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Gavin and Stacey star new favourite to replace Ralf Little in Death in Paradise-Robert Oliver-Entertainment – Metro

Who’s the next detective?

Gavin and Stacey star new favourite to replace Ralf Little in Death in Paradise-Robert Oliver-Entertainment – Metro

Gavin & Stacey star Mathew Horne is in the running to replace Ralf Little (Picture: BBC/Baby Cow)

With Ralf Little preparing to step down from leading the cast of Death in Paradise, a Gavin and Stacey legend has emerged as the frontrunner to replace him.

Ralf, 44, who played DI Neville Parker for four years on the detective show, left the series earlier this year after a bittersweet final episode that left fans in tears.

With the former Royle Family star now out, speculation has been rife about which actor is expected to step into his shoes – and it seems another British sitcom legend is preparing to do just that.

Bookmaker Coral has named Mathew Horne as their new favourite to take over from Ralf, with his odds of becoming the next detective recently shortening to just 6-4.

John Hill, a Coral spokesperson, said of the recent betting developments: ‘Mathew Horne is the big mover in our betting to be the next lead detective on Death In Paradise. He’s been well-backed over the last 24 hours, which may suggest he now leads the race for the role.’

Could Matthew be the one to join Death in Paradise? (Picture: Getty)

That news might well come as a bit of a surprise to fans of Death in Paradise, who had been expecting two other legends of British comedy to be battling it out to play the next DI.

The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird was recently forecast at 5-2 to take over from Ralf, while Philomena Cunk star Diane Morgan is also in the running to become the first lead female detective in the show’s history.

Ben Miller was the first detective on the series, playing DI Richard Poole in seasons one and two. He was then replaced by Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman – he stuck around between seasons three to six.

Ralf Little left the detective show for good earlier this year (Picture: BBC)

Fans are also anticipating the arrival of Simon Bird (Picture: Getty)

Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon played DI Jack Mooney from season six to season nine, before Ralf took over for five seasons in January 2020.

The Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps star said in a statement: ‘So, there you have it! Secret’s out! My time on Saint Marie has come to an end, but, what an end!’

He continued: ‘New adventures await Neville and he got to sail off into the sunset with his best friend – who knows what happens for them next! I just want to say, just an enormous thank you to everyone who watched and supported the show.’

Matthew’s odds have shortened to just 6-4 (Picture: BBC/Baby Cow)

Is it time for Diane Morgan to lead the series? (Picture: BBC)

One person definitely not in the running to replace Ralf is Doctor Who actor Peter Davison, who revealed his chances of appearing on Death in Paradise are incredibly slim.

Speaking to The Mirror, Peter said: ‘I’ve noticed the parts are smaller now. I still get offered a good deal of work, but I’m not in that bracket where the shows I do say, “…and Peter Davison”.’

He continued: ‘I’m up for a challenge so I wouldn’t rule [Death in Paradise] out. But the chances are they may go for someone a bit younger.’

Peter did once appear in an episode of the crime comedy drama, back when Kris Marshall was leading the series, but wouldn’t mind coming back as the head the cast.

Death in Paradise is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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