Ardal O'Hanlon quits Death in Paradise as D.I. Jack Mooney

Death in Paradise series nine Ardal as DI Jack Mooney

Ardal will bow out as Jack next year

Death in Paradise star Ardal O’Hanlon has revealed he'll leave the sun-drenched BBC1 crime hit as D.I. Jack Mooney during the next series.

The 54-year-old star, who famously played Dougal in Father Ted, took over from Kris Marshall in the leading man role back in 2017.

Death in Paradise series nine

Jack and Madeline team up for series nine - but Jack will be leaving Saint Marie

But, now Ardal has revealed he’ll soon be seen solving his final Caribbean murder mystery as Jack.

“I’ve spent the last four summers in Guadeloupe playing DI Jack Mooney (solving over 20 murder cases in my time there!) It’s been a hugely rewarding and unforgettable experience, working with incredibly talented actors, directors and crew while discovering a magical part of the world.

“However, it’s time to move on and explore other opportunities - preferably nearer the Arctic Circle. I’m confident that Death in Paradise will go from strength to strength and viewers will share my enthusiasm for Jack’s successor!”

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Death in Paradise

Ardal took over from Kris Marshall, who departed the show as Humphrey during series six (Image credit: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Denis Gu)

The BBC has revealed that Jack will go during series nine of Death in Paradise, which will be shown next year. But it teases “viewers will need to tune in to see exactly how and why he departs”.

Red Planet Pictures Executive Producer, Tim Key adds: “They say never meet your heroes but working with Ardal is everything I could have hoped for.  He’s a fantastic actor and a lovely man and we will all miss him enormously.

"We couldn’t be more grateful for his time as our lead detective and his story isn’t over yet - viewers will have to see how, why and when Jack Mooney leaves, but I don’t think there will be a dry eye in the house.”

Danny John-Jules has left Death in Paradise as Officer Dwayne Myers

Danny was a big hit as Dwayne in Death in Paradise (Image credit: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Denis Gu)

Death in Paradise has seen plenty of coming and goings over the years since it started in 2011.

Ben Miller was the show’s original top cop, but his character, DI Richard Poole, was murdered – the first case for his replacement, Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall). Sara Martins left as DS Camille Bordey during series four; Danny John-Jules departed as officer Dwayne Myers at the end of series seven and Josephine Jobert exited as Florence during the last series.

Speculation will now turn of course to who will take over from Ardal…

Death in Paradise will return to BBC1 next year. And the BBC has already confirmed there will be a 10th series too!

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!