Ex-Death in Paradise star Ben Miller has new comedy heading to BBC

Ben Miller suited and booted in sunny Death in Paradise.
(Image credit: BBC)

Former Death in Paradise leading man Ben Miller is starring alongside Sally Phillips in Austin, a new comedy heading to the BBC.

The eight-part series, which he co-created, sees Miller play much-loved children's author Julian Hartswood, whose life threatens to be destroyed by a social media storm. Not only could his career be over but so could his marriage to his illustrator wife Ingrid (Sally Phillips).

However, when Austin (Michael Theo, making his acting debut), the neurodivergent son that Julian never knew he had, turns up out of the blue his life begins to change.

The cast of Austin

The cast of Austin (Image credit: BBC)

The makers tease: "Could embracing this modern nuclear family be Julian's route back from cancellation? Will Ingrid ever forgive him? One thing is for certain: if Julian thinks Austin is going to be a pushover, he's in for a rude awakening".

Speaking about landing the Australia comedy series for the broadcaster, Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition says: "Irresistibly charming, humorous and heart-warming, BBC viewers are sure to find Austin a sheer delight from start to finish".

Ben Miller co-created the eight-part series with Darren Ashton (Spreadsheet). The cast also includes Gia Carides (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Big Little Lies) and Roy Billing (Jack Irish, Underbelly).

Ben Miller as Detective Superintendent Richard Groves in Suspect season 2

Ben Miller as Detective Superintendent Richard Groves in Suspect season 2 (Image credit: Channel 4)

The hugely popular star, better known to millions of Death in Paradise fans as DI Richard Poole, can also be seen soon alongside Annie-Marie Duff in C4's Suspect season 2. Ben plays Detective Superintendent Richard Groves in the thriller, released on Channel 4 on Wednesday, July 17 at 9 pm (see our TV Guide for full listings). The series also stars Dominic Cooper as Jon, Tamsin Greig as Natasha Groves and Gina McKee as Kate. 

We don't yet have a release date for Austin. It's interesting that Ben is playing a children's author in Austin as of course he is real-life children's author. His books include "How I Became a Dog Called Midnight" and "Diary of a Big Bad Wolf".

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!