Death in Paradise new boy Ralf Little praises 'magnificent' Ardal O’Hanlon as he takes over

Death in Paradise
(Image credit: BBC/Red Planet)

Over five million fans saw Ardal's last appearance as Jack

Death in Paradise new boy Ralf Little has warmly praised Ardal O’Hanlon as he prepares to take over cop duties on Saint Marie.

Over five million fans, according to Broadcast, tuned in to watch Ardal make his final appearance as DI Jack Mooney last night.

And Ralf, who will be seen for the first time as Detective Inspector Neville Parker next week, took to Twitter to send a warm message to his predecessor.

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“Last night was the magnificent Ardal O’Hanlon’s @ardalsfolly final ep of @deathinparadise, and next week, I arrive to take over Jack Mooney’s detective duties.

“If I can bring even half of his warmth, humour and charisma, I’ll consider myself lucky. Hope you all enjoy.”

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Death in Paradise 2020 episode four

(Image credit: BBC/Red Planet/Denis Guyenon)

So, Ralf follows in the footsteps of Ardal, Kris Marshall (DI Humphrey Goodman) and Ben Miller (DI Richard Poole) in being the show’s leading cop.

Ralf is thrilled to be the new Death in Paradise detective

Talking to us about starring in the series, Ralf says: “It’s an absolute joy. I was a guest star in the second series, and thought that might be preclude me from ever being considered for the main role.

“When I was offered the part I was absolutely delighted. I’ve been acting for 23 years and love it, but this is the first outright lead I’ve done.

"It’s exciting for me that I’m turning 40, fast careering towards middle age, and now a leading man in a hit show!”

Ralf also reveals why Neville comes to Sant Marie, saying: “He’s there to solve a murder. I’m not at liberty to say how he ends up staying but the police team in Saint Marie tolerate him and his allergies with good nature. But they find him a little hard work, particularly the Commissioner!”

Catch Ralf Little’s first episode in Death in Paradise next Thursday on BBC1 at 9pm.

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!