The very weird connection between Death in Paradise and Father Brown that everyone’s forgotten!

Death in Paradise 2020
(Image credit: BBC/Red Planet/Denis Guyenon)

Hugo Speer is the incredible link!

Death in Paradise and Father Brown are two of the biggest detective shows on the box and they both share a remarkable link - Hugo Speer played each show’s first ever cop!

Yep, The Full Monty actor was in the very first episodes of both Death in Paradise and Father Brown. What’s even stranger is that he was a detective in each show and that they have both gone onto be huge global success stories.

Hugo Speer as Valentine with Mark Williams as Father Brown

Hugo Speer, seen here with Mark Williams as Father Brown in the current series (Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

Everyone thinks that Ben Miller was the first detective in Death in Paradise, but actually the first Brit cop you see on screen is DI Charlie Hulme, played by Speer.

Miller’s character, DI Richard Poole, is only sent to Saint Marie from London because Hulme is murdered quickly during the very first episode of Death in Paradise, which started in 2011.

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Ben Miller in Death in Paradise

Ben Miller: 'I thought this series was a wind-up' (Image credit: BBC/Red Planet)

Poole - who is ironically murdered himself in a later series - has to work out how Hulme was shot dead despite apparently locking himself in a panic room.

Meanwhile, Speer starred in the very first episode of Father Brown, which begun in 2013, as Inspector Valentine. As Valentine Speer has lasted a lot longer than he did in Death in Paradise, appearing in 12 episodes, including one in the current series on BBC1.

Death in Paradise star Sarah Martins

Death in Paradise star Sarah Martins went on to enjoy a guest role in Father Brown (pic credit: ABACA/PA Images) (Image credit: ABACA/PA Images)

And that’s not the only odd connection between the two hit shows. Death in Paradise legend Sara Martins, aka DS Camille Bordey, featured in the drama’s first episode, where she was involved in hunting down the killer of DI Hulme (Speer). After leaving the sunny Caribbean set series, Sara popped up in... yep, Father Brown as Lisandra Flambeau in a 2018 episode!

It’s a small world in detective land!

Both Death in Paradise and Father Brown continue on BBC1.

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 on 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 on 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!