Death in Paradisefirst appeared on our screen 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…
We had no warning! Season eight of Death in Paradise shocked fans after Josephine'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. Fans were devastated by her exit, with one writing: "Nooo Florence, sad to see her go, hope she'll be back," while another added: "Gutted to see you leave! So glad Florence wasn't killed off. That would of being too much to deal with on my favourite show."
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."
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.
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!
Ben 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. 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."
Chatting to BBC, he added: "DI Poole has made no secret of his struggle with the Caribbean heat, so I felt now was a good time to put him out of his misery!"
Sara played DS Camille Bordey in the first four series' of the show, and departed the series just one episode after Ben's exit after her character moved to Paris. Speaking about her departure to What's on Tv, she explained: "Yes tremendously hard. 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!"
Gary 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. 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.
Kris 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."
Two seasons after his departure, his former co-star Tobi Bakare has said he can't imagine the star returning since the show has evolved, telling HELLO!: "If Kris made a comeback would have to be at the expense of someone else. The show evolves and because it evolves it just has to do what it has to do. Of course I'd love to work with him again, would I like to see him in Death in Paradise? I don't know."