Death in Paradise - Don Gillet

Death in Paradise – Don Gilet announced as the show’s new lead

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Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson will take up his Caribbean post this Christmas. 

Since Ralf Little’s Neville Parker departed St. Marie for pastures new in March, we’ve been waiting to hear of his replacement. Now we have the answer – it’s Don Gilet.

The Walsall born actor, best known for his role as Lucas Johnson on EastEnders, begins his tenure as Detective Inspector Mervin Wilson this Christmas. He’ll then go on to lead Series 14.

Don Gillet poses with a Death in Paradise clapperboard
(Image: Philippe Virapin)

Don Gilet’s extensive career also includes roles in Doctor Who, SherwoodShetland and The Beekeeper. He also fronted his own detective series 55 Degrees North in the mid-00s.

There’s also the small matter of an appearance in the fourth series of Death in Paradise as a different character. However, he’s not the first to do so, Ralf Little also guested before landing the lead role.

Christmas 2024

Gilet makes his debut in the feature-length festive episode, as Mervin arrives on St. Marie and is not overly pleased with his new surroundings… plus ça change!

Filming has already begun, with series regulars Don Warrington, Shantol Jackson, Ginny Holder, Élizabeth Bourgine and Danny John-Jules all returning.

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, adds:

“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…”

Death in Paradise returns this Christmas, as does it’s UK based spinoff Beyond Paradise.

A second spinoff show, the Australian based Return to Paradise will also debut later in 2024.