Ardal O’Hanlon joined the cast of Death in Paradise in 2017, replacing Detective Humphrey Goodman (played by Kris Marshall) on the island of Saint Marie. Last year, the BBC commissioned Death in Paradise for two more outings, taking the show up to season 10. Sadly, today (Thursday, October 10), O’Hanlon announced series nine of the detective drama would be his last.
Why is Ardal O’Hanlon leaving Death in Paradise?
After four seasons, Ardal O’Hanlon is officially leaving Death in Paradise behind.
He made the decision to leave the show so he can pursue other acting projects and opportunities much closer to home.
Death in Paradise is filmed on the French-Carribean island of Guadeloupe and is set in the fictional Saint Marie.
In a statement, O’Hanlon said: “I’ve spent the last four summers in Guadeloupe playing DI Jack Mooney (solving over 20 murder cases in my time there!). It’s been a hugely rewarding and unforgettable experience, working with incredibly talented actors, directors and crew while discovering a magical part of the world.
“However, it’s time to move on and explore other opportunities – preferably nearer the Arctic Circle.
“I’m confident that Death in Paradise will go from strength to strength and viewers will share my enthusiasm for Jack’s successor.”
Ardal O’Hanlon has played DI Jack Mooney for 4 seasons (Image: GETTY)
Red Planet Pictures Executive Producer, Tim Key added: “They say never meet your heroes but working with Ardal is everything I could have hoped for.
“He’s a fantastic actor and a lovely man and we will all miss him enormously.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for his time as our lead detective and his story isn’t over yet – viewers will have to see how, why and when Jack Mooney leaves, but I don’t think there will be a dry eye in the house.”
Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama also commented: “We will be sad to say goodbye to DI Jack Mooney when the time comes, our audiences have loved the joy and humour he has brought to the Saint Marie police force over the last four series.
“Everyone at the BBC would like thank Ardal for his time on Death in Paradise but it’s not the end just yet; as one door closes another one opens, and we are very excited about what’s to come in the next chapter.”
O’Hanlon will leave the series halfway through season nine which will air in early 2020.
However, fans will have to watch the new series to find out how he will depart from the island of Saint Marie.
Ardal O’Hanlon plays DI Jack Mooney in Death in Paradise (Image: GETTY )
Perhaps his departure will see him leave on a happy note, returning to London with his daughter.
On the other hand, things could take a more sinister turn and his character could be killed off, just like DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller).
At the moment it remains unknown who will replace O’Hanlon as the detective on the island.
There is a possibility that his right-hand woman, Madeleine Dumas (Aude Legastelois) could be promoted to Detective Inspector.
Fans are also holding out for the possibility that Kris Marshall could reprise his role as Humphrey Goodman after he confessed he had some doubt about leaving the show in an interview with Radio Times.
He said: “Yes, some people think I’m mad, obviously. And there is an old adage, ‘Don’t quit a hit’, which is very true. I’m going to miss it terribly.
“There have already been times when I’ve thought to myself, ‘Have I made the right decision?’”
Ardal O’Hanlon will leave Death in Paradise during season 9 (Image: GETTY)
Ardal O’Hanlon quit Death in Paradise to pursue other projects (Image: GETTY)
When is Death in Paradise season 9 out?
Death in Paradise season nine is expected to air in January 2020 on BBC One.
An official release date has not yet been confirmed by the BBC, but the last seven seasons, apart from the first, have all premiered in January on the channel.
Express.co.uk will update this article when more information is available.
Death in Paradise fans will be pleased to know that the BBC renewed the show for two seasons last year, meaning fans can expect series nine in 2020 and a 10th instalment as early as 2021.