Could Death in Paradise have tipped the balance in the EU Referendum and stopped Brexit in its tracks?
“I think if the British public knew that Death in Paradise might be in jeopardy, they wouldn’t have voted for Brexit,” declares its new star Ardal O’Hanlon. “I think that goes without saying.”
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Creator and writer Robert Thorogood has previously warned that Brexit could threaten the future of the Caribbean crime drama, telling RadioTimes.com: “Guadeloupe is an overseas territory of France, so it’s part of the EU, which makes it really easy to film there. If we left the single market, it could make things much harder for us.”
But Death in Paradise newcomer O’Hanlon, who now stars as eccentric detective Jack Mooney on the fictional island of Saint Marie, remains hopeful.
“Nobody has a clue what happens when – if – Brexit happens,” he says. “No one knows when it’s going to happen and what are the consequences. So I think we have to wait and see, like we do in every other industry. We just don’t know. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Guadeloupe uses the Euro, and O’Hanlon admits, “That’s going to be a concern for sure. If there’s a massive flux in the exchange rate, we may not be able to afford to do the show. That’s a remote possibility.”
But he adds: “I don’t imagine post-Brexit, no matter what the arrangements are, British companies won’t be able to go off and make programmes in other parts of the world. I think that’s still going to happen.”
Still, even if he remains hopeful about the future of Death in Paradise, O’Hanlon is seriously concerned about what Brexit means for Ireland.
“At the moment, I’m very, very frustrated,” he says. “I share that frustration with I think everybody from the island of Ireland, just about the arrangements for the border.
“That’s something that’s grossly underestimated in Britain generally: how hard won the peace was in Northern Ireland. It took decades of savagery and carnage before people were able to bury the hatchet. The peace has been magnificent. It really has been well-observed over the last few decades. The economy on both sides of the border has really thrived.
“I’m not one for scaremongering, but I would be really concerned if, as a consequence of Brexit, there’s a hard border between Northern and Southern Ireland. Unless you live there, unless you’re a student of politics on the island of Ireland, and why would you be, you wouldn’t realise how porous that border is, how people have farms that straddle the border, how people have family on both sides of the border. I just think it would be really dangerous, really counter-productive and really stupid to introduce any sort of hard border.”
Death in Paradise airs on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC1 starting from 4th January