Death in Paradise's Ralf Little reacts to "ambitious" reveal ahead of finale
In season 12's penultimate episode, Neville's name was cleared.
DI Neville Parker experienced his most challenging moment to date in last week's episode of Death in Paradise when he was arrested on suspicion of murder. Criminologist David Cartwright, who the detective suspected of killing Jake Dalton, was found dead in his hotel room - and all signs pointed to Neville.
Fans of the BBC drama have been speculating about the future of Ralf Little's role on the show following several hints that Neville could be leaving, and that development suggested that he was set to spend the rest of his days behind bars.
But in a staggering twist, Neville's new love interest Sophie Chambers was revealed to be the killer. Her real name was Rebecca and she used to be a courier for a drug dealer in Manchester. She was unable to carry out her deliveries one day, so her sister Grace stood in for her. But it all ended in tragedy when Grace murdered said drug dealer in self defence and was sent to prison.
She later took her own life, with Sophie holding Neville, who worked on the case with corrupt cop Andy, responsible.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the reveal, Little said: "First of all, I was really impressed with the ambition of the storyline. After the 10-year mark, shows can rest on their laurels a bit or even run out of ideas. And actually, I think this series just keeps getting better and better and more and more ambitious.
"So my first thought was, 'What an amazing set of bold choices for the creative team to make.' I was delighted."
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Little was also thrilled to throw himself into the "challenge". He added: "From an emotional and personal point of view, I was like, 'What a great challenge for me to be able to play. What a great arc for Neville.' Bless him, he's never quite been lucky in love, so I was really looking forward to it.
"And also what a great bit of casting. Chelsea [Edge, who plays Sophie] was absolutely superb and lovely. And she essentially plays two characters. She comes in and plays this really, really lovely, sweet, open, adventurous woman who then turns out to be cold and calculating. She completely reverses. So what a great journey for her to take the character on as well.
"I was delighted by the whole thing."
But when did Little learn of Sophie's betrayal? "Funnily enough, later than you would think, but only because the production team works so hard on the scripts and they refine them and fine tune them right up to the wire," he explained. "It's not that they're late, it's just that they're perfectionists.
"You would think when I arrived in Guadeloupe I would know that this was going to happen. I knew that Sophie was coming in, but I really only got the details a few weeks into filming. And I quite liked that because I got to experience the element of shock and surprise.
"I was like, 'This is amazing.' It was full of intrigue for me as well."
The Death in Paradise finale airs on Friday 24th February at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.
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