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Death in Paradise co-stars react to Ardal O'Hanlon's departure

Death in Paradise is back!

Francesca Shillcock

The new series of Death in Paradise is set to return very soon and viewers can look forward to another gripping series of the BBC show, with all the usual familiar faces returning. However, it'll also see the exit of the much-loved DI Jack Mooney, played by Ardal O'Hanlon, and his co-stars have opened up about his departure from the show.

Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters in an interview prior to the series' return, Shyko Amos, who plays Ruby Patterson in the BBC drama, revealed her sadness at her co-star's decision to leave. "I was really sad," she began, adding: "He's my first detective and I bonded with him just because of that so I was sad."

MORE: Happy Valley star joins Death in Paradise season nine cast

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Shyko Amos revealed her sadness on her co-star leaving

However, the actress, who joined the show in 2018 for its eighth series, saw the bright side as she went on to say: "But it offers a new opportunity and Ralf [Little] came and it's a different dynamic now and brings it into a difference place so you're sad but you have to get on it with as well, and getting on with it has been great!"

The show's producer, Tim Key, also opened up about Ardal's exit and revealed he got emotional watching the actor's final episode: "I honestly cried this morning! I was really moved by it - and I've seen the episode so many times." He continued: "Something happened and it moved me!"

MORE: Death in Paradise season 9: everything you need to know ahead of the new season

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Ardal O'Hanlon is leaving the show during the upcoming series

Tim also revealed the details behind Ardal's exit: "We've always spoken to Ardal about the rough amount of time we'd be working with him, and we chatted to him again when we were planning the series - so it was a very mutual thing and he nails it. He's on fire this series and it's fantastic."

In a recent interview with HELLO! and other reporters, Ardal explained the reasons why he felt it was best he stepped down from the show. "I would be very worried about overstaying my welcome," he began, adding: "When I started, I thought I'd be lucky to last a summer, and I kind of always in the back of my head [thought] you do three series and that's kind of it. [And] in terms of the character, I don't think there was any anywhere else for it to go really, there's a danger that you'll end up treading water and pulling out the same tricks time after time."

Death in Paradise returns on Thursday 9 January at 9pm on BBC One.

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