Why has Death In Paradise star Danny John-Jules returned? Well, Danny tells us: “I wanted to make sure when I came back that the return would be believable.”
And Danny’s confident he’s achieved just that as Officer Dwayne Myers returns for the first-ever Death in Paradise Christmas special, which promises to be a Christmas TV highlight.
We last saw Danny John-Jules as Death In Paradise‘s Officer Dwayne Myers back in 2018, when he reunited with his estranged father Nelson (Ram John Holder) before deciding to leave Saint Marie behind and join his dad sailing around the world.
However, this year’s Christmas special sees Dwayne making an unexpected return, right at the moment when the team are short-staffed, so he agrees to don his uniform once more and help them investigate the death of a billionaire shipping tycoon.
Here, Danny reveals why he felt the time was right to return to the enduringly popular crime drama…
Danny John-Jules on his return to ‘Death In Paradise’
“I’d been away for four years — I thought seven years in the show was a long time, but four years away went like that! I wanted to make sure when I came back that the return would be believable. What I didn’t want was Bobby turning up back in the shower in Dallas! I’m taking that to the extreme, but if Dwayne came back as such a high-profile character, I wanted to leave a not-less-than-impressive continuation of him!”
Why does Dwayne return to Saint Marie?
“The simple reason is that his father falls ill and goes back to London, and Dwayne’s thing would have been, ‘do I want to go to London?’ He’s alone, so what’s he going to do — sail around the world on his own? He’s a guy that loves an audience, he loves to be around people. He pretty much goes back because that’s where his friends are.”
The team’s a little bit different than it was when he left. What does he make of DI Neville Parker, played by Ralf Little?
“His character has a much more relaxed approach — Ben [Miller] was very uptight and sort of Prince Charles-ish sometimes, and then Kris [Marshall] was a bit more animated. Ralf would be kind of the grammar school guy: well-educated, the kind of guy who, to Dwayne, would be still not very hip and trendy. The English are so stiff, that’s what irks Dwayne. You’ve got to remember, the very first detective who got murdered [in the first episode of series one] wore Hawaiian shirts and shorts and was more sort of bohemian and hippy, and he got killed — maybe for his dress sense!”
Dwayne is teamed up with Officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) in the Christmas special. What’s their relationship like?
“What Dwayne is seeing [in Marlon] is himself, that’s the relationship there. He’s like, ‘this was me, the young copper who didn’t want to be a copper, who was saved from a life of crime by his mentor’. If Dwayne is angry with Marlon, he’s angry with himself, so that was a good relationship to play. It was something different for Dwayne — normally he’s on the front foot, but in this one he’s always catching up.”
What does Christmas look like in your house? Do you have big plans?
“Not really! You always gear Christmas towards the kids — when you’re a kid, Christmas is just sitting back, waiting and getting the presents, whereas when you’ve got kids, you’ve got to make Christmas happen! We do all the usual decorations and stuff, we get around the tree and put it up together, and we all get involved in making the Christmas dinner — even the kids! And we’ll watch the show together when it’s broadcast. I’ll be there with a glass of wine and it’ll be time together with the family — get them off the PlayStation for a bit!”
- The Death In Paradise Christmas Special airs on Boxing Day on BBC1 at 7.30pm.