With the sixth season of Death In Paradise at the half way mark, the BBC have announced that former Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon will be heading out to Gualoupe to join the team as their new detective for the rest of this season.
The BBC have kept this close to their chest but Ardal’s character DI Jack Mooney makes his Death in Paradise debut this week as the team visit London for the first time. It can also be revealed that when the Caribbean crime fighters return to Saint Marie, it will be him who joins them in the place of Kris Marshall’s DI Humphrey Goodman.
Ardal joins series regulars Josephine Jobert, Danny John-Jules, Tobi Bakare and Don Warrington for the remaining episodes of series six and it can now also be announced that he will remain the resident Caribbean cop when the ratings smash returns for a seventh series in 2018.
Ardal O’Hanlon says: “I am delighted to be joining Death in Paradise and exploring what’s made Mooney up and leave London for a life in the Caribbean. I’ve already had a taste of filming in Guadeloupe and can’t wait to get back.”
Following four hugely successful years, Marshall leaves the show on a high with season six securing more than nine million viewers when it returned to screens in January – its biggest ever audience.
Kris Marshall says: “Death in Paradise has been an incredible experience, six months every year filming on a tropical island in the sunshine – what’s not to love! Humphrey was socially awkward and clumsy but also brilliant, I’ll miss him but it’s time to hand over to someone new and spend more time with my family. I know Ardal will do a superb job and I just hope Humphrey gets a happy ending!”
The nature of Humphrey’s departure is still being kept under wraps until his final episode airs on Feb 9 2017.
Tim Key, Executive Producer, Red Planet Pictures says: “It has been a joy to work with Kris Marshall over the last four years – he brought so much to the role of DI Humphrey Goodman and we’re going to miss him enormously. However we are thrilled to be welcoming Ardal to Saint Marie. He is comedy royalty and DI Mooney brings a brand new dimension to the show when he arrives on the island. We’re really excited about our plans for this series and beyond.”
Elizabeth Kilgarriff, BBC Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer says: “Death in Paradise is pure escapism for BBC One viewers and I am delighted to confirm it will be returning for another series. Kris has been a brilliant and heroic detective who will be greatly missed, but I am so pleased to welcome Ardal to the team and can’t wait to see him take the reigns as our leading Caribbean crime fighter.”
Death In Paradise has been commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, and Piers Wenger, Controller of Drama Commissioning, and is a Red Planet Pictures production, produced with the support of the region of Guadeloupe. It is created by Robert Thorogood, produced by Sue Howells and executive produced by Tony Jordan and Tim Key for Red Planet Pictures and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC. Fans can watch the current series on BBC One on Thursday nights and series seven will air in 2018.