Death in Paradise’s Ralf Little “wouldn't rule out” female lead detective
With DI Neville Parker remaining in Saint Marie for now, the lead actor speaks to RadioTimes.com about the prospect of a new female lead detective in the future.
After an explosive season 12 finale, it's been confirmed that DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and the rest of the beloved Saint Marie team will return to our screens for Death in Paradise seasons 13 and 14 and two more Christmas specials.
The final episodes of season 12 brought Neville's future as a detective in Saint Marie into question, and he was on the brink of leaving the island after finding out the dark truth about Sophie Chambers (Chelsea Edge), his love interest. But Neville chose to stay, meaning that he'll be back for the next instalment of Death in Paradise, at least.
But what could be in store for the long-running crime drama? Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the show's future moves, Little spoke about the "possibility" of a new female lead detective.
He said: “The show is extremely positive and brave in its choices. And if they feel like that's the right next move, then that's what they’ll do. The creative team at Red Planet knows that show so well now that they'll always make a decision based on what's good for the show, and what's good for the fan base. I certainly wouldn't rule it out. Never say never.
"'Never say never' implies that it’s unlikely," he added. "The honest answer is: I don't know. It's certainly a possibility. Whatever they decide, it’ll be a good decision.”
Throughout its 11 seasons, all of the show's lead detectives in the series have been male: Ben Miller in seasons 1 and 2, Kris Marshall in seasons 3-6, Ardal O'Hanlon in seasons 6-9 and now Little, who has starred as Neville since season 9.
While Shantol Jackson currently stars as Naomi Thomas, she is a sergeant, compared to Parker who is a DI. Similarly, in her time in the series, Joséphine Jobert starred as Florence Cassell, a detective sergeant alongside Parker.
Well, the possibilities for where the BBC drama will go are certainly endless, as demonstrated in the past and especially in this 12th season.
The twists and turns were ones that Little admits to being "really impressed" by, previously telling RadioTimes.com: "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."
The show's executive producer Tim Key also previously revealed at the Radio Times Covers Party that this series "is going in directions that people won't expect" and after the shock of that final episode, it's fair to say that we can only expect more of the same.