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'Death in Paradise' Christmas special — release date, cast, plot, trailer, and all you need to know

Death in Paradise Christmas Special 2021
'The Death in Paradise' Christmas special will star Ralf Little. (Image credit: BBC)

The Death in Paradise Christmas special 2021 promises to be one of the gems of the Christmas TV schedule.

And, it’s extra special because this will be the first-ever Christmas episode of the hugely popular show!

To make it even more brilliant for fans, favourite Office Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) is also making a surprise return.

The BBC teases that it stretches "from a grey damp drizzly London all the way to the warm sparkling beauty of idyllic Saint Marie".

The makers have revealed that there’s been a plan for ages to make a festive special, but this time they’ve finally managed one!

Executive Producer for Red Planet Pictures Tim Key says: “We’ve been talking about a Death In Paradise Christmas episode for years so we’re beyond excited to be finally making one and to be working with Danny again. We can’t think of a better place to spend Christmas than in Saint Marie — it’s still part of our tenth anniversary year after all!”

Here’s everything you need to know about the Death in Paradise Christmas episode...

'Death in Paradise' Christmas special release date

The Death in Paradise Christmas special 2021 is likely to be screened on BBC1 on Christmas Day. It might follow on from the Call the Midwife 2021 Christmas special. However, the schedules won’t be officially confirmed until much nearer the time.

Meanwhile, in the US the festive episode will be shown on PBS.

What’s the plot of the 'Death in Paradise' Christmas special 2021?

It’s Christmas time on Saint Marie and Neville is preparing to head to Manchester to spend the holiday with his family. But his plans are abruptly changed when a billionaire shipping magnate dies in mysterious circumstances.

Things only get stranger when a minicab driver in London receives a Christmas card with an ominous message inside that turns the entire case on its head. For Neville and the team, will this be a case they can crack together?

Following the series ten cliff-hanger that left everybody in suspense, Florence is jetting off for Christmas, leaving the team a member down. So, the Commissioner decides to enlist the help of retired officer, Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules).

Alongside Marlon, Dwayne employs his unique style of policing to help investigate the case. Left to their own devices, the pair struggle on the best plan of action for apprehending a suspect. As rain falls, tensions rise - but as Christmas Day approaches, will they realise they’re more like one another than they originally thought?

Also, Florence clearly returns at some point during the episode as the BBC has heavily hinted that the Florence/Neville romance saga will finally go somewhere. Quite where isn’t clear. 

Who’s in the cast?

Death in Paradise Office Dwayne Myers

Look who's back! (Image credit: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Philip Volkers)

The biggest excitement is that Danny John-Julies is back as Officer Dwayne Myers. Danny John-Jules says: “It’s always a pleasure going back to the Caribbean. And after four years away, fitting back into the fold should be seamless as I know all the new leading cast members already. I look forward to bringing Dwayne and this tenth-anniversary special script to life.”

Meanwhile, the regular cast is back with DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little), Florence (Josephine Jobert), The Commissioner (Don Warrington), Catherine (Elizabeth Bourgine), and Marlon (Tahj Miles) all returning. There’s also a heap of guest stars: Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), Juliet Stevenson (Riviera), Stanley Townsend (Informer), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After), Anthony Calf (Poldark), Tessa Bonham Jones (The Trial of Christine Keeler), Elizabeth Tan (Emily in Paris) and Tariq Jordan (Law and Order: UK).

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, watch this space!

How long is the 'Death in Paradise' Christmas special?

It's 90 minutes! So, 30 more minutes than normal. It's the first feature length episode of the show and it wraps up the show's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Meanwhile, Death in Paradise Season 11 will hit our screens in January 2022.

David Hollingsworth

David is a Senior Digital Content Editor with over 15 years experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest soap spoilers and television news for Whatsontv.

Before working for Whatsontv, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!