Death in Paradise detective: New favourite emerges as Gavin and Stacey star replaces Simon Bird as top contender

Death in Paradise detective: New favourite emerges as Gavin and Stacey star replaces Simon Bird as top contender

WATCH HERE: Ralf Little discusses leaving his role in Death in Paradise

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 19/04/2024

- 11:04

The Inbetweeners star Simon was previously the fan-favourite replacement

Death in Paradise fans are desperate to find out who the next detective will be after Ralf Little left his role as DI Neville Parker after four years as the show’s leading man.

The BBC crime series has seen four actors in the role since the drama launched in 2011, with Little enjoying the lengthiest stint from 2020 to 2024.

The former Royle Family star’s departure from the Caribbean-based series has sent fan theories flying, with several names swirling the rumour mill.

Among the speculation is a new favourite though, with Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne theorised as the new face of the Saint Marie police department.

Bookmaker Coral has noted “strong support” for the 45-year-old to step into Little’s shoes, so much so that the actor has replaced The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird as the favourite prediction.

Horne has been given odds of 6-1 to be cast as the show’s lead detective, delegating Bird, 39, into second place with 5-2 odds.

Simon Bird, Ralf Little and Mathew Horne

Horne is the new favourite to replace Little

ITV/BBC/Channel 4

Motherland star Diane Morgan, 48, is listed at 3-1, while comedian and Weakest Link host Romesh Ranganathan, 46, places fourth with odds of 5-1.

Further down the list is Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, 35, Miranda Hart, 51, and Martin Clunes, 62.

Coral's John Hill stated: “Mathew Horne is the big mover in our betting to be the next lead detective on Death In Paradise.

“[He] has been well-backed over the last 24 hours, which may suggest he now leads the race for the role.”

Mathew Horne

Mathew could be headed to Saint Marie


It isn't just the new detective getting fans talking either, with the show set to release a second spin-off following on from the success of Beyond Paradise.

The show’s newest branch, Return to Paradise, is set to air later this year following Beyond Paradise’s debut in 2023.

Set in Australia, the new series will see Anna Samson take on the role of DI Mackenzie Clarke as she attempts to solve a whole host of mysterious murders in her hometown of Dolphin Cove.

Her arrival back to town comes after her reputation was damaged as she was accused of tampering with evidence in London, but her comeback is not necessarily welcomed.

Simon Bird

The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird was the previous favourite


Samson is the franchise’s first female lead, but could the original show follow in its footsteps with Morgan, Jodie Whittaker and Jaye Gritthis also in the running to replace Little?

According to the latest odds, it seems the tradition of a male-lead is likely to continue if Horne does indeed take on the role.

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