Officer Jean-Pierre “JP” Hooper (Tobi Bakare) made his Death in Paradise debut in season four, straight out of police college.
Since then he’s proven himself time and time again, first as a partner to Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) and then in his own right – ultimately stepping up as Sergeant, and taking charge of young recruits Officer Ruby Patterson (Shyko Amos) and Trainee Officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles).
But the penultimate episode of season 10 leaves us on a cliffhanger. After giving a presentation about former youth offender Marlon and what he brings to the team, Sergeant JP Hooper has been offered a new job… and we don’t know yet whether he’ll take it.
Is JP leaving Death in Paradise?
“You’ve become a real credit to the Saint Marie police force, Sergeant Hooper,” says Commissioner Patterson. “Which is why I’ll be so sorry to see you go.”
But it’s not so straightforward for JP. Because although he’s been asked to consider a job as the head of the police training programme, it would mean leaving behind his team at Honoré Police Station – and quitting the island of Saint Marie. (His potential destination is, so far, unconfirmed; presumably another island in the Caribbean.)
“Uh – in that case sir please thank the board on my behalf. But I love my life here,” JP says in the episode. But wise Commissioner Patterson tells him: “May I suggest you think on it. Discuss it with your wife. Opportunities like that don’t come along too often, and I’d hate for you to miss your chance.”
So will Sergeant JP Hooper change his mind – and take the opportunity? He is, after all, a family man now – with a wife (Rosey) and twin newborn daughters to support, and the new role would presumably include a pay bump. On the other hand, he does seem determined to stay in his current job.
Is Tobi Bakare leaving Death in Paradise?
Frankly – we don’t know! There’s been no official announcement either way, which makes the cliffhanger ending to episode seven all the more powerful.
The actor does not have a social media presence, but there have been no hints on any of the other actors’ Twitter or Instagram profiles. There are also no clues on his IMDb page about any other upcoming roles.
However, Bakare does have a young family – which is one reason why other Death in Paradise stars (including Kris Marshall) have quit the show. Filming in Guadeloupe for half the year can be tricky when children reach school age, and can’t travel quite so easily.
At the moment, we can but speculate. However, with one episode left to air in season 10, we’ll hopefully find out very soon…
Season 10 of Death in Paradise concludes on Thursday 18th February on BBC One. Check out what else is on with our TV guide.