Ralf Little is now Death in Paradise's longest serving lead detective

DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) carrying groceries in Death in Paradise season 12
(Image credit: BBC / Red Panet Pictures / Denis Guyenon)

Detective Inspector Neville Parker, played by Ralf Little, is now Death in Paradise's longest-serving lead detective. 

Kris Marshall clocked up 30 appearances in the show as DI Humphrey Goodman. But Ralf eclipsed that record by making his 31st appearance as the hit drama's lead cop in the recent festive special. He also guest-starred as a different character in an early series but we've not included that episode as he wasn't playing Neville.

And with Death in Paradise season 13 just around the corner, Ralf will only stretch that record further. Plus there's no sign that he's planning on leaving the show.

Meanwhile, Kris is still playing DI Humphrey Goodman, just in the spin-off Beyond Paradise. Good news on that front as it can't be too long until Beyond Paradise season 2!

We're talking here about the show's lead detective, so Neville, Humphrey, Jack (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Richard (Ben Miller). It is worth noting that Sara Martins made 30 appearances as Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey.  While  Josephine Jobert made over 50 appearances as Florence Cassell. But neither of them was the show's lead detective.

Who is the shortest serving detective in Death in Paradise?

Ben Miller suited and booted in sunny Death in Paradise.

Ben Miller was Death in Paradise's shortest serving lead (Image credit: BBC)

Tricky, you could answer Hugo Speer who made just one appearance as DI Charlie Hulme. But he wasn't the show's true lead detective. Ben Miller as DI Richard Poole then was Death in Paradise's shortest serving lead detective appearing in just 18 episodes. While Ardal O’Hanlon made 24 appearances as DI Jack Mooney. Ben may have only enjoyed a relatively short time on the show, but we'd argue he was the best Death in Paradise detective so far. And we'd also strongly argue that appeared in the best Death in Paradise episodes to date.

Who has made the most appearances in Death in Paradise?

Neville (Ralf Little) and Naomi (Shantol Jackson) - who is mostly obscured behind Neville from this angle - meet Catherine (Élizabeth Bourgine) and Melanie (Doon Mackichan) at the Christmas carnival. Catherine and Melanie have both got a cocktail in each hand.

(Image credit: BBC)

Elizabeth Bourgine has made the most appearance in Death in Paradise. She's now played Catherine in almost 80 episodes. Not far behind her is Don Warrington who's played Commissioner Selwyn Patterson in slightly fewer episodes. He's the only cast member left who appeared in the show's very first episode.

Who is the longest serving detective in Death in Paradise?

Ralf Little stars as DI Neville Parker in Death in Paradise

Ralf Little is now the show's longest-serving lead detective (Image credit: BBC)

Ralf Little has made 31 appearances to date and is the longest-serving Death in Paradise detective. He made his first appearance as Neville in season 9 episode 5. His reign is still going!

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for 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 for 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. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

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!