We're just over a month away until Christmas and of course, in the run-up to the big day, further exciting announcements are coming our way about the slate of new shows being released during the festive period.


One of the more anticipated Christmas specials of the year is Death in Paradise, and not only are we returning to Saint Marie for another feature length special, but the cast of the new episode is looking rather star-studded indeed.

Plenty of familiar TV faces are coming onboard for the festive Death in Paradise special, with the cast having now been confirmed by the BBC and including the likes of Patsy Kensit (EastEnders), Doon Mackichan (Two Doors Down) and Youssef Kerkour (House of Gucci).

Also joining the Christmas cast are Geoff Bell (The Curse), Bronagh Waugh (Ridley), Amelia Clarkson (The Last Kingdom), Freddy Carter (Shadow and Bone) and Leila Khan (Heartstopper).

Of course, the new characters will be joining the beloved Death in Paradise cast that is led by Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker, with the likes of Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Tahj Miles, Ginny Holder and Élizabeth Bourgine all reprising their roles also.

Geoff Bell as Gerry Stableforth, Amelia Clarkson as Mariana and Patsy Kensit as Bella in Death in Paradise shaking hands.
Geoff Bell as Gerry Stableforth, Amelia Clarkson as Mariana and Patsy Kensit as Bella in Death in Paradise. BBC/Red Planet Pictures

And it wouldn't be a trip to the sunny shores of Saint Marie without a murder case, would it? Well, the episode will centre on a family grappling with the murder of entrepreneur Gerry who are then delivered another twist when a friend of the family goes missing.

Neville is still grappling with the betrayal of last season, believing that love may not ever find him – but he's soon paid a visit by his encouraging mother who tries to instil some confidence in him.

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According to the synopsis for the Christmas episode: "When entrepreneur and family man, Gerry Stableforth (Bell), is found dead in a ravine, his family – wife, Bella (Kensit), children Benjamin (Carter), Mariana (Clarkson), and niece Riley (Khan) – are left in shock.

"As DI Neville Parker, DS Naomi Thomas, Officer Marlon Pryce and Trainee Officer Darlene Curtis set to work on cracking this mysterious death, things take a turn as the family’s visiting digital marketing guru, Debbie Clumson (Waugh), suddenly disappears. Once news of Debbie's disappearance reaches home, her hapless partner, Dave (Youssef Kerkour), is determined to find out what happened to her."

It continues: "Meanwhile, Neville's larger-than-life mum, Melanie (Mackichan), arrives on the island to spend Christmas with her son in the sun. Quickly striking up a fabulous friendship with Catherine Bordey, the pair take the Saint Marie dating scene by storm. But not before Melanie attempts to impart some words of wisdom upon her love-scarred son, who is battling the notion that some people just aren't meant to find love, with him being one of them…

"Also taking notes from Neville's mum, Naomi attempts to loosen up and focus on herself outside of work – but is she about to make things awkward between herself and a close friend at the Christmas party? And is Neville the man responsible for putting an awkward stop to Commissioner Selwyn Patterson's big Christmas lights switch on?"

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Last year’s Christmas special was seen by 8.5 million viewers, which made it one of the UK's top titles across the festive period, so it's likely that this year's episode will follow suit. Once more, the episode has been filmed on the island of Guadeloupe and will be a taste of what's to come in the forthcoming season, which will air in 2024.

It's been a good time to be a Death in Paradise fan, with the original series continuing to go strong, as well as new spin-off Beyond Paradise proving to be a very welcome addition to the TV schedules.

Having been recently announced also, Return to Paradise is another exciting development in the Death in Paradise universe. The new series will be set in Australia and will follow Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke who's forced to move back to her childhood home in Dolphin Cove.

But there, she's faced with a mysterious murder and is determined to put her detective prowess to good use – even if that means having to confront some tricky personal issues.

Death in Paradise's 2023 Christmas special will air later this year on BBC One and iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

Want to visit Death in Paradise locations in Guadeloupe at a discount? Radio Times is offering savings of up to 7% for registered users booking their next holiday with travel website Expedia. Claim your exclusive Radio Times Expedia holiday discount now.


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