Kris shocked fans of the hit show with his announcement last week that he had packed his suitcases for the last time and departed Guadeloupe, where the show is filmed for six months of the year, but now he’s revealed it was no surprise to the producers of the show.
“It’s something my wife and I discussed three or four years ago. When I was first offered the job, my son was six months old and my wife wasn’t working, so it was a very easy decision. We decided I would do ‘Death in Paradise’ for a few years until it became impractical. It was always quite a finite thing. I certainly didn’t hide it from anyone I work with.”
Kris and his wife have two children, Thomas and baby Elise, and the couple decided it was no longer practical to ship everyone from their home in Somerset to the Caribbean for half the year. Instead, it’s time, according to Kris, for Thomas “to put on scholastic shackles and toe the line”.
Fans of the hit show, whose audience has grown to over 9million this series, will see Kris’s character Humphrey replaced by Irish detective DI Jack Mooney, played by ‘Father Ted’ star Ardal O’Hanlon.
Kris isn’t the first lead actor to quit the show. He himself stepped into the sand-filled shoes of Ben Miller, who starred in the first two series as DI Richard Poole before quitting the show. He explained his decision to HuffPostUK:
“I’d really, really enjoyed it, I was very proud of it, it just felt right. It had always been the agreement to do three, and – I don’t want to sound ungrateful – I didn’t want to be defined by it.
“At that point, I thought, I either leave now and there’s time to establish another character to take over, which had a nice rhythm because my character had taken over from someone in the story, or I’ll be in this until I’m kaput. And (fellow detective) Camille will be wheeling me around. To this day, I don’t know whether I made the right decision or not.
“The golden rule is, don’t quit the hit. At the time, I read about how critics thought I was crazy to leave the show, but I think it was the right choice. There were other things I wanted to do – including comedy again. It’s a different muscle and it’s really fun to think there are other things you might try.”
Read the full interview with Kris Marshall in next week’s Radio Times, on sale now. ‘Death in Paradise’ continues on Thursday evenings on BBC One.