As a Death in Paradise fan – here’s the reason Ralf Little could be replaced

As a Death in Paradise fan – here’s the reason Ralf Little could be replaced

I have been a huge Death in Paradise fan since the very beginning when moody DI Richard Poole (played by Ben Miller) arrived on Saint Marie – and I have been hooked ever since. But is the ever-changing casting of detectives a good thing for the series? And is Ralf Little’s time finally up?

When Ben’s character was killed off in 2014, the first episode of the third series, I was devastated. How could anyone possibly live up to him and fill his shoes? DI Richard Poole was irreplaceable – or so I thought.

Ben’s character made his shocking exit after being stabbed with an ice pick by one of his former university friends. Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) was left devastated and wasn’t keen on welcoming the new detective – Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall).

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Kris Marshall as an actor, but I wasn’t sure if he could fill Ben’s shoes, I was quickly proved wrong. As a detective, he was very different from Richard, and to be honest, he had to be. He was clumsy and forgetful, which made him even more likeable. And surely, they couldn’t kill off another DI, could they?

Kris Marshall stayed on the show until 2017 when his character left to be with the woman he loved in London. He was promptly replaced by another detective – DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon). Jack was again, very different from his predecessors, but he was still likeable and viewers seemed to love him.

However, fans were used to the detectives changing by now, and in season nine, Jack left Saint Marie to be with his daughter. When Neville arrived on the island, it was only meant to be a temporary thing, although, he soon changed his mind.

Show bosses definitely went in a different direction with Neville – he was allergic to everything on the island and in general, just hated the hot weather. However, this seemed to annoy fans and after a while, the detective adjusted quickly to life in Saint Marie.

I must admit, as a huge fan, I was unsure when Ralf was cast to play the lead, especially after he’d already appeared in the series but as a red herring. The actor had played a character called Will Teague in series two and he worked alongside Ben Miller. I wasn’t sure how this could work, but it did.

Unlike the other detectives, it took me a while to warm up to Neville’s character, but after his first series, I could see why BBC bosses hired him.

Ralf has played the longest-serving detective on the BBC series, but to be honest, I think his time could be up – and here’s why.

During last week’s episode, Neville told his colleagues he wanted to travel so he could find love, and while some fans think he will never leave, others believe he will be replaced.

As a running theme with Death in Paradise, bosses always bring in a famous face to play the lead – so why break tradition now?

In recent scenes, Neville’s replacement has been teased as the show has brought back a few faces from the past.

Camille Bordey, JP Hooper (Tobi Bakari) and Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert) have all made cameo appearances, but does that mean any of them could be returning for good?

Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) also made his epic return to the island after Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) left. Could this indicate that bosses are trying to bring back the old team?

Other than Ben Miller, none of the other detectives have been killed off either, so one of them could end up coming back to take Ralf’s place.

Some fans believe when Neville leaves, Florence will replace him as the lead detective, while others hope the pair sail off into the sunset together.

But, if Ralf did make his exit, bosses could bring in a new face entirely. Last year, the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Ralf was The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird, who has also starred in Friday Night Dinner.

The Two Pints actor has kept tight-lipped about his future on the show, but in a recent Instagram Q&A, he did discuss who could fill his shoes.

“I don’t know,” Ralf admitted. “I have no idea, I’m not gonna swerve answering the question. I don’t know. I don’t know which direction they’re gonna go in.

“I have honestly no idea and they haven’t told me, maybe they had no idea yet.

“But I like the rest of you are going to be just sitting and asking, ‘Who’s next?’ Who knows? No idea. But we’ll see what happens.”

It is unclear whether Ralf will be leaving the show, but in my opinion, now could be a good time for the actor to bow out.

Death in Paradise returns on Sunday at 9pm on ITV.

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