Heading into the finale of Death in Paradise season 13, Ralf Little's future on the show was uncertain once again, following recent narrative developments.


In the penultimate episode, Neville announced that he was leaving Saint Marie to go travelling in the hope that he would finally meet his forever person.

"If there's one thing this job teaches you, it's that life's too short," he said to Naomi. "It's not just the cases, it's what happened with the commissioner a few weeks ago. So I need to be more like Zoe (his ex-girlfriend), take a risk, before it's too late."

His colleague asked him to clarify.

"This is a small island, it's full of ghosts for me," he explained. "Florence, Rebecca. What are the chances of me finding love again here? So if I do want to find the one, and I really do, I'm going to put myself out there, literally."

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But his mindset shifted when he learned that Florence was no longer in witness protection and was planning to return to Saint Marie when she'd solved a murder on a neighbouring island.

Suddenly, the detective inspector was unsure about his departure and appeared to be leaning towards staying.

Death in Paradise s13,17-03-2024,7,DI Neville Parker (RALF LITTLE)
Ralf Little as Neville Parker in Death in Paradise.

But despite committing to his original plan, Neville soon found himself back on the beat in Saint Marie in the finale following the murder of a fellow passenger – which also gave him the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Florence.

After their initial reunion, they went for a drink and a walk on the beach, which is when Florence floated her proposal.

"I know you're leaving soon, but I wonder, is there any chance we could spend some more time together, just the two of us?" she asked. "I don't think I know what I mean, but I just know I'm liking being back here with you."

Her inability to offer him a guarantee – which is entirely understandable – prompted Neville to ask Florence for some time to consider her question – also entirely understandable – before he eventually decided to recline her offer.

"The thing is, if we were going to give us a go, and believe me there's nothing I'd like more, I kind of want you to want it as much as I want it," he explained. "And I don't think you do.

"You said yourself you don't know where this is going to lead, can't make any promises, and that's fine. It wouldn't be fair of me to ask for something you can't give. But I can't help feeling, for my own self-preservation, I should probably bow out now."

He added: "I just feel like the fall back down would be even bumpier the second time around."

And that, it seemed, was that for Neville and Florence.

Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker and Josephine Jobert as Florence Cassell in Death in Paradise. They are embracing each other with sea in the background.
Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker and Josephine Jobert as Florence Cassel in Death in Paradise. BBC

But after a dramatic intervention by his friends and colleagues while he was en route to the airport once again, he decided to stick two fingers up to his anxiety – and the Neville of old – and take another chance on love.

"I don’t want to say goodbye," he told Florence. "I don't need promises, I don't need guarantees. If the unknown is all you have to offer, then it's good enough for me. Whatever happens, wherever it leads, all I want is for us to take a leap, together."

And that's exactly what they did.

The last shot we see is of the two detectives standing side by side, Florence's hand resting on top of Neville's, as they sail off on their grand adventure.

But is this the last we've seen of Little's character?

The BBC has since confirmed that the season 13 finale was the actor's final episode of Death in Paradise.

"My time on Saint Marie has come to an end – what an end!" he said in a statement. "New adventures await Neville, and he got to sail away into the sunset with his best friend. Who knows what happens for them next!"

Little added: "I want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who watched and supported the show when I arrived four and a half years ago. Coming into a series beloved by millions was a huge responsibility and I had no idea whether viewers would take to my interpretation of Neville's character, and indeed to me. It was quite a relief that the response has been overwhelming, and it's been an absolute privilege and a pleasure to bring Neville Parker to all of you and to share his quite profound journey with you.

"I can't thank you all enough for the support over the last four and a half years. It's been one of the most magical and profound experiences of my entire life. The team that makes Death in Paradise - the producers, writers, directors, crew, guest cast, and my magnificent co-stars - they know what they're doing, and the future is in good hands. I can’t wait to see what happens next. It’s been the ride of a lifetime."

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Executive producer Tim Key also paid tribute to Little's contribution: "Joining a successful show like Death in Paradise as the lead is a daunting and risky prospect, but Ralf's confidence and talent shone through from day one and the audience response to Neville and his journey has been amazing. I can't thank Ralf enough for everything he has brought to the show, on and off screen, and wish him all the very best for the future."

All 13 seasons of Death in Paradise are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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