Death in Paradise finally reveals Ralf Little’s replacement is EastEnders icon
Posted by  badge Boss on 3 weeks ago
Ralf Little played the detective in Death in Paradise for four years (Picture: BBC Picture Archives)

has finally unveiled who will play the lead detective in the crime drama after .

Don Gilet, best known for his role as the in the soap will be stepping into the 44-year-old actor’s shoes.

He will play Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson who arrives on the idyllic island of Saint Marie from and isn’t overly pleased with his new surroundings.

Detective Wilson will make his debut in a feature-length episode later this year before a brand-new series in 2025.

Don, 57, has recently begun filming in Guadeloupe, alongside returning Death in Paradise regulars Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Ginny Holder, Élizabeth Bourgine and Danny John-Jules.

Speaking about his new role, the Shetland star said: ‘Being offered the new lead role in Death in Paradise feels like a deeply loved and incredibly precious jewel has been placed in my hands.

Don is playing the new detective in town- but he isn’t best pleased with his surroundings (Picture: Philippe_VIRAPIN)
Don is best known for playing the villainous Lucas in EastEnders (Picture: BBC)
Don was first cast in the hit BBC soap in 2008 and had several appearances over the years (Picture: BBC)

‘This is a big show, with a big heart and the love continually grows for it. It is my intention to never lose sight of that and to remain grateful, humbled
and dedicated.

‘Even during those testing times when every sinew is screaming at me to run off the set and dive into the sea, swimming pool or an ice-cold beer – whichever happens to be closer at the time.’

It is not Don’s first time on the .

He made a guest appearance in series four Death in Paradise episode Stab In The Dark as Andre Morgan when Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman was the lead detective on the island.

Don has been a fixture on our screens, including roles in Shetland (Picture: Matt Squire/BBC/House Productions)
Don has already started filming the BBC show in Guadeloupe (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)

Ralf’s final outing as DI Neville Parker was in March. The episode saw him finally sail into the sunset with DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) after her epic return to the series.

It was a rollercoaster hour, as Neville was forced to question his sanity in a twisting murder case and – perhaps more importantly – his life choices when it came to Florence.

Ralf, also known for Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps and The Royle Family, has been the longest-serving detective inspector of the series so far.

Speaking about his exit on BBC Breakfast this month, he said: ‘This last series was always going to be my last series, I had talks with the BBC, and with Red Planet, the production company and we all agreed that it just felt… if it was in my heart, like if it was just a heart decision, I’d have wanted to do it for 20 more years.

Ralf said in his heart he wanted to do the Death in Paradise for 20 more years (Picture: BBC / Red Planet Pictures)

‘But just for the show, and… for my character Neville, it just sort of felt like his story… it deserved to be sort of finished and his sort of journey… sort of deserved to be completed and he deserved a nice happy ending and so it just felt right.’

Death in Paradise has been a fan favorite since it first aired on the BBC in 2011.

During its thirteen series, viewers have seen four male leads cracking cases in the sunshine – Ben Miller, Ardal O’Hanlon, Kris and Ralf.

Death in Paradise is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.