Is Ralf Little leaving Death in Paradise? His future confirmed

He's been at the helm for 4 series now...

a still of Ralf Little in Death in Paradise, starring alongside Shantol Jackson as Naomi Thomas
(Image credit: Future/BBC)

The dramatic finale left viewers worried about DI Neville Parker's fate on the beautiful Saint-Marie. But we now have confirmation on whether Ralf Little is leaving Death in Paradise or not...

There's a reason the tropical BBC show is such a hit with audiences. From the stunning Death in Paradise filming locations to the gripping crimes - but topping the list is the all-star cast of course, who keep us entertained series after series. Currently heading up the Honoré police force is DI Neville Parker played brilliantly by Ralf Little. The popular Mancunian found himself down on his luck in the season 12 finale - and with Little having been at the helm for four series - some were worried that an exit was nigh (given the history of the last three detective departures).

Thankfully with the confirmation of Death in Paradise season 13 comes some clarity on Little's future on the show. We've shared whether he'll be back for another installment, as we settle in for Beyond Paradise episodes during the show's usual hiatus.

Is Ralf Little leaving Death in Paradise?

No, Ralf Little is not leaving Death in Paradise in 2023 - with the actor confirmed to appear in this year's Death in Paradise Christmas special and season 13 and 14 of the hit BBC show.

Fans were worried a departure was imminent after Little's character DI Neville Parker was wrongly arrested in the season 12 finale. Despite his name being cleared the detective was delivered another blow when it turned out his love interest Sophie Chambers (Chelsea Edge) was actually the killer. "I think maybe it's time to call it a day," Neville said, contemplating his future on Saint-Marie. But alas the detective opted to stay in the sun for a bit longer - meaning Little will remain for season 13 of Death in Paradise and the confirmed 2023 Christmas special.

Following the finale, not one but two series of Death in Paradise was renewed, alongside the festive special. Of the news, Tim Key, Executive Producer of the show said: "The response to series 12 has been incredible, so we’re delighted that we’ll be heading back to Guadeloupe for at least two more series! 

"We’ve got an amazing and joyful Christmas special in store, and then series 13 begins with our 100th episode, so we’ve got plenty of surprises ready to celebrate that milestone. We’ve got huge plans for the future and can’t wait to get going again".

We've yet to hear what Ralf Little has to say about season 13 and beyond. The last time the actor discussed his future on Death in Paradise was in April 2021. Little told HELLO! Magazine: "I don’t have an end date in mind. I’ll definitely be coming back for this one [season 11] without question and look, I just love it.

"I love the show - I love being in the show. I love working on the show. I'm a fan of it. I just absolutely love it so I'm not in any hurry to finish. So who knows, I've got no plans either way. I'm certainly possibly the most well suited to it of all the detectives so far because I don't have the same family commitments," he concluded.

Appearing in season 13 and 14, let's hope this is a sign that Little's enthusiasm remains. But for now fans can rest assured that there's plenty more of Neville to come.

When did Ralf Little join Death in Paradise?

Ralf Little joined Death in Paradise in January 2020, half-way through season nine. Playing the role of DI Neville Parker, he arrived on Saint-Marie from Manchester ready to sort paperwork out for a death which wasn't what it seemed. 

Little replaced Ardal O'Hanlon's character of DI Jack Mooney. O'Hanlon left the show to focus on his stand-up career. In the show, his character DI Mooney returned to London to move back into the family home with daughter Siobhan (Grace Stone).

Little is the fourth Death in Paradise detective - and the longest serving one to date. Predecessor Ardal O'Hanlon stayed for four series, the same as Kris Marshall - aka DI Humphrey Goodman - who left Death in Paradise after four seasons. The original detective - Ben Miller's DI Richard Poole (who was met with a grisly death) left after two series.

Who could replace Ralf Little in Death in Paradise?

Whilst he's not leaving anytime soon, actor Ralf Little did tease that if he did decide to exit the show at some point, his replacement could be a female detective instead.

In an interview with Radio Times, Little discussed the "possibility" of a new female lead detective in Death in Paradise's future. He said: "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. 

"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," he added. "The honest answer is: I don't know. It's certainly a possibility. Whatever they decide, it’ll be a good decision."

Audiences have seen women make up the crime-fighting team at Honoré police station. Currently Shantol Jackson stars as Naomi Thomas - the sergeant to Little's DI Parker. Previously, in her stint in Death in Paradise, actress Joséphine Jobert starred as Florence Cassell, a detective sergeant aiding Parker in cases.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.