There has been a cast shake up on BBC One’s drama series Death In Paradise. Ben Miller (Johnny English) – who has played DI Richard Poole on the show’s past two seasons – will be departing the series during its upcoming third season. Details of Miller’s departure are being kept under wraps, however, the BBC has announced that Kris Marshall (My Family) has been cast in the series as the new lead detective. Marshall will play the bright, but rather disorganised and gawky DI Humphrey Goodman, who is stuck in a mid-life rut and is looking to find a new life and fresh start. He will joined on the show’s third season by returning regulars Sara Martins, Danny John-Jules, Gary Carr and Don Warrington. Production on the new season is set to commence on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe next month.
Death In Paradise was created by Robert Thorogood and originally told the story of a quintessential English detective, DI Richard Poole, who is not so keen on sun, sea and sand but has found himself living and working on the paradise island of most people’s dreams. Now working with exotic local cop Camille, Richard goes about solving an intricate and intriguing murder. The drama series is produced Red Planet Productions in association with Kudos Film and TV & BBC Worldwide and stars Ben Miller, Sara Martins (Little White Lies), Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf), Don Warrington (New Street Law) and Gary Carr (The Duchess). The series was renewed for a third season earlier this year after its second season atrracted a consolidated audience of over 8 million viewers.
Speaking of departing the series, Ben Miller said: “I have absolutely loved my time on Death in Paradise and am sad to be leaving such a successful show, however DI Poole has made no secret of his struggle with the Caribbean heat, so I felt now was a good time to put him out of his misery! I know Kris will do a superb job and I’m delighted to be handing over the detective baton to him.”
Speaking of joining the series, Kris Marshall said: “I am thrilled to be joining Death in Paradise and finding out a bit more about what makes Humphrey tick. Six months filming on a tropical island with an amazing cast and glorious sunshine? What isn’t there to love! I might even get myself a parrot!”
Belinda Campbell, Executive Producer for Red Planet Pictures, commented: “Ben Miller is an excellent actor and has played the part of DI Richard Poole magnificently for two series, and we’re very sad to be saying goodbye. However we’re thrilled to be welcoming Kris Marshall on board who we know will be brilliant in the role of Humphrey. He will bring with him dishevelled charm, sparkle, quick wit, and a razor-sharp intelligence in solving crimes.”
While Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Thank you to Ben for leading two hugely successful series of Death in Paradise. He is leaving on a high and handing over to the very talented Kris Marshall. I am looking forward to seeing Kris in his new role and what he does with his character.”