Call the Midwife’s Charlotte Ritchie, Downton Abbey’s Robert James-Collier and The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison will join Death in Paradise as the full list of guest stars for series eight is revealed.
Other top names include Ordeal By Innocence actress Anna Chancellor, Holby City’s Chizzy Akudolu, Poldark star Rebecca Front and EastEnders’ Richard Blackwood, who will all be making an appearance on the Caribbean island of Saint Marie.
Each episode of the BBC1 comedy drama sees DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon) and his team of police officers puzzling their way through a new murder mystery, with guest stars helping to tell the story as tourists, locals and suspects.
Charlotte Ritchie, who played Nurse Barbara Hereward in Call the Midwife, will star as cash-strapped zookeeper Iris Shepherd, alongside The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison as her colleague Theo Roberts. Shelley Conn, who played DI Vanessa Harmon in ITV drama Liar, joins the cast as pregnant Marina Shepherd.
Known for her roles as Lady Whitworth in Poldark and Nicola Murray in The Thick of It, Rebecca Front will appear in the first episode – as will Chizzy Akudolu, who Strictly Come Dancing fans will remember from series 15.
Two Downton Abbey alumni have also signed up as guest stars: Robert James-Collier, who played Thomas Barrow, and Kevin Doyle, who played Joseph Molesley.
Other big-name additions to the cast include Jonas Armstrong, Ron Cook, Kimberley Nixon, Angus Deayton, Daniel Ryan, Olivia Poulet, Lisa McGrillis and Robert Portal.
They will join our much-loved series regulars: Ardal O’Hanlon (DI Jack Mooney), Joséphine Jobert (DS Florence Cassell), Tobi Bakare (Officer JP Hooper), Elizabeth Bourgine (Catherine Bordey) and Don Warrington (Comissioner Selwyn Patterson).
And with the departure of Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules), we will soon be introduced to a new recruit: the Commissioner’s niece Ruby Patterson, played by Shyko Amos.
Blake Harrison said: “It was a privilege to be part of such an established and loved show such as Death in Paradise. All of the cast and crew were fantastic to work with, except for one scene stealing tortoise…”
Rebecca Front added: “Death in Paradise is such a well-loved show and it was a pleasure to join the special guest cast for the upcoming series.
“I play the character of Fiona Tait, who is an ordinary woman who’s been hit by an extraordinary tragedy. It was fascinating to explore that, because who knows how any of us might behave in those circumstances.”
Richard Blackwood, best known for his role as Vincent Hubbard in EastEnders, said he was a Death in Paradise superfan.
“I watch Death in Paradise religiously,” he explained. “So to get the opportunity to work on the show with actors that I truly admire was more than a blessing!”
Death in Paradise begins on Thursday 10 January at 9pm on BBC1
This article was originally published on 3 January 2019