Ben Miller will leave Death in Paradise during the sun-kissed detective drama’s upcoming third series, and he’ll be replaced in the lead role by the former face of BT Kris Marshall.
Marshall will star in the new series as the bright but “rather disorganised and gawky” DI Humphrey Goodman, a man who’s taken a job in the Caribbean to give his life a brand new start.
“I am thrilled to be joining Death in Paradise and finding out a bit more about what makes Humphrey tick,” said Marshall. “Six months filming on a tropical island with an amazing cast and glorious sunshine? What isn’t there to love! I might even get myself a parrot!”
Miller, who has played DI Richard Poole since Death in Paradise’s inception in 2011, will leave the show on a high after its first two series proved to be enormously popular with the public. Its first series attracted 6 million viewers per episode and the second, which began airing in January, lured in an 8 million-strong audience across the run.
“I have absolutely loved my time on Death in Paradise and am sad to be leaving such a successful show,” said Miller.
“However 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! I know Kris will do a superb job and I’m delighted to be handing over the detective baton to him.”
Ben Stephenson, the BBC’s drama controller, added: “Thank you to Ben for leading two hugely successful series of Death in Paradise. He is leaving on a high and handing over to the very talented Kris Marshall. I am looking forward to seeing Kris in his new role and what he does with his character.”
In addition to a long-running BT ad campaign, Kris Marshall is perhaps best known for playing Nick Harper in the BBC sitcom My Family from 2000-2005. He’s also appeared in a slew of feature films including Love Actually, Death at a Funeral and Easy Virtue.
The third series of Death in Paradise is due to air on BBC1 in early 2014.