Death in Paradise star Ardal O’Hanlon has explained why he’s leaving the murder mystery show ahead of its upcoming ninth series.
In a recent interview with Metro, the actor - who has played Detective Inspector Jack Mooney onscreen since February 2017 - assured fans that there isn’t “one specific reason” behind his decision but that he felt like he’d “overstayed his welcome.”
The 54-year-old also said that he’d grown tired of spending every summer being away from his family while each series shoots in Guadeloupe.
“They need me,” he laughed. “I feel like you can get too much of a good thing, and I think this is the kind of show that traditionally has always changed the lead because it is a very demanding job and you are away from home for huge periods of time.”
O’Hanlon went on to say that he felt like he’d explored every possible storyline and character arc with Mooney and that he figured “something has to give” if he wanted to challenge himself in his work going forward.
“I don’t think it was anywhere else for it to go really,” he clarified, before going on to suggest that his exit - which is set to happen over the course of the new series - is likely to “surprise” viewers.
In October 2019, it was confirmed that Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actor Ralf Little was on board to take over from O’Hanlon as a British detective tasked with solving crimes on a Caribbean island.
According to a recent report by Radio Times, he’s set to play DI Neville Parker, having previously appeared on the show as holidaymaker Will Teague.
Death in Paradise returns tonight (Thursday 9 January) at 9pm on BBC One.