The BBC has announced that Death in Paradise will receive a spin-off series titled Return to Paradise.
The long-running crime comedy drama followed Detective Inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller) as he investigates the murder of a British police officer on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie.
However, actor Ben then left the role in 2014 and Royle Family star Ralf Little took over in the leading role of DI Neville Parker.
The show – which earlier this year was renewed for two more series and a Christmas special – has aired on the BBC since 2011 and now the broadcaster has announced that a spin-off show set in Australia is on the way.
Filming will begin next year and will follow Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke – the golden girl of the London Metropolitan police force – who is suddenly forced to go back to her homeland and face her worst nightmares.
Going Down Under: The BBC has announced a new Death in Paradise spin-off titled Return to Paradise which will be set in Australia (pictured: Ben Miller as DI Richard Poole)
Coming soon: Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition ‘cannot wait’ for viewers to see the new show (Ralf Little pictured as DI Neville Parker in hit drama)
When a murder occurs on the beachside of Dolphin Cove, Mackenzie summons up all of her professional skills while dealing with confronting the man she jilted at the altar six years earlier.
The new series is executive produced by Peter Mattessi, James Hall and Robert Thorogood and will be written by Mattessi alongside Elizabeth Coleman, Alexandra Collier and Kodie Bedford.
It will follow on from the success of the UK spin-off Beyond Paradise, which launched earlier this year and became the UK’s most watched new drama of 2023 so far.
Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, said: ‘Everything we all love about – the humour, the beautiful scenery, the likeable characters, the ingenious plots – now in a fabulous Australian setting.
‘I cannot wait for BBC viewers to be introduced to Detective Mack and the good (and not so good!) folk of Dolphin Cove. What a treat we have in store!’
Little is known about the casting for the series, but production house Red Planet Productions are confident viewers will love the show as much as its predecessors.
Alex Jones, Joint-MD of Red Planet Pictures, said: ‘We are so proud of the global success of both Death in Paradise and Beyond Paradise each selling to hundreds of territories, watched by millions, and regularly claiming the position of top rated drama in most of them.
‘It is is a brilliantly exciting new addition to ‘The Paraverse’ which we are sure audiences will love just as much.
‘It is a completely original drama but takes the essence of what viewers love about Death in Paradise – the fish out of water premise coupled with the most cleverly plotted murder mystery – and gives it a uniquely Aussie flavour. ‘
Another spin: This is the second time a new show has been written off the back of Death in Paradise’s success (pictured: Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker)
Familiar face: The original series also starred Love Actually star Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman (pictured) and he reprised the role of the initial spin-off earlier this year
Alex said the company is ‘thrilled’ to have the BBC back on board to broadcast the show in the UK so Brits will get to take a trip Down Under with the new characters.
He said: ‘We are thrilled to already have the BBC on board as broadcast partners for the show in the UK, which means that us Brits will be sure to get to meet Mackenzie and the residents of Dolphin Cove!’
Return to Paradise will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer as a six-part series.
It is expected that Death in Paradise’s upcoming Christmas special will air on Boxing Day.