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Why these Death in Paradise stars left the show

Find out which stars have left the BBC show over the years and why

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Death in Paradise first appeared on our screens in 2011, and since then it has seen a huge cast turnover, with almost none of the original stars still in the show. Although this can be very much a good thing since the series has always been evolving and keeping viewers wanting more, it doesn't mean we weren't disappointed to see many of our favourite characters go! Find out the most surprising cast changes from the series here…

WATCH: Death in Paradise's Ralf Little reflects on his time on the show

Ben Miller

Ben Miller was the main lead as DI Richard Poole when the show premiered back in 2011 and bowed out after two seasons when "personal circumstances… made it too complicated". Chatting to Radio Times back in 2014, he explained: "I arrived out here for the first series and within a few weeks my wife Jessica discovered she was pregnant.

ben miller© Photo: Getty Images

Ben Miller played Richard Poole when the show premiered in 2011

"That threw everything because it meant she couldn't come and visit me for the six months I was out here. During the second series, my son Sonny was starting school – your first year of school is so important – and I did think about him coming over here but I'm divorced from his mum, and it wasn't very practical. Then when I came back, I picked up my baby son Harrison and he started crying because he didn't know who I was. My personal circumstances just made it too complicated, but I will miss it like a lung. I love it here."

The star did return for a brief cameo in season ten, however, and fans are hoping he might consider returning for another cameo in future.  

MORE: Death in Paradise's Ralf Little reflects on his time on show amid exit rumours

READ: Death in Paradise star teases next episode details following major cliffhanger

Josephine Jobert

Season eight of Death in Paradise shocked fans after Josephine Jobert's character Florence Cassell left the island following a dramatic turn of events. In her final episode, Florence was shot while following her fiancé, Patrice, who was killed. Although she recovered from her injury, Florence was unable to stay on the island with the memory of her love, and so left to go travelling. 

josephine jobert© Photo: BBC

Josephine Jobert played Florence Cassell

Josephine opened up about leaving the show herself, explaining: "Just a message to just say thank you and goodbye. For those who watched episode six, you now know I'm leaving Death in Paradise. I quit the show for personal and professional reasons - nothing dramatic I swear! Everything is fine it's just that I've been working on Death in Paradise for five years... I loved every minute, every minute of it. I'm going to miss the show, I'm going to miss Toby and Ardal and Shyko and everyone so it's been a tough decision, but that's life."

While Josephine later returned to Death in Paradise for series ten, she decided to leave once more, departing midway through season 11. Chatting to HELLO!, she explained: "I already left in series eight, I thought it would be for good, honestly, I thought, 'I'm done.' Then they asked me back for series ten as I was like, 'Hmmm I don’t know, okay I'm going to do it.' But I knew it wouldn't be forever, I knew it. How long, I didn't know. I had an idea but I wasn't sure."

She continued: "Series ten was so good and we ended the series on a big cliffhanger between Neville and Florence, but I couldn't not come back, it would have been unfair… but I knew it would be just four episodes, to finish the story between the two characters and to be fair to the audience and respect them and that they follow the series… I couldn't just leave like that!"

Kris Marshall

Kris Marshall played Humphrey Goodman between seasons three and six but ultimately quit the show when his young children began to start school, meaning that it would have been more difficult to take them to the Caribbean for filming every six months.

He told Radio Times: "Every year except last year we took Thomas out with us. The only reason they didn't come out last year was because my daughter was born and she was only three months old when filming started. Thomas has basically spent half his life in the Caribbean. Every year he went to the same nursery in Guadeloupe. But now it's time for him to put on scholastic shackles and toe the line."

kris marshall© Photo: Getty Images

Kris Marshall starred as Humphrey Goodman

In an exciting turn of events, Kris has since returned as DI Humphrey Goodman in a new Death in Paradise spin-off, titled Beyond Paradise. Set to follow the detective and his fiancée Martha Lloyd after their romance reached its finale in Saint Marie in 2017, the show picks up near the beautiful Devonshire coast, where Martha pursues her dream of opening up a restaurant and Humphrey joins the local police force. 

Ardal O'Hanlon

Ardal announced that he was leaving the show after series nine, four years after taking on the role of DI Jack Mooney. In a statement released in early October, he said: "I've spent the last four summers in Guadeloupe playing DI Jack Mooney (solving over 20 murder cases in my time there!)

ardal hanlon

Ardal O'Hanlon portrayed Jack Mooney for four years

It's been a hugely rewarding and unforgettable experience, working with incredibly talented actors, directors and crew while discovering a magical part of the world. However, it's time to move on and explore other opportunities - preferably nearer the Arctic Circle. I'm confident that Death in Paradise will go from strength to strength and viewers will share my enthusiasm for Jack’s successor!"

He has since been replaced by Ralf Little, who plays DI Neville Parker. Speaking about whether he'd ever return to the series to HELLO!, he explained: "I can say definitely not, I really feel a real sense of closure as an actor, but also as a person, a real sense of completion."

Aude Legastelois-Bidé

BBC bosses confirmed that Aude would be leaving the show ahead of season ten after two seasons starring as DS Madeleine Dumas. The statement reads: "DS Madeleine Dumas will also be departing Saint Marie’s sunny shores and we would like to thank [them] for bringing Ruby and Madeleine to life and wish them all the very best for the future." 

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Aude Legastelois-Bidé played Madeleine Dumas

Danny John-Jules

Danny was the most constant thing about Death in Paradise, having appeared in it since it began in 2011. However, the Strictly star, who played Officer Dwayne Myers, wanted to leave so he could go to performing in theatre.

death in paradise office dwayne myers© Photo: BBC

Danny John-Jules played Officer Dwayne Myers

He told TV Times: "I left Death in Paradise because I wanted to get back on stage. I needed a bit more razzmatazz in my life, and then along came Strictly! I haven't done a [stage] show for more than 20 years, so this is as close as I'm going to get to doing the jazz hands again. I've also been working on my one-man show about Sammy Davis Jnr, that's why I'm always wearing a bowler hat!" In the show, it was explained that Dwayne was away boating with his father – lucky for some!

Sara Martins

Sara Martins played DS Camille Bordey in the first four series of the show and departed the series just one episode after Ben's exit with her character moving to Paris. Speaking about her departure to What's On TV, she explained: "I’ve loved everything about the show. But the only way to grow in life is to take risks, even if it means losing something you love, or leaving a place that’s comfortable. You should always go forward and take new challenges. The unknown is so seducing, although it's scary!"


Sara Martins portrayed Camille Bordey in the first four series of the show

Much like her co-star Ben Miller, Sara briefly returned to the show for season ten, and fans couldn't have been more excited to see Camille back in Guadeloupe. 

Gary Carr

Gary Carr played Fidel Best for the first three seasons of the show before moving on. Although he hasn't opened up about his decisions behind exiting the show, Kris Marshall told Digital Spy: "I understand where he is coming from.

gary carr© Photo: Getty Images

Gary Carr played Fidel Best for the first three seasons

"I was just the same when I was younger. He wants to move on." But what about his character? In the season four opener, it was explained that Fidel had left St Marie after being promoted and moving to St Lucia.

Shyko Amos

Sadly, BBC bosses confirmed that Shyko's character Ruby won't be returning for season ten in a statement which read: "After two series bringing law, order, and joy to the streets of Saint Marie, we’re sad to say goodbye to Ruby Patterson who made such a massive impact in such a short time!" 

shyko amos© Photo: BBC

Shyko Amos starred as Ruby Patterson

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