BBC Death in Paradise fans in shock over Don Gilet's real age as he replaces Ralf Little

Death In Paradise actor Don Gilet
Don is best known for roles in EastEnders and Doctor Who -Credit:Getty Images

The new lead star for the BBC's Death in Paradise has been confirmed - and it's a familiar face to many. Don Gilet has a long list of TV credits and now replaces Ralf Little in the comedy-crime drama series.

Talented actor Don is best known to fans as EastEnders' Albert Square killer Lucas Johnson, but he has also had roles in Holby City, The Loch, Sherwood and Doctor Who. He even previously guest starred in Death in Paradise in another killer role, but he is not reprising that character this time round, reports the Mirror.

Instead, Don will make his debut in this year’s Christmas special of the Caribbean crime caper as Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson. However, something about Don has surprised many - his age.

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Death In Paradise actor Don Gilet
Don will debut as Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson later this year -Credit:PA

Following the news of his casting, many fans rushed online to investigate Don's background. When one discovered the actor's age, it led to many to voice surprise.

One said: "Don Gilet is 57, folks." Others were just as stunned by his youthful looks, with one person saying: "Flipping heck", while another said: "I think it’s called good genes."

Ahead of his debut appearance this year, the BBC said that Mervin will arrive on Saint Marie from London and isn’t overly pleased with his new surroundings. Don is already out on location in Guadeloupe filming alongside the likes of co-stars Don Warrington and Shantol Jackson.

Don was delighted at being cast, saying: "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.

"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."

Death in Paradise executive producer Tim Key said: "Don is an amazing actor and we're delighted that he's joining us as the show enters another exciting new era. We've got huge plans for the new series and beyond, and I can't wait for the audience to meet Mervin and to see what we've got in store."

Don will debut as Mervin in this year's Christmas special. He will then return for a full new series in 2025.