Martin Compston: I did think 'Am I really getting paid for this?' filming Death in Paradise

Line of Duty star Martin Compston turns up the heat in next week's Death in Paradise (BBC1, Thursday) as a young chef who becomes suspected of murder.

The actor talks secrets, sunbathing and the best job on TV…

Tell us about your character and how he's involved in the drama...

"My character, Dexter, is a sous chef working at the opening night of a new restaurant on Saint Marie. He seems like a nice guy, who’s just trying to look after his young family. When Dexter and the rest of the staff return to the restaurant the next morning, to open up again, head chef Robert Holt is dead in the freezer with a knife in him! Soon everybody in the restaurant becomes a suspect."

It's soon revealed that Robert didn’t always see eye-to-eye with his kitchen staff. Why is that?

"Robert was a Gordon Ramsay-type genius and, while his talents were undoubted, he was very volatile, so there were lots of grievances in the kitchen. Robert wasn't the nicest of men, so anyone who worked for him could have had a motive to kill him.”

As Robert’s sous chef, would you say Dexter felt indebted to Robert for taking him on – or a little bit jealous perhaps?

“I'd say it’s a bit of both. While Dexter was grateful to Robert for taking him on as a young chef, he does feel he’s been held back. But we soon find out that there are reasons why Dexter hadn't left Robert to progress."

Ooh… Does that mean Dexter could be hiding something?

“Everybody's got their own secrets, which people can sometimes use as leverage against them, and it seems Robert may have had something on Dexter. Sometimes, when pushed, good people do bad things."

Did you enjoy working with Kris Marshall (DI Humphrey Goodman)?

“I was really impressed with him. That character has become so iconic in a way that you assume it’s him, so I kind of thought Kris was this upper-class, bumbling oaf. But in real life he’s actually very different - he’s a very normal guy and we became really good friends.”

How did playing a chef in Death in Paradise compare to your role as an undercover cop in Line of Duty?

"Line of Duty is a tough old shoot, so getting to work on such a beautiful beach in the Caribbean was perfect; just what I needed. In between filming, myself and the other guest stars would sunbathe together or hire out jet-skis – it was fantastic. On-screen, in one scene, I’m just laying on a lilo in the pool. These are real pinch-yourself moments where you think: 'Am I getting paid for this?'"

Death in Paradise continues on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC1.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!