Following Ralf Little's depature from Death in Paradise earlier this year, the hit BBC One detective show has found its latest inspector - EastEnders and Sherwood star Don Gilet.


Gilet will be playing Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson, who arrives on the idyllic island of Saint Marie from London, and isn’t overly pleased with his new surroundings.

He will make his debut in a feature-length Christmas special this year, before starring in the show's 14th season next year.

The star has recently begun filming in Guadeloupe, and will be joined the new episodes by returning regular cast members Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Ginny Holder, Élizabeth Bourgine and Danny John-Jules.

Gilet said in a statement: "Being offered the new lead role in Death in Paradise feels like a deeply loved and incredibly precious jewel has been placed in my hands.

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"This is a big show with a big heart, and the love continually grows for it. It is my intention to never lose sight of that and to remain grateful, humbled and dedicated.

"Even during those testing times when every sinew is screaming at me to run off the set and dive into the sea, swimming pool or an ice-cold beer – whichever happens to be closer at the time!"

Don Gilet in a chequered navy suit and black shirt
Don Gilet. Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Meanwhile, Tim Key, executive producer for Red Planet Pictures, added: "Don is an amazing actor and we’re delighted that he’s joining us as the show enters another exciting new era.

"We’ve got huge plans for the new series and beyond, and I can’t wait for the audience to meet Mervin and to see what we’ve got in store..."

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In taking on the lead detective role, Gilet will be following in the footsteps of Ben Miller, Kris Marshall, Ardal O'Hanlon and Little. Marshall has since gone on to star in his own Devon-based spin-off, Beyond Paradise.

Gilet is best known for playing the villainous Lucas Johnson in EastEnders, while he has also had roles in Shetland, The Stranger and this year's film The Beekeeper.

He joins Death in Paradise as the show continues to go from strength to strength, with a new Australia-based spin-off, Return to Paradise, having just announced its cast.

Death in Paradise season 1-13 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.


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