Death in Paradise confirms first ever female lead detective played by Anna Samson after Ralf Little exit

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Anna Samson who is best known for her role on Home and Away will star as the lead detective in Death in Paradise Australia

Death in Paradise has introduced its first ever female lead after the exit of Ralf Little. The BBC confirmed on Monday (April 8) that a brand new Australian spin-off called Return to Paradise was in the works, with the franchise’s first ever female lead detective.

The news comes after Little his role as lead detective Neville Parker in Death in Paradise in the latest season finale. Speaking about saying goodbye to Saint Marie in an interview with BBC Breakfast, the 44-year-old actor explained that in his heart he had wanted to continue starring as DI Neville Parker, adding that he’d have “wanted to do it for 20 more years”.

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The BBC have revealed that the new Australian series titled Return to Paradise has begun filming in Sydney, here’s everything you need to know about the Death in Paradise spin-off and its female lead detective.

What is Return to Paradise about?

Set in Australia, it features Home and Away star Anna Samson as lead detective DI Mackenzie Clarke. The first women to be a lead detective in the Death and Paradise franchise, DI Clarke is an Australian expat who enjoyed a successful career in the UK working in London’s Metropolitan Police.

The BBC have shared a plot summary for the Australian series, it reads: “Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke is the seemingly golden girl of the London Metropolitan police force – with an intuitive approach to detective work, she has built a reputation for being able to crack the most impossible of cases. However, she’s suddenly forced to up sticks and move back to her childhood home of Dolphin Cove, a beautiful, coastal paradise… and Mackenzie’s worst nightmare.

“Having escaped her hometown at the earliest opportunity six years ago, Mack vowed she'd never come back, leaving a lot of unfinished business and unanswered questions. On her return she’s still no fan of the town, and the people of Dolphin Cove are certainly no fans of hers. In fact everyone would prefer her not to be there, including Mackenzie herself.

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“But when a murder takes place in Dolphin Cove, Mack can’t help but put her inspired detective brilliance to good use and determines, despite her reservations, that she needs to make the best of it, including tying up the loose ends with the man she left at the altar six years ago.”

Who is replacing Ralf Little on Death in Paradise?

Whilst work on the latest Death in Paradise spin-off is underway, the BBC have yet to confirm who will take over as lead detective from Ralf Little, however fans think they may have already worked it out, with Jaye Griffiths rumoured to be in the running.

Sarah McCann is a Trends Writer for NationalWorld who specialises in stories around TV, Film and Health. If you liked this article you can follow Sarah on X (Twitter) here. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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