The Christmas TV season has arrived, which means the Death in Paradise festive special is just around the corner, and viewers are in for a treat.


The feature-length episode will see Neville and his colleagues attempting so solve a new murder – and a very special guest has also flown over to the Caribbean to spend the most wonderful time of the year with the detective.

"The Christmas special is absolutely beautiful," said star Shantol Jackson (Sergeant Naomi Thomas). "It looks almost like a movie. We had some really good actors. It was so good to have different generations of actors coming in with different energies."

She added: "You will see some great things with Naomi and other people. Audiences will get a really special Christmas special and I'm excited to share that with them."

Read on for everything you need to know about the Death in Paradise Christmas special.

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Death in Paradise Christmas special 2023 release date: When does it air?

You can watch the Death in Paradise Christmas special on Boxing Day (26th December) at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

The episode will be a whopping one hour and 28 minutes, and you won't want to miss it!

Death in Paradise Christmas special 2023 cast: Who stars?

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

All of the following regulars are back:

  • Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker
  • Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson
  • Shantol Jackson as Sergeant Naomi Thomas
  • Tahj Miles as Marlon Pryce
  • Ginny Holder as Darlene Curtis
  • Élizabeth Bourgine as Catherine Bordey

And as ever, several new guest stars have been drafted in:

  • Patsy Kensit (EastEnders)
  • Doon Mackichan (Two Doors Down)
  • Youssef Kerkour (House of Gucci)
  • Geoff Bell (The Curse)
  • Bronagh Waugh (Ridley)
  • Amelia Clarkson (The Last Kingdom)
  • Freddy Carter (Shadow and Bone)
  • Leila Khan (Heartstopper)

Speaking about new addition Mackichan, Little told the BBC: "I've been a fan of Doon Mackichan's for years. We cross paths with a lot of people in this industry but we never get to spend proper time together. She's always been a hero of mine, so then for her to come out and say, 'Oh, I'm so glad to be doing this with you'… I was like, 'Are you kidding? This is a dream for me!'

"She was, predictably, absolutely brilliant. I felt like our chemistry on screen was great and her chemistry with Élizabeth Bourgine, who plays Catherine Bordey, was fabulous. She was so fun, lovely, professional, talented… love her! What a joy."

Little was also full of praise for Kensit: "Patsy Kensit is an old mate of mine. We've worked together before, and I hadn't seen her for about twenty years! So it was really fun to be like, 'Hey, how are you doing?' and catch up.

"And Patsy of course, she's a legend. Patsy’s had a long career and worked at the very, very top and it wouldn't be out of the realms of possibility for her to be a bit of a diva, a bit difficult – but not even a fraction. She's just the loveliest, nicest, easy-going person to work with."

Death in Paradise Christmas special 2023 plot: What's it about?

Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) and Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) in Death in Paradise
Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) and Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) in Death in Paradise. BBC / Red Planet / Denis Guyeon

When entrepreneur Gerry Stableforth (Geoff Bell) is found dead at the bottom of a ravine, Neville are co are drafted in to solve the mystery surrounding his death.

While it could just be a terrible accident, Gerry's last words - "It's behind you" - suggest there is something more ominous at play.

Does Gerry's wife Bella (Patsy Kensit) know more than she's letting on? Or perhaps his children Benjamin (Freddy Carter) and Mariana (Amelia Clarkson), or his niece Riley (Leila Khan), are hiding something.

Gerry's digital marketing guru Debbie Clumson (Bronagh Waugh) has also vanished, which prompts "her hapless partner" Dave (Youssef Kerkour) to fly out to Saint Marie in an effort to locate her.

Elsewhere, Neville's "larger-than-life mum" Melanie (Doon Mackichan) has arrived on the island to spend Christmas with her son, who is still lacking in confidence following last season's Sophie saga. But with Neville wrapped up in his work, Melanie connects with Catherine and they "take the dating scene by storm".

And Naomi also follows Melanie's lead by attempting 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?"

Then there's Selwyn, who is convinced that Neville is "responsible for putting an awkward stop" to the big Christmas lights switch on, which creates friction between the pair.

Death in Paradise's 2023 Christmas special will air on Boxing Day at 9pm 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.


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