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Nicholai was a non-canonical character who was created for the film adaptation of How Does Your Garden Grow? in Series 3 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot. Nikolai was a diplomat at the Soviet embassy in London. He was seen having secret meetings with Katrina Rieger, giving the impression that some intrigue or espionage activity was going on. When Japp and Poirot asked him to check official records for the background of Katrina, he denied that such a person existed. It later transpired that he was conducting a secret romance with Katrina. She was a Russian emigre aristocrat and as he was a communist functionary, this would have been illegal and dangerous for him.

Nicholai was played by Peter Birch. He is never addressed by name in the episode dialogue but this is the only Russian male name in the credits and he is the only Russian male with a large speaking part in the show. This character and the entire sideplot of Katrina's romance with him does not exist in the original story.

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