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BBC announces Don Gilet as Death in Paradise’s new lead detective

The BBC have revealed that Don Gilet (Sherwood, EastEnders, The Beekeeper) will be the new lead detective in crime drama Death in Paradise.

Making his debut in a feature-length Christmas special later this year, before a brand-new series in 2025, Gilet will play Detective Inspector Mervin WiIson - who arrives on the idyllic island of Saint Marie from London, and isn’t overly pleased with his new surroundings...

Gilet has recently begun filming in Guadeloupe, alongside returning Death in Paradise regulars Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Ginny Holder, Élizabeth Bourgine and Danny John-Jules.

Don Gilet says: “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. 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!”

Tim Key, Executive Producer for Red Planet Pictures, says: “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...”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “We could not be happier to welcome Don to the series. Already known to BBC viewers from the likes of Sherwood, EastEnders, and Doctor Who, he’s long been one of the UK’s most exciting actors. Death in Paradise is in brilliant hands - roll on Christmas!”

Offering the perfect cocktail of sun-soaked escapism, shimmering seas and clear blue skies, the detective drama enters its fourteenth year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with its much-loved combination of magnificent murder mysteries and plot twists which leave audiences on the edge of their seats.

BBC Studios, who distribute the series, have licensed Death in Paradise to over 230 territories across the globe. It was recently announced that following the successful launch of spin-off series Beyond Paradise last year, the Death in Paradise franchise will build on its international success with new Australia-set spin-off series Return to Paradise, airing later this year on the BBC and on ABC in Australia.

Death in Paradise is a Red Planet Pictures production for the BBC made with the support of the region of Guadeloupe and internationally distributed by BBC Studios. The feature-length Christmas special and 2025 series will be executive produced by Tim Key and Amy Rodriguez for Red Planet Pictures and Danielle Scott-Haughton for BBC, and series produced by Sue Howells. All series of Death in Paradise are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.