Joe Absolom: ‘They stripped me, exfoliated me and painted me with fake tan on Death in Paradise!'

Doc Martin star Joe Absolom reveals he’s had his head turned by the treatment he received during his guest role in BBC1’s Death in Paradise.

Although Joe Absolom loves playing grumbling plumber Al Large in Doc Martin, he told What’s on TV that he’s been seduced by the charms of portraying a volleyball coach in the Caribbean for Death in Paradise.

Joe laughed: “I thought working in Cornwall on Doc Martin was the greatest job ever. But since filming in Guadaloupe I think Death in Paradise is now the best job in telly!”

Add to that his character, Aiden Parker, is a sun-kissed beach volleyball coach, and now Doc Martin has even more to live up to…

“It was really good fun. They actually asked me if I could get a tan because my character has been living on the island of Saint Marie for about 10 years coaching their beach volleyball team! I’m so pasty one day the make up team made me strip down, exfoliated me and then painted me up with fake tan! After that it was back to set to watch the really talented volleyball players. It was probably one of the greatest days of my life!”

Over the course of the episode DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) struggles to understand the competitive world of inter-island volleyball when star player Shelley Kennedy is murdered before a high-stakes cup final. Soon Joe’s character, Aiden, is their prime suspect.

Joe revealed: “When it all comes out that Aiden had an affair with murder victim Shelley it looks like he could be her killer!

Joe, who played EastEnders’ Matthew Rose for five years, added: “Aiden has motive for murder, but there is motive in everyone. My character is definitely a suspect because he’s caught up in a grudge match with the rival Caribbean island team. He really wants to beat them, but killing one of their players is a bit dark and taking it too far!”

Catch a fake-tanned Joe in Death in Paradise on BBC1, Thursday, February 12 at 9pm.

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.