BBC Death in Paradise next detective: 'Well-liked' BBC comedy star emerges as frontrunner to replace Ralf Little

BBC Death in Paradise next detective: 'Well-liked' BBC comedy star emerges as frontrunner to replace Ralf Little

Ralf Little opens up on his decision to leave the BBC drama

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 03/04/2024

- 19:22

Updated: 05/04/2024

- 15:26

Ralf Little recently stepped away from his role as DI Neville Parker after four years

Ralf Little joined the BBC series, Death in Paradise, back in 2020 and has been credited as a major part in the series' success – but after his recent departure, discussions have begun as to who will replace him.

Little’s final scenes as DI Neville Parker came during the end of series 13 and saw him and Florence Cassell (played by Josephine Jobert) sail away and finally give their relationship a go.

Before Little, Ben Miller, Kris Marshall and Ardal O’Hanlon took on the role as the lead detective - which means room has been made for a new one.

Little has been the longest-serving protagonist on the show and has left some big shoes to fill for whoever takes on the role.

As the rumour mill begins to swirl, it seems many are campaigning for a woman to take on the role and spend six months filming on the beautiful Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

According to’s entertainment expert James Leyfield, Diane Morgan is the frontrunner to take over the role.

Diane Morgan

Diane Morgan is the frontrunner to become the lead detective


The actress is best known for starring in the BBC Two sitcom Motherland and going on to star in her own mockumentary series Cunk on Britain – with odds of 6/4.

Miranda Hart follows at a close second with odds of 2/1 and has previously been backed by a former Death In Paradise detective.

Miller previously told “I could see that, 100 per cent. I think that'd be good too. If we're playing fantasy detectives, Miranda Hart.”

Comedy legend Martin Clunes has completed 10 series of Doc Martin from 2004 to 2022 and has odds of 3/1 to become the new Saint Marie detective.

Ralf Little

Ralf Little left the show at the end of season 13 after four years


Other potential names in the hat include Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint (9/2), EastEnders actor Danny Dyer (5/1), Julia Sawalha (6/1) and Martin Freeman (12/1).

Little recently spoke out on the calls for the first female detective and told The Big Issue: “I wish I had some insider knowledge but I don’t. Someone younger, someone older?

“I have no idea. But every leader has to arrive on the island as a fish out of water. That’s the formula. And they have something within them that is broken, and that the island, and the people they work with, will heal.

“However they do it, that’s the key.” When asked whether his successor could be a woman, he added: “I don’t see why not.

Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise replacements have already began to circulate


“They have the scope to do anything and the opportunity to do anything, but also, this creative team can do anything because they’re so good.

“Death in Paradise is in such good hands and they have a gift for making clever choices. Literally, nothing would surprise me.”

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