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Death in Paradise's Ralf Little reveals Neville is 'broken' by Sophie's betrayal in series 13

The detective is "ready to give up" on love

Ralf Little in Death in Paradise
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Ralf Little has revealed that DI Neville Parker is "broken" and "ready to give up" on love when we find him in series 13 of Death in Paradise. Teasing the new episodes ahead of its premiere on Sunday, the actor explained how his character is still "very hurt" after being betrayed by his girlfriend Sophie in series 12. 

"He's obviously very hurt and bruised by it and mistrustful of people," he told the BBC. "The concept of romance and love has left him extremely jaded. He feels like maybe it's just not for him and that for some people, it just doesn't work for them."

Ralf Little in Death in Paradise series 13© Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon
Neville is 'ready to give up' on love in series 13

Opening up about where we find Neville in the new series, Ralf continued: "We join him this series very much feeling like he's one of those people and this is all just something he should give up on or he'll get hurt again. He's broken by the whole experience and ready to give up on the idea of loving in any way at all."

Discussing how Neville has evolved since first arriving on the island back in series 9, Ralf explained how Neville has faced up to his issues throughout the series and now lives a "fuller and richer life". 

On how this helps him in the aftermath of his relationship with Sophie, Ralf said: "This series we've talked about how, due to the fallout from Sophie, he must do that all over again, but emotionally he has to kind of go, 'No I shouldn't have to hide away, I have to face down everything that's out there, even if it's painful and difficult.' It's a massive emotional journey for him and a really satisfying one."

death in paradise renewed for two more season and more sophie© Photo: BBC
Sophie betrayed Neville in series 12

In series 12, Neville's hopes for a future with Sophie were brutally shattered after she framed him for murder as an act of revenge for sending her sister to prison. It was in fact Sophie who had committed the murder and had conned Neville into thinking she loved him. 

When Neville visited her in prison in search of closure, she admitted that while she didn't love him, she "began to like who she was pretending to be with him". No wonder he's scarred!

WATCH: Sophie actress Chelsea Edge talks working with Ralf Little on Death in Paradise

So, what can fans expect from series 13? 

The new season opens with the show's 100th episode, which will see Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) celebrating fifty years of police service, before having to fight for his life after being shot by a mysterious assassin. 

Meanwhile, Catherine (Élizabeth Bourgine) finds herself wrapped up in a murder case, Marlon confronts his future, Naomi lets loose to double date with Darlene, and Neville faces his biggest decision yet. 

Tahj Miles in Death in Paradise series 13© Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon
Marlon confronts his future in the new episodes

Fans can also expect to see some new and returning faces arrive on Saint Marie, including Sean Maguire, who becomes the first guest to reprise their role since appearing in the first-ever episode in 2011 as crook Marlon Collins. 

Leon Herbert (Outlander), Cathy Tyson (Boiling Point) and Mensah Bediako (Andor) will also appear, as well as Oscar-winning actress Hayley Mills, Motherland star Ellie Haddington, Unforgotten's Kate Robbins, Detectorists actor Pearce Quigley and Last Tango in Halifax's Ronni Ancona. 

Death in Paradise series 13 will be available on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 4 February 2024. 

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