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?


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.”


  • Death In Paradise: Ralf Little’s new move halted due to coronavirus

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, 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.


  • Death in Paradise star says contract was cut down before their debut

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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