Skip to main contentSkip to footer
 Ralf Little’s replacement on Death in Paradise is Don Gilet© Philippe_VIRAPIN

Death in Paradise new Detective Inspector revealed - and he’s a Shetland star

Ralf Little’s replacement has finally been announced

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
May 2, 2024
Share this:

The BBC has announced Ralf Little’s replacement on Death in Paradise, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the island of St Marie! It has been confirmed that Sherwood and Shetland star Don Gilet, 57, is set to star as Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson in the upcoming Christmas special and season 14 of the hit show - find out more!

The star, who is best known for his roles in EastEnders, Sherwood and Shetland, will make his debut in the Christmas special later in 2024 before the series returns in full in 2025 - and it sounds like the character won’t be “overly pleased” with his new life in the Caribbean. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out more!

WATCH: Ralf Little breaks silence over Death in Paradise exit

Speaking about joining the hit show, Don said: “Being offered the new lead role in Death in Paradise feels like a deeply loved and incredibly precious jewel has been placed in my hands. This is a big show, with a big heart and the love continually grows for it. It is my intention to never lose sight of that and to remain grateful, humbled and dedicated. Even during those testing times when every sinew is screaming at me to run off the set and dive into the sea, swimming pool or an ice-cold beer – whichever happens to be closer at the time!”

Don Gilet attends the 50th Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2024 © Joseph Okpako
Don Gilet attends the 50th Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2024

The show’s executive producer, Tim Key, added: “Don is an amazing actor and we’re delighted that he’s joining us as the show enters another exciting new era. We’ve got huge plans for the new series and beyond, and I can’t wait for the audience to meet Mervin and to see what we’ve got in store." 

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, added: “We could not be happier to welcome Don to the series. Already known to BBC viewers from the likes of Sherwood, EastEnders, and Doctor Who, he’s long been one of the UK’s most exciting actors. Death in Paradise is in brilliant hands - roll on Christmas!”

Death in Paradise cast celebrates show's 100th episode© BBC
Death in Paradise is set to welcome a new Detective Inspector

The actor will be joining the cast regulars including Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Ginny Holder, and Élizabeth Bourgine. 

Who is Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson? 

Very little is known about Don's character Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson as of yet. We only know that he'll be arriving on the island of St Marie to replace DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little), who left to travel the world with his friend Florence. The brief synopsis has also teased that Mervin won't be at all pleased about being on the island - and we don't blame him! That place is murderous...

Is Don in a relationship? 

Don shares one son, Flynn, with his ex-partner, fellow actor Tracy Whitwell. He has more recently been romantically linked to Happy Valley star Siobhan Finneran, with the pair looking close while at the TV Choice Awards in 2024. 

Siobhan Finneran and Don Gilet attend the TV Choice Awards 2022© Mike Marsland
Siobhan Finneran and Don Gilet attend the TV Choice Awards 2022

Who else was in the running for the role? 

There were plenty of rumours about who would be taking over as the new Detective Inspector, with names including Miranda Hart, Toby Jones and Rupert Grint among the most popular. Ben Miller threw his support behind Harry Potter star Toby getting the gig, telling Radio Times: "Oh my God, there are so many people who’d be brilliant. Toby Jones, that’s who I’d like to see.”

Toby Jones as Alan Bates in Mr Bates vs the Post Office© ITV
Toby Jones was reported to be in the running

What other Death in Paradise shows are in the works?

It’ll certainly be a busy time for the Death in Paradise universe, as the show’s Australian spin-off will also be launching in 2025, as well as the return of Beyond Paradise for season 3 - will you be watching all three shows?  

Anna Samson as DI Mackenzie Clarke in Return to Paradise© John Platt
Anna Samson as DI Mackenzie Clarke in Return to Paradise

Chatting about Beyond Paradise's season three renewal, Tim added: "The response to series two has been fantastic. So much love goes into the making of the show and we're delighted that the audience have enjoyed it so much. 

"We can't wait to get back to Shipton Abbott for another Christmas special and series to continue the story and learn more about our characters and the town they live in - I can promise that we'll be making the viewers laugh, cry, laugh a bit more and then baffling them with a series of ingenious puzzles. There will also be a duck." 

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.