Murder In Provence Who’s Who on the Series

Murder In Provence | Character Biographies

Antoine Verlaque (Roger Allam) is an urbane sophisticate with an English grandmother, and a wealthy Parisian background from which he’s more or less estranged. He understands wine, food and art. He’s an excellent, natural cook, and his apartment is a hymn to well ordered, civilised living. Restaurants are one of the great joys in his life. Marine suspects all this is a way of transcending a privileged, yet loveless and chaotic childhood. He points out that there are worse ways of dealing with it.

Marine Bonnet (Nancy Carroll), too, loves good food – but only if someone else is cooking it. She can’t tell one wine from another, and doesn’t care, as long as it’s delicious. She has a chic, slightly boho charm (her parents were broke, leftie academics) and marks her students’ essays in bed – often Antoine’s – wearing glasses and pyjamas, her hair pinned up with a biro. Left to her own devices, she mostly microwaves ready meals from Picard (A French Frozen food store –slightly upmarket – but still a frozen food store). Sometimes, after a couple of days with Antoine, she just longs for fish fingers in her own kitchen. Her apartment is in a permanent state of flux: half-finished décor, the result of brief enthusiasms for this colour or that. Books piled up everywhere, a shower which falls off the wall every other day. But it’s her bolt hole, and she’s ceased noticing its flaws (needless to say, Antoine hasn’t)

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Hélène Paulik (Keala Settle) is practical, down to earth, wry, not glamorous – or rather could be, but can’t be bothered. She’s the Deputy Police Commissioner who works closely with Antoine and is completely trusted. They’re a brilliant and unconventional team. She’s shrewd, thoughtful, bold, tough when she needs to be and, importantly for Antoine, knows her wine and loves a good restaurant. As Antoine says, there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Florence Bonnet (Patricia Hodge) is Marine’s mother. Early seventies, beady, sceptical. She’s a retired Medieval History teacher at the university, who still gives the odd lecture. She’s old school leftish, she dislikes waste, conspicuous consumption, fancy interior décor, and poncy restaurants. She lives alone (her husband’s dead), and buys her wine in plastic vracs, and lives in a modern apartment block in an unprepossessing part of town. Antoine admits to being slightly frightened of her. Marine sometimes worries about food poisoning when she’s offered supper there (how long has this been in the fridge, mum?).

Sylvie (Kirsty Bushell) is arty, flaky, menopausal, funny and beautiful in a haphazard way. She’s in her late forties and is Marine’s best and oldest friend. Sylvie is a sexy, wayward photographer, and constantly caught up in absurd love affairs with unsuitable men. Marine keeps telling her to get a dog. She and Marine meet most mornings for a stand-up breakfast coffee in their favourite café, before they both head off to work. They meet there for early evening drinks sometimes, too. They know the waiters, most of the clientele, and they hear all the local gossip there. It’s like their club.

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Prosecutor Roussel (Geff Francis) is the Police Commissioner, and the thorn in everyone’s side. He’s risen to the top via a combination of charm, doggedness and self-belief. Few people know what it’s cost him, because part of the reason for his success is that he doesn’t ever mention the difficulties. Now he’s got where he wanted to be, he’s exhausted. He likes to leave a lot of the mundane stuff to Hélène. Several times in the course of his career trajectory, he’s been mistaken for the defendant at court hearings. He also has personal experience being trailed by store detectives. We learn all this further down the line, when a crisis forces him to open up.

Didier Laurent (Samuel Barnett) is early forties, gay, Marine’s great friend who runs a book shop in the centre of Aix. He’s sociable, knows everyone, and is sharp as a tack. An endless source of information about the inhabitants of Aix. Currently a single man about town, but in the future he’ll find himself suddenly broody after looking after his eight month old niece for the day..

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.