Who will replace Ralf Little in Death in Paradise? Who's in the running?

A sad-looking Neville (Ralf Little) sits on the beach outside his hut, joined by his off-duty colleagues Marlon (Tahj Miles), Naomi (Shantol Jackson) and Darlene (Ginny Holder)
(Image credit: BBC)

Fans are debating who will replace Ralf Little in Death in Paradise? as DI Neville Parker's time on Saint Marie looks close to ending.

By the end of Death in Paradise season 12, Ralf will have been in 30 episodes, matching the record set by Kris Marshall, who played DI Humphrey Goodman.

So, it seems likely that Ralf will depart sooner rather than later as Neville. We also know that he will quit in the series finale, telling The Commissioner he needs to escape the island after what happened with Sophie. However, that may not be his final episode as The Commissioner might change his mind.

The door, though, will open again at some point for a new Death in Paradise detective… here's who could be in the running and what we think...

Simon Bird

Simon Bird smiling

(Image credit: Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)

The Inbetweeners star has emerged as the favorite to take over from Ralf. Simon, who’s also starred in Friday Night Dinner and Everyone Else Burns, looks an obvious fit for Death in Paradise. We could imagine him being similar to Humphrey in having that chaotic style while being a brilliant cop. According to The Express (opens in new tab), Simon is a 5-1 shot to be the new cop.

Diane Morgan

Diane Morgan

(Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Shortlist Medi)

The Mandy and Cunk on Earth star is also apparently in the running. Death in Paradise is yet to have a female lead and Diane would certianly be an unsual choice. Something about her part in Motherland suggest she’d bring a delicious dry wit to the part and it could see Death in Paradise go in a slighty different direction. She's rated a 6-1 shot.

Matthew Horne

Matthew Horne at Nan screening

(Image credit: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Warner Bros)

Matthew Horne has actually already been in Death in Paradise, appearing during Ben Miller's time on the show. However, Ralf Little was also previously in the show before being cast as the lead, so that won’t stop him from having a shout. The Gavin & Stacey star almost seems too similar to Ralf though and perhaps the makers will want to shake things up a bit more. Rated 8-1.

Romesh Ranganathan 

Romesh Ranganathan smiling at a movie screening

(Image credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Warner Bros)

The comedian obviously has the humour for the part, but would the makers want to go such an obvious comedy route? He’s a 9-1 shot, but we’re not convinced he will be the next Death in Paradise cop.

Jodie Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker begins regenerating in Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC )

Jodie Whittaker would seem in many ways perfect for the part, displaing a mix of humour and mad genius in Doctor Who. It's questionable though whether Jodie would wish to swap leading one huge BBC One drama so quickly for leading another. She's 10-1.

Jaye Griffiths 

Jaye Griffiths in character as DI Karen Flitcroft, standing on the beach with the trees behind her

(Image credit: BBC)

Jaye Griffiths turned up in season 12 as DI Karen Flitcroft, who was called in to investigate Neville when he was accused of murder. The Commissioner blasted Karen for being lazy and too easily leaping to conclusions. She vowed to go away and think about her future. Might Death in Paradise have been setting us up for her to return as the lead cop? While she seemed harsh in the episode, she might have now softened after the Neville shambles. She's a 16-1 chance.

Mystery person!


(Image credit: BBC)

OK, so it could be someone else entirely. Might Death in Paradise break tradition and promote someone to lead cop from within the show? Could even Florence (Josephine Jobert) return as DI after having a spell away from Saint Marie? We can't wait to find out!

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 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. 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!