. Here his name was changed to "James Robinson".

In the NHK's anime adaptation The Riddle of the Cheap Flat, the character is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi. Here he and his wife are also acquaintances of Hastings but they do not meet at a party hosted by Parker (who does not appear in the story). They meet at a park. Mabel West had already told Hastings part of her strange experience in trying to rent the flat when the Robinsons turn up and confirm they had successfully rented it. In this adaptation, Poirot and Hastings do not enter the Robinson's flat by the coal-lift or otherwise. They stop the Mafioso at the front door.