Who Will Be The Next Death in Paradise Detective?

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Who Will Be The Next Death in Paradise Detective?

Death in Paradise viewers were left stunned last month when Ralf Little announced his exit as DI Neville Parker. 

The actor has portrayed the role for the past four years, but he departed the programme following the series 13 finale. 

With his replacement yet to be revealed, there has been plenty of speculation on UK betting sites about who could take on the enviable role, for which the lucky actor must spend six months filming on the beautiful Caribbean island group of Guadeloupe.

* Ahead of Saturday's big race why not take on our Grand Jump challenge below. Also don't forget to enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning £/€1,000!


Ben Miller, Kris Marshall, Ardal O'Hanlon, and Ralf have all taken on the lead detective role in the BBC series since the show began in 2011.

But with a woman yet to play the leading Death in Paradise role, it is surely only a matter of time before that is rectified.

We take a look at the leading candidates to take over from Little. 

Next Death in Paradise Detective Odds

Diane MorganEvens
Miranda Hart2/1
Martin Clunes3/1
Honeysuckle Weeks4/1
Rupert Grint9/2
Danny Dyer5/1
Julia Sawalha6/1
Simon Bird7/1
Mathew Horne8/1
Dylan Moran9/1
Stephen Merchant10/1
Hugh Skinner11/1
Martin Freeman12/1
Sanjeev Bhaskar12/1
Toby Jones14/1

Morgan Vs Miranda For DI Job? 

While the premise of Death in Paradise sees the main detective and his colleagues solve a whodunit each episode, there is certainly an aspect of comedy in the show, and that could pave the way for Diane Morgan to replace Ralf in the lead role. 

The actress and comedian is clearly well liked at the BBC, after starring in BBC Two sitcom Motherland and going on to land her own mockumentary series Cunk on Britain, as well as writing and starring in the comedy series Mandy. 

Morgan is now is the 6/4 favourite to be the next Death in Paradise detective, and she could be a fascinating choice for the role, with a huge injection of comedy likely to follow if she signs up for the part.

However, she looks set to face competition from another BBC comedy star in Miranda Hart, who is 2/1 second favourite. 

Not only is Miranda a short price, she has been backed by a former Death in Paradise detective. 

Ben - who played the show's first lead, DI Richard Poole, in the initial two series - admitted he would lovely to see Toby Jones (14/1) in the role, but also said a female detective could "definitely work". 

He told RadioTimes.com: "I could see that, 100 per cent. I think that'd be good too. If we're playing fantasy detectives, Miranda Hart."

From Doc Martin To Death In Paradise? 

Another star who could portray a bumbling detective rather well could be Martin Clunes. 

The comedy legend completed 10 series of Doc Martin in 2022, so he could have a Guadeloupe-sized gap in his schedule. 

The former Men Behaving Badly star is 3/1 third favourite on specials betting sites, but he could face competition from the likes of Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint (9/2) and former EastEnders star Danny Dyer (5/1). 

However, if the BBC are well set on an actress taking on the part, then they could do far worse than 4/1 shot Honeysuckle Weeks - who is best known for ITV wartime drama Foyle's War.

Or could it be Julia Sawalha (6/1), who has plenty of BBC experience after starring as Saffy in legendary sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, and she appeared in Jonathan Creek for three years?

Freeman Outsider For Paradise Role

Death in Paradise is certainly still a well-watched show, with an average of 7.7 million viewers tuning into the programme in 2023. 

With that in mind, the BBC may well try to prize a TV actor-turned-Hollywood star over to Guadeloupe.

If so, there could be some value in Martin Freeman, who is a 12/1 outsider on betting apps, taking on the role. 

Martin has a movie back catalogue that includes The Hobbit franchise, Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War, among many others.

He did recently return to the BBC to star in police drama series The Responder, so it's not out of the question he could pop up in Death in Paradise. 

Other outsiders include Sanjeev Bhaskar (12/1), who knows all about a detective drama having portrayed DI Sunny Khan in ITV's Unforgotten. 

What's more, The Inbetweeners actor Simon Bird (7/1), Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne (8/1), and Black Books actor Dylan Moran (9/1) could also be in the frame. 

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James Leyfield

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