Who is the new detective on Death in Paradise season 14?

Ralf Little has said goodbye to Saint Marie and to Death in Paradise

Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker in Death in Paradise
Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker in Death in Paradise. (BBC)

It's all change on the island of Saint Marie with their new detective vacancy recently finding a successful applicant. Ralf Little said goodbye to the BBC's Death in Paradise at the end of the 13th series, with DI Neville Parker choosing love over his life solving crimes on the island.

But we already know that Death in Paradise is commissioned for at least one more series and, with spin-offs like Beyond Paradise and Return to Paradise now running, there are plenty of legs in the show yet.

So that means we need a new leading man or woman to step into the spotlight... but who?

Don Gilet in a scene from Eastenders
Viewers may recognise Don Gilet as Lucas on EastEnders. (BBC)

After online sleuths tried their hardest to figure out who would be taking over Little's role, EastEnders star Don Gilet has been announced as the new lead of Death in Paradise.

Gilet, who previously played the role of a killer in the fourth series, will play Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson in series 14. Filming got underway in Guadeloupe in early 2024.

"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," said Gilet.

"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!”

Exact details on how Dt. Wilson will fit into the new series are largely being kept buried in the sand. However, we do know that he'll arrive from London and won't be “overly pleased with his new surroundings”.

Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker in Death In Paradise
Ralf Little has said goodbye to playing DI Neville Parker on Death in Paradise. (BBC)

Little told the Big Issue that it was "bittersweet" to be saying goodbye to Death in Paradise after four years in the lead role and "one of the most profound and magical experiences in my life".

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, he confessed that he and the BBC came to a mutual decision that the character's journey was at an end.

"If it was just a heart decision, I'd have wanted to do it for 20 more years," he said. "But just for the show, and for my character Neville, it just sort of felt like his story… it deserved to be finished, and his journey deserved to be completed and he deserved a nice happy ending. And so it just felt right."

As for his next role, Little wants to stretch himself and play a role that goes against his reputation for likeable characters. He told Big Issue: "I’d love to play a villain. It would be so nice to just play someone horrible. I’ve spent my whole career playing nice guys. I want to surprise myself and surprise audiences."

Death in Paradise is streaming on BBC iPlayer