Will Death in Paradise's Neville be murdered? Or find love? We investigate...

Death in Paradise's Neville (Ralf Little) looking into the distance with an expression of deep thought on his face
Is it about to be the end for Neville? (Image credit: BBC)

There are worrying signs for Death in Paradise fans in the latest series that Ralf Little's time as DI Neville Parker could be drawing to an end.

For starters, Ralf has now lasted over 20 episodes in the show as the lead cop and that alone suggests his time on Saint Marie may soon be up.

Ben Miller clocked up 17 episodes as DI Richard Poole, not including his ghostly comeback. Kris Marshall managed 30 episodes as DI Humphrey Goodman, making him currently the show’s longest-running lead. While Ardal O Hanlon appeared in 24 episodes as DI Jack Mooney. Oh, and we shouldn’t forget Hugo Speer who lasted just one episode as the island's DI, when he appeared in the show’s very first episode as DI Charlie Hulme.

If Ralf made it to the end of Death in Paradise season 12 as Neville that would be 28 episodes. So, purely on time on the show, it suggests that the current series could be a key one for Neville. 

To be clear Ralf Little has not said he's leaving the show, but then again previously the makers have liked to keep this information a secret so it doesn’t mean Neville isn't departing in this series!

Now, there are two reasons why a DI leaves Death in Paradise — love or death! Humphrey left for love and a new life with Martha (Sally Bretton) in England, a story we’re excitingly going to pick up in the upcoming spin-off Beyond Paradise. Jack also left for love, realizing he needed to spend more time with his daughter, Siobhan, and finish grieving for his late wife.

Sadly, the other way DIs depart Saint Marie is death! Both poor Richard — via an ice pick — and Charlie (via a rogue cop) were murdered. So will Neville leave because of love or death?

What to Watch looks at the evidence...

Neville love theory — evidence 8/10

Neville and Sophie in Death in Paradise season 12

Neville is in love with Sophie, could he follow her to England? (Image credit: BBC / Red Panet Pictures / Denis Guyenon)

OK, well this isn't much of a stretch. Neville has clearly fallen head over heels in love with Sophie (Chelsea Edge). It’s also obvious that this plot is set to continue, with Neville pining for Sophie and having deep chats with Catherine about it. It's not at all hard to see Neville returning to England to reunite with Sophie. The fact that he’s found someone that will put up with him can't entirely be lost on him either.

Neville to be murdered by Justin — evidence 7/10

Justin, played by Robert Webb, look moody in Death in Paradise

Moody Justin looks ready to seek revenge on Neville (Image credit: BBC)

So, this is more of a stretch, however, the writers have inserted hints that Neville could meet a sticky end. At the end of the second episode, Robert Webb's character Justin is seen in his car drinking and glaring at an unsuspecting Neville, who’s getting into his police car. Justin is fuming that Neville's actions have resulted in his wife being charged with manslaughter.

Now, why is this scene here other than to suggest future twists? It points to a vengeful Justin plotting Neville's downfall. Surely it means the character will turn up again later in the series, possibly to murder Neville. There was even some sinister music! Come on!!

Neville to be murdered by Andrew Buckley — evidence 4/10

Andrew Buckley getting into a cab in Death in Paradise

What's Andrew up to? Why has he come to Saint Marie? (Image credit: BBC)

There's something going on with Manchester cop Andrew (Kent Riley). During episode three, Neville calls Andy via video for help on the murder, using Andy's fraud expertise. Neville and Andy clearly have a history and they call each other friends. But then things get weird. Neville calls Andy, who’s been drinking and seems distressed. Andy makes it clear he has something to tell Neville but then hangs up. 

Then at the end of episode three, Neville speaks to Andy, who says everything is fine. But in a huge twist, it turns out he's not in England anymore, he's now in Saint Marie! Why? And why is he lying to his mate about his whereabouts? Is he planning on causing Neville harm? Or worse still kill him? Or is Andy simply undercover on a case and therefore can't tell Neville? It's a curious one.

Neville leaves for a different reason rating — evidence 3/10

The Death in Paradise writers could make Neville leave for a totally different reason of course. But come on they enjoy the love/death drama, so why change a winning formula?! 

Perhaps you have your own theory!

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!