Death in Paradise new series start date finally revealed

Death in Paradise star Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker.
(Image credit: BBC)

Death in Paradise season 12, once again starring Ralf Little, will begin in January, the BBC has at last announced.

It's the news that every Death in Paradise fan wants to hear — Death in Paradise season 12 will begin on BBC One on Friday, January 6 at 9 pm.

Before then there’s also the show’s second Christmas special to enjoy, which the BBC announced will be on Boxing Day on BBC One at 9 pm in a Christmas TV highlight. The festive episode will run for a whopping 90 minutes, giving fans a big festive treat.

Talking about the Christmas episode, executive producer Tim Key previously said: "We were overwhelmed with the fantastic response to our first Christmas special and delighted that we’ve been asked to take the viewers back to Saint Marie this Christmas. We can promise something very different this year, but still with all the Death in Paradise fun, sparkle and intrigue that the viewers will expect."

All the key cast are back for both the Christmas episode and the new series. Ralf Little returns as DI Neville Parker, who will be looking for love and we hope finding it.

Don Warrington — who’s been in the series since the very first episode — is back as the Commissioner, who’s reeling at the news he has a daughter he’s never met. 

Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) dressed as Santa on the beach for the Death in Paradise Christmas Special

Don Warrington returns as the Commissioner for the Christmas special and the new series. (Image credit: BBC/ Red Planet / Denis Guyeon)

Elizabeth Bourgine will return as Catherine Bordey. Plus Tahj Miles (Officer Marlon Pryce), Shantol Jackson (Sergeant Naomi Thomas), and Ginny Holder (Darlene) are all confirmed.

As to the Christmas episode plot, the BBC says: "Christmas in Saint Marie takes a spooky turn this year when an old case of Selwyn’s comes back to haunt him following the murder of a true crime podcaster on the hunt for a missing child. Marlon is forced to spend the night in a haunted house and Darlene takes a hard look at her life choices. And after a chance encounter in an airport car park, could love finally be in the air for Neville Parker?”

Meanwhile, for the new series, the makers tease: "The new series kicks off with the mysterious death of a celebrity astronomer and a change of job for Darlene. We also meet a bunch of Preppers digging in for the apocalypse on a Saint Marie hillside, when the end comes dramatically early for one of them. An impossible killing on a boat takes the team to a beautiful beach under threat, and an apparently straightforward domestic murder twists into what could be Neville's greatest ever challenge..."

The new series has a string of top guest stars including Peep Show star Robert Webb and former Coronation Street actor John Michie.

Death in Paradise will return for its Christmas special on Boxing Day at 9 pm and its new series on January 6 on BBC One at 9 pm. See our Christmas TV guide for all the big shows on over the festive season.

Please note we don’t have US release dates for either.

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!