Death in Paradise actor explains why the show’s success is not its stars

sean maguire as marlon collins in death in paradise series 13, episode 1
Death in Paradise actor on show’s successRed Planet / Denis Guyenon

Death in Paradise star Sean Maguire has reflected on the show's success as he returns for series 13 after appearing in the first-ever episode.

The actor is back as Marlon Collins, making his second appearance on the BBC One hit over a decade after his first, to celebrate the milestone 100th episode.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, he shared his thoughts on the show's longevity, and his belief that it's not down to all the actors it attracts.

"It's very easy – well, not easy, it's easier to hit 100 episodes in America because we'll often do 22 episodes a season," he said. "If you do four seasons or five seasons maybe, you're pretty much there.

sean maguire as marlon collins in death in paradise series 13, episode 1
Red Planet / Denis Guyenon

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"But to do that in England – what do they do, 10 a season? So to get to 100 is a really big achievement. But I do remember talking to Ben Miller when we were shooting the pilot, and I said, 'How are you enjoying it?'

"I think he was going through a little bit of a difficult personal time at that moment, and so he was a bit like, 'I don't know. I’m not sure.' I was like, 'A whodunit in the Caribbean? This thing's got legs, man. This thing's gonna go for a minute.'

"He was like, 'I don't know. I can't think that far ahead.' I was thinking, 'You better, because you've got to be here.' But of course, when he left, I think there was some discussion about: can the show carry on with a changing lead?

"And you realise that the star of the show is the show. Do you know what I mean? The star of the show is the idea. It's like: whodunits have been popular since the beginning of storytelling, especially in Britain – but it's here on PBS every night.

sean maguire, death in paradise, season 13

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"It's showing people gorgeous palm trees and beaches and stuff like that when it's cold and wet and horrible in England. It's just nice to look at it. Do you know what I mean? And you can also play at home; 'I think [the murderer is] him. I think it's her.' All of that," he continued.

"I thought it would be a success. I didn’t realise, maybe, quite how big a hit it would be. But I'm delighted for them, and they fully deserve it."

Death in Paradise returns on Sunday, February 4 at 9pm. The main show and its spin-off, Beyond Paradise, both air on BBC One and stream on BBC iPlayer.

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