Death in Paradise's Ralf Little talks possibility of female detective

death in paradise
Death in Paradise: Ralf Little on female detectiveBBC

Death in Paradise star Ralf Little has suggested to viewers that the show's run of male leads could change in the future, hinting that a female DI could arrive on the tropical island after his time is up.

In the show's 12 seasons so far, there have only been male leads: Ben Miller, Kris Marshall, Ardal O'Hanlon, and now Little.

Little will remain in the lead role as DI Neville Parker for seasons 13 and 14 plus two more Christmas specials, but he told Radio Times that a female detective could replace him after his tenure is up.

ralf little as di neville parker, death in paradise, season 11 episode 8

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"The show is extremely positive and brave in its choices. And if they feel like that's the right next move, then that's what they’ll do," Little said.

"The creative team at Red Planet knows that show so well now that they'll always make a decision based on what's good for the show, and what's good for the fan base. I certainly wouldn't rule it out. Never say never."

"'Never say never' implies that it's unlikely. The honest answer is: I don't know. It's certainly a possibility. Whatever they decide, it'll be a good decision."

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The show's pattern of hiring white male actors in the lead role has not dampened the series' popularity but some have suggested it is time for a change.

So far, Little and company have had Black female sidekicks alongside them — from Joséphine Jobert's Florence Cassell to Shantol Jackson's Naomi Thomas.

But the conversation around the lead DI is slowly shifting, suggesting we could see a completely new type of lead detective on our favourite fictional tropical island sooner rather than later.

Death in Paradise series 12 airs on Friday nights on BBC One and streams on BBC iPlayer. A spin-off, Beyond Paradise, is in production.

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