death in paradise detectives ranked 2021
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Death in Paradise detectives ranked: Which of the BBC actors comes out on top?

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Death in Paradise fans are used to a high turnover of detectives on Saint Marie but which of the actors was the best?

While we think they’re all entertaining and endearing in their own ways – we definitely have our favourite.

So here’s our ranking of the Death in Paradise detectives, best at the end.

4. Ralf Little

We’re sorry Ralf fans, but his portrayal of DI Neville Parker, hasn’t left a massive impression on us yet.

Read more: Death in Paradise best ever guest stars ranked

But this could be simply because he’s still a relative newbie. Despite appearing in previous episode – as a completely different character in 2013 – he’s only been a head honcho on the show since last year.

Neville is also very different from the previous detectives.

ralf little on death in paradise
Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker (Credit: BBC)

Ralf explained his character’s unique investigative skills to the Radio Times: “And often a single insignificant detail which everybody else might step over.

Read more: Jason Manford on Death in Paradise dives viewers

“So while Richard Poole, Ben Miller’s character, was extremely methodical – and Kris Marshall, with Humphrey, with clumsily puppyish [style] might stumble upon something and have the wherewithal to know what it meant – and Ardal’s character is able to see the overarching narrative about how a crime might happen, because he’s a storyteller.

“Neville’s thing is his eye for detail.”

3. Kris Marshall

Kris played DI Humphrey Goodman on DIP from 2014-2017 and was a popular addition.

And was on the hit BBC series for so long that his name has become pretty much synonymous with the show.

DI Goodman was known for being a bit of a walking contradiction. Brilliant at solving crimes, but hopeless at basic organisational skills.

And he was one of the few detectives who quickly assimilated to and relished Caribbean life.

When is Death in Paradise back?
Kris Marshall exited Death in Paradise in 2017 (Credit: BBC)

While it was initially reported that he was quitting the show to transfer over to Doctor Who – this coveted transition never materialised.

In fact, his departure ended up mimicking his exit storyline. As he said he left for love.

Speaking to Radio Times Kris detailed: “It’s something my wife and I discussed three or four years ago.

“When I was first offered the job, my son was six months old and my wife wasn’t working, so it was a very easy decision.

“We decided I would do Death in Paradise for a few years until it became impractical.”

2. Ardal O’Hanlon

Irish actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon joined Death in Paradise as DI Jack Mooney in 2017, and he remained at Saint Marie until 2020.

A popular addition, fans liked his natural Irish charm and often underestimated investigation skills.

However, the actor called it a day in 2020, with his character being written out by returning to London to support his daughter Siobhan. And to await the return of his new love interest Anna, from her world travels.

ardan o'hanlon on dip bbc
Do you miss Ardal O’Hanlon on DIP? (Credit: BBC)

Whereas Ardal hasn’t given an exact reason for departing and has repeatedly reiterated how much he enjoyed being on the show.

But he has also said he has absolutely no plans to ever revive the show.

And this might be because he was fed up of working in the stifling heat.

As Ardal told the BBC upon his departure: “It’s time to move on and explore other opportunities – preferably nearer the Arctic Circle.”

1. Ben Miller

We believe the first ever and original Death in Paradise detective – is quite simply the best one. Ben Miller joined the show for its inaugural series as DI Richard Poole in 2011 but his character was killed off by 2014.

Making a brief cameo in 2021, may DIP fans still desperately miss his hilariously grumpy character.

ben miller original detective
Ben’s our fave! (Credit: BBC)

But Ben left what he called a ‘role of a lifetime’ to focus on two very important reasons – being a good dad and saving his second marriage.

Speaking to Radio Times shortly after his exit was confirmed he explained: “I’ve just got divorced and I’ve finally met somebody and now I’m on the other side of the world and we’re having a baby.

“That’s a proper curveball to be on the end of. So I knew what I had to do to get my wife back – quit Death in Paradise!”

How to watch Death in Paradise on BBC

All episodes – past and present – of Death in Paradise are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Whereas brand new episodes for series 10 air on BBC One. Check your local listings for exact times.

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