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Monday, 13 January 2014

Kris Marshall talks 'Death in Paradise'.

Tuesday sees the return of sunny mystery drama Death in Paradise. However, fans of the first two series might be disappointed to learn that Ben Miller won't be reprising his role as DI Poole for the full run. In this interview new boy Kris Marshall talks about what it was like stepping into his shoes.

What we can expect from the new series of Death In Paradise? 
It’s still a fish out of water story, but there is a new fish in town. As it is such popular, existing 
show, it was very important that I fitted in with the show rather than the show fitting around 
me. Fans can expect lots more of the same, with lots more fun and puzzling murders. 

Tell us about DI Humphrey Goodman? 
Humphrey is in his early forties, married and was a Detective Inspector with the 
Metropolitan Police in London before being transferred to Saint Marie. He’s kind of stuck in 
a rut and wants a change in his life but doesn’t quite know what it is he wants. However, 
when he gets a call to go to Saint Marie, he seems to drop everything and gets on a plane 
with just a suit and two shirts! He shows up in Saint Marie with the intention of his wife 
following on afterwards because she is a botanist and he thinks she’d love the rainforest on 
the island, but I don’t think things are going to work out that way. 

How does Humphrey get on with his new team? 
To begin with, not very well at all – they think he is quite odd, a bit of an idiot and in the 
way. Of course, they are grieving the loss of their previous boss and don’t react well to some 
guy from London coming in and literally treading all over their investigation. However, 
gradually, as the series goes on, he begins to fit in as their little odd boss. They still think his They still think his methods are slightly off the wall, but as the series progresses, they become a good team. 

Does Humphrey feel a very different character from ones you have played in the past? 
Obviously he’s not as young as some of the characters I have played in the past, but then I’m 
not as young either! I read that Jack Nicolson once said that two thirds of every character 
you play is yourself – you can never get too far away from yourself. So, Humphrey’s 
character is partly me, just a heightened, exaggerated version! There are probably also links 
to other characters I have played in the past. 

How was it moving out to Guadeloupe for 6 months? 
It was amazing, but quite hard to begin with. I went out by myself first, then my wife and son 
followed a month later. It was hard to begin with because the pressure was on – not just 
starting a new job, but as the lead on a big, existing and popular series. It was tough again 
when my wife came out and she obviously had to find her feet with our son. When you have 
an 8 month old baby son, you are still working out how to look after him, let alone when its 
35 degree heat! However, it soon all slotted into place. We were well looked after and lived 
locally, with our son going to the local cr√®che. My wife was teaching yoga to the cast and 
crew, which was great. I did miss England, which is natural when you are away from home. 
This is, until I got home and I thought, what am I doing back here? I want my flip flops back! 

What was it like joining such an established cast? 
It was daunting to begin with because I have never joined an existing show and cast before 
and as it’s such a popular show, you don’t want to mess it up. I was really honoured and 
humbled by the BBC entrusting me with one of their most popular shows. That really meant 
a lot to me. I just wanted to assimilate myself but still keep the series familiar to viewers. Of 
course, it’s set in the same place, the other cast members are still the same, so not much has 
changed, but I want people to like it as much as they did before. I don’t think it would have 
been as easy as it has been if the established cast hadn’t made me feel so welcome. They 
were amazing. 

What guest stars did you enjoy working with? 
Sophie Thompson who is in the first episode – she and I have done the last four jobs together! She is clearly following me around and I can’t seem to stop it! It’s always lovely to work with Sophie though. I have worked with quite a few before, including Adrian Scarborough and Phil Jackson. It’s lovely actually, it’s like they all come out to see you. One of my favourite people to work with though was Rhys Thomas who is in Episode 2. We are about the same age, both have kids and one night did an awesome karaoke off! We sang Under Pressure – he sang the Freddie Mercury bit and I sang the David Bowie bit, and it was awesome! 

Death in Paradise returns Tuesday 14th January at 9.00pm on BBC ONE.

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