Actor Ralf Little, who is taking over the lead role from Ardal O'Hanlon in the BBC's hit detective series Death in Paradise, has said it is a "great honour" to be following in the footsteps of the Irish star.

Little will play a new character, Detective Inspector Neville Parker, who arrives on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie to investigate a suspicious death. 

Fans of the series are being kept in suspense about how O'Hanlon's character, DI Jack Mooney, will exit the show. 

"It took less than 0.005 seconds to say yes to playing the new DI," said Royle Family star Little. "How could I not?

"Ardal has been wonderful in the last few series and to follow in his footsteps in a place as idyllic as Guadeloupe was a great honour and a dream come true."

Death in Paradise will be back on BBC One in January.

Click here for more television news.