We knew that the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie is a dangerous place but viewers of BBC1’s Death in Paradise have always had Ben Miller’s Richard Poole on hand to help solve the grisly crimes.
That was until the actor announced last April that he was due to leave the show.
But quite how he was to depart had been a closely guarded secret – until now.
(And if you want to watch the episode on January 14 we suggest you stop reading now).
That is because the BBC have revealed that Miller's buttoned up and eccentric character DI Richard Poole is going to be the victim of the beautiful island’s virulent crime rate.
Viewers will see DI Poole murdered before the opening credits of the first episode on Tuesday January 14, with his replacement DI Humphrey Goodman (played by My Family and BT ads star Kris Marshall) attempting to solve the murder – with the aid of clues Poole has left behind to help him along the way.
“I have loved being part of the show,” explains Miller. “But for personal reasons just couldn’t continue. Being away from my family for six months a year – even if it was in the beautiful surroundings of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean – was just too hard.
“Once I had made the decision to leave I talked to the writers about the best way to make my exit. Filming DI Poole’s death was very emotional but I hope viewers will agree it is a sensational way to go… in a good way. It was a really bold thing to do and it is quite shocking but it’s also kind of clever. The way that Humphrey and Richard work together to solve the murder is a brilliant way to transition from me to Kris and I hope despite being sad viewers will enjoy it.”
DI Richard Poole arrived in Saint Marie two series ago to replace his murdered predecessor, so Miller says that the latest twist offers "circularity" to the plot.
Miller added that he did not want to keep the door open for his character to return.
“Richard in Croydon wouldn’t be quite as much fun as Richard in Guadeloupe,” says Miller. “It’s the fish out of water thing that’s important, isn’t it? Although people have grown to love his eccentricities, so maybe he could have continued solving crime elsewhere. It’s a bit late for that now.
“Cornwall would have been close enough to home and still a bit alien to him - I suppose Doc Martin would have had something to say about that though!”