Frances Tomelty reveals how she prepared for blind role in Death In Paradise

Frances Tomelty has described how she prepared to play a blind character in Death In Paradise.

The Strangers star makes a guest appearance on the drama as actress Olivia Reeves, who has moved to the island of Saint Marie with her husband after losing her sight.

Tomelty, who shares two children with ex-husband Sting, said her character is “much more stellar than me” and is “closer to our wonderful dames Judi, Maggie et al”, but she added that Reeves has turned her back on her career.

Discussing how she prepared to play the part, Tomelty said: “I did things with my eyes closed. Swimming, showering, dressing.

Frances Tomelty and Ralf Little in Death In Paradise (Denis Guyenon/Red Planet)
Frances Tomelty and Ralf Little in Death In Paradise (Denis Guyenon/Red Planet)

“Ella, our lovely producer, arranged a meeting with a young woman named Rilanna who went blind aged 12 and who is full of light.

“She showed me how to navigate unfamiliar spaces. To listen and smell and intuit where people stood and to read their differing energies.

“She remembered colours. She had pink hair and asked if I liked her shorts. ‘Blue like the sky!’ she said.”

The episode reunites her with Peter De Jersey, who plays her on-screen husband, and she said: “Peter and I met earlier this year on a new Netflix series called Warrior Nun.

“We didn’t have screen time together so we were ‘ships that pass’, but it was fun getting to know him this time round.”

Death In Paradise episode eight airs on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday.