Death in Paradise rocked by unexpected newcomer in Christmas special

Death in Paradise welcomes DI Neville Parker’s larger-than-life mum to the island of Saint Marie and she is set to really shake things up. Played by Doon Mackichan of Smack the Pony and Two Doors Down fame, Melanie plans on spending Christmas with her son in the sun.

However, it isn’t long before she is interfering in his romantic life. She attempts to impart some maternal wisdom to the love-scarred Neville who has become convinced that he isn’t meant to find love.

She also dispels advice to Sergeant Naomi Thomas (played by Shantol Jackson) who finds herself attempting to loosen up. However, her attempts to focus on her life outside work could lead to an awkwardness between herself and a close friend at the Christmas party.

Doon is just one of several well-known faces who will be spending the festive season on the island. EastEnders and Holby City star Patsy Kensit has been announced as playing a character called Bella Stableforth, the wife of entrepreneur and family man, Gerry Stableforth (Geoff Bell) who is murdered.

The Last Kingdom’s Amelia Clarkson, Ridley’s Bronagh Waugh and Leila Khan from Netflix’s Heartstopper also have pivotal roles in the seasonal murder mystery.

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Last year’s Christmas special was watched by 8.5 million viewers, making it one of the top shows across the festive period.

The details of this year’s Christmas guest stars come after a new Death In Paradise spin off was announced.

The six-part series, titled Return to Paradise, will be set in the beachside hamlet of Dolphin Cove in Australia.

It’s set to follow “golden girl” Mackenzie Clarke who is forced to leave her life as a London Metropolitan police officer.

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Mackenzie is described as having an intuitive approach to detective work and has managed to build a reputation for herself for being able to crack impossible cases.

Despite leaving her hometown six years ago, she’s suddenly forced to return after vowing she’d never go back.

With unfinished business and unanswered questions, Mackenzie isn’t a fan of Dolphin Cove upon her return, with the same feeling being reciprocated by the residents.

Although there’s no official release date for the series, the BBC has revealed filming will start next year.

The Death In Paradise Christmas special will be on BBC One on Boxing Day at 9pm.

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