BBC drama series Death in Paradise has suspended filming in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean because of a red alert issued over the dangers posed by Hurricane Irma.
Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean, is now battering various Caribbean islands and is thought to have brought dangerously high winds and rain to Guadeloupe where the government has issued a red alert warning to all its residents.
However, it is understood that Guadeloupe is not expected to be hit directly by Irma.
The producers Red Planet Pictures issued a statement to RadioTimes.com, saying, “The Death in Paradise production team are in constant contact with the authorities in Guadeloupe and as soon as the red alert was signalled, filming was suspended immediately. The safety of the cast and crew remains paramount and when we are given the all-clear, filming will recommence.”
A production source added, “It’s very important to keep the health and safety of everyone secure but as soon as we got the red alert we suspended filming. We expect to start again maybe later today or tomorrow but are waiting to hear. We have filmed in Guadeloupe since 2011 and are very vigilant about the weather and the dangers and are monitoring the situation closely.”
Bringing winds of 185mph, the hurricane hit Barbuda on Wednesday and has also hit nearby St Martin and Anguilla. Barbuda is just 95 miles from Guadeloupe, the French overseas territory where Death in Paradise is filmed. But the island is not thought to be in the eye of the storm.
The Category 5 hurricane is “potentially catastrophic,” according to the US National Hurricane Center and its path still remains unpredictable. Some forecasters believe it could turn towards Florida in the US this weekend.
Death in Paradise is mid-way through filming series seven of the series with former Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon taking the lead from Kris Marshall.
O’Hanlon appeared towards the end of series 6 and is now the principal copper in the island paradise.
His character, Detective Inspector Jack Mooney, is “a sad-sack Met officer working in a dank basement who gets this gig looking after visiting Caribbean officers,” according to the 51-year-old. The new series is expected to air next year.