Death in Paradise star reveals extreme measures they went to for role on BBC series

In the latest series, Frances Tomelty guest starred as successful actress Olivia Reeves, who turned her back on acting after she went blind. Olivia headed to the idyllic island of Saint Marie with her husband in “search of a different life”. She was the only witness in her husband’s murder and it was up to DI Neville (played by Ralf Little) to work out if she was the culprit?

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In order to prepare for the season nine finale, Frances went to great lengths to understand what it was like to go blind.

She met up with a young woman who went blind at the age of 12 so she could take on the role sensitively.

Frances explained: “I did things with my eyes closed. Swimming, showering, dressing.

“Ella, our lovely producer, arranged a meeting with a young woman named Rilanna who went blind aged 12 and who is full of light.”

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Rilanna helped Frances learn how to “navigate unfamiliar spaces” so her portrayal was realistic.

She also had to pick up how to “listen and smell and intuit where people stood and to read their differing energies”.

For those who haven’t watched the episode, Express.co.uk won’t ruin the instalment’s storyline, but fans were impressed with Frances’ performance.

Meanwhile, despite being busy with the murder of Olivia’s husband, DI Neville made a big decision.

After finding it difficult to adjust to life on the island, the detective ultimately decided not to return to the UK.

Fans saw DI Neville have a leaving party and even wave farewell to everyone but he suddenly changed his mind.

He explained: “My mother always says sometimes you have to break something before you can try to fix it.

“I know it’s gonna be hard and I’m gonna feel dreadful all the time, but I’m fed up with living the way I have to rather than the way I want to.

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“I’d love to be a DI permanently if you’ll have me.”

DI Neville was accepted and his team were pleased he had decided to stay – with the exception of Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington).

And it seems viewers could see a lot more of DI Neville than they might have expected.

Actor Ralf revealed he has big plans for the next series as he plans on getting ripped for shower scenes.

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He told Metro: “There may be a scene that they write where it’s like, ‘Oh Neville’s having a shower’, and then he sees Harry and he runs out of the shower.

“What I want to happen on the day of shooting, when they go, ‘Okay, can you…?’ I’ll just take my T-shirt off and they’ll go, ‘Wait a second. Why are you ripped?’

“Neville is not meant to be ripped but I’m going to give them no choice.”

Fans will just have to wait and see if DI Neville does get the chance to strip off.

Death in Paradise will returns to screens in 2021.

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Coronavirus warning: New study suggests COVID-19 could cause sexual health problems in men

Coronavirus has brought more misery to the UK today, claiming the lives of a further 181 people in the last 24 hours, the biggest daily rise yet. The only consolation that can be taken from the pathogen’s destruction is that it leaves evidence at its crime scenes. These pieces of evidence are then analysed in real-time by leading scientists to understand more about the threat humanity currently faces.

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A new study has shed further light on the effects of the coronavirus on men.

Blood samples from Covid-19 patients in a small-scale study indicate what could be a testicle malfunction.

In a paper published on the preprint research platform medRxiv.org, the researchers – from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and the Hubei Clinical Research Centre for Prenatal Diagnosis and Birth Health, analysed blood samples from 81 men aged 20 to 54 who tested positive for the coronavirus and were hospitalised in January.

The average age of the participants was 38 and roughly 90 percent of them had only mild symptoms.

The samples were collected in the last days of their stay in hospital.

Using the samples, the team looked at the ratio of testosterone to luteinising hormone (T/LH).

A low T/LH ratio can be a sign of hypogonadism, which in men is a malfunction of the testicles that could lead to lower sex hormone production.

The average ratio for the Covid-19 patients was 0.74, about half the normal level.

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Common symptoms of hypogonadism in men include abnormally large breasts and erectile dysfunction.

Commenting on their finding, the Wuhan researchers said: “Since more than half of the people with Covid-19 were reproductive-aged, more attention should be paid to the effect of Sars-CoV-2 on the reproductive system, the designated medical term for COVID-19.

They said their results were not conclusive and the blood samples were not direct proof of reproductive problems with Covid-19 patients.

Doctors in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak first began, plan to embark on a long-term study of the effects of the coronavirus on the male reproductive system, building on the small-scale research.

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Previous studies have indicated that the new coronavirus could bind with ACE2, a receptor protein cell, a large number of which are concentrated in the testicles.

Li Yufeng, a professor of reproductive medicine at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, had predicted in a study that the testicles could become a major target of the coronavirus attack.

Bolstering the link, other studies have also suggested that severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, a distant relative of the new coronavirus, could also cause inflammation in the testicles.

Commenting on the latest findings, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine at Nanjing Medical University, said the new observations were “highly valuable information” but a bigger sample would be needed to clarify the results.

“Many viruses can affect fertility, but not every virus can cause a pandemic. If the impact is long lasting, it can be a problem,” the researcher said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Coronavirus – what we know so far

Researchers have established that COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

This means maintaining good hygiene practices is absolutely critical to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus.

The NHS says to wash your hands regularly with soapy water for 20 seconds.

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Strictly Come Dancing: EastEnders star to sign-up after ex-star drops hint

EastEnders actress Louisa Lytton took part in Strictly Come Dancing back in 2006 when she was paired up with former professional dancer Vincent Simone. The star has now revealed which EastEnders star she believes could have signed up for the 2020 series of the show. 

Despite a number of BBC and ITV shows being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, Strictly Come Dancing is set to continue. 

In an Instagram Q&A with professional dancer Neil Jones, the pro ‘confirmed’ it would go ahead but they would continue to listen to government advice. 

The Strictly bosses announced the 2020 series professionals last week, but the celebrities are yet to be revealed. 

However, Louisa Lytton, who has played Ruby Allen since she was 15-years-old, has dropped a hint at who might be signing up. 

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Louisa also did an Instagram Q&A recently and one of the questions was about whether she would ever do Strictly Come Dancing again?

The EastEnders star came fourth in the 2006 series of Strictly with Vincent Simone. 

She said: “Believe me, I have asked to do the show again.

“I’ve done it once, you can’t do it again but the Children in Need special was amazing.

“But, I am hoping that Maisie Smith gets to do it this year,” she said as she crossed her fingers. 

Maisie, of course, plays Tiffany Butcher in the BBC soap, but maybe Louisa knows something viewers don’t about the actress’ dancing skills. 

This year’s professionals will be AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell and Giovanni Pernice.

They’ll be joined by Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, and Oti Mabuse.

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Sarah James, Executive Producer, BBC Studios, says: “It’s wonderful to welcome back so many talented individuals within this year’s line-up of Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers.

“They are each at the top of their game and as a cast are simply incredible.

“We can’t wait to see what magic they will bring to the ballroom this year. Strictly 2020 promises to be an unforgettable series, with more exceptional choreography and world-class dancing.”

Other celebrities who have been hinted for the 2020 series have been Match of the Day favourite Mark Lawrenson and Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, but nothing has been set in stone just yet.

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EastEnders bosses announced last week that the soap would halt all production in a bid to keep their cast and crew safe from coronavirus. 

A BBC spokesman told Express.co.uk: “BBC says: “We will continue to review all productions on a case by case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England.”

So, Strictly could be the next victim to be taken off the air, but that remains to be seen. 

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