Death In Paradise viewers were delighted with the arrival of Ralf Little as new D.I. Neville Parker on last night’s episode.
Parker landed in the Caribbean as the quintessential Brit abroad: struggling with mosquitos, mopping his sweaty brow and slathering himself with sunscreen before he even left the airport.
The introduction was met with praise by fans at home, who said the character – the fourth leading detective in nine series – has ‘already made the show funnier’.
One tweeted: ‘I loved Neville he’s a typical Brit abroad. Sun too bright, set his eczema off, too much sand it gets everywhere, oh the mosquitos. I know how he felt, i was scratching along with him. Don’t mention the shed with a tree in it. Well done Ralf you fit in the DIs shoes perfectly.’
Another added: ‘Absolutely brilliant! I couldn’t stop laughing all the way through! Totally love him! #welcometoparadise.’
A third wrote: ‘Loved it! Very humorous! Reminded me of when I first went to the Caribbean to live and the mosquitos loved me!’
Several pointed out that his buttoned-up outfit was strikingly similar to Mr Bean’s and praised Little for leaning into the homage with his use of physical comedy.
On his arrival on the island, Parker stopped to cover his face with sunscreen – the only piece of skin on show – even taking the time to rub the cream into his ears.
One viewer wrote: ‘ Never really watched #DeathInParadise before but big fan of @RalfLittle. Loved the quirky awkwardness that Ralf does do well and the homage to Mr Bean is brilliant. Shall tune in next week.’
Little follows in the footsteps of Ben Miller, Kris Marshall and Ardal O’Hanlon, who have played the previous British detectives on the island.
A handful of viewers reserved judgement and said they already missed O’Hanlon but Little’s performance was enough to impress critics.
The Daily Telegraph’s Michael Hogan wrote: ‘As an alumnus of The Royle Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and this week’s Inside No 9 (alongside Pemberton, coincidentally), Little brought a light touch and deft comic timing.
‘Mumbling into a dictaphone, spouting nerdy facts and running through his repertoire of nervous tics, he made the role his own and was really rather good.As its youngest star yet, Little might just give Death in Paradise a new lease of life. Poor Harry the lizard could be waiting a while for that promotion.
‘Handily, he also represented a clear departure from the horizontally laid-back O’Hanlon. His character felt like a return to the bumbling Ben Miller days. As its youngest star yet, Little might just give Death in Paradise a new lease of life.’