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Commissioner Selwyn (played by Don Warrington) has been a staple part of the show since the very first series, so the actor is well-versed in his character. The Death in Paradise Christmas special saw a flashback involving a younger Selwyn as a historic case came back to haunt him. Stalwart Don admitted he refused to give the actor playing his younger character any tips on steeping into his shoes, though.
The episode was the series’ second feature-length Christmas special, and opened season 12 in December last year.
Christmas in Saint Marie took a spooky turn when an old case of Selwyn’s returned following the murder of a true crime podcaster on the hunt for a missing child.
Speaking about the episode, Don was asked if he gave the actor playing young Selwyn any advice.
“Not at all,” the actor replied. “I think playing the younger version of someone who is actually there is tricky enough.
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Don also addressed how last year’s series ended with a bombshell for his character, who was told he had a daughter he knew nothing about.
“In the new series, Selwyn meets his daughter and they try to find common ground,” the Death in Paradise legend stated.
“It’s a difficult situation when you meet your father or daughter, especially if you haven’t seen them before and as they are both adults.“It is a huge bridge to build. It’s not always a smooth process and needs a lot of negotiating.”
Also acknowledging his history on the show, Don explained why he thinks it’s the characters that hold the series together.
When asked why Death in Paradise has remained so successful, he answered: “If I were to take a stab at it: it has comedy, drama and characters who are essentially loveable and are relatable to the audience in different ways and have more to them than their professions.
“I also think the interrelationships between the characters are special.
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“Selwyn’s relationship to Neville [Parker, played by Ralf Little], Marlon [Pryce, Tahj Miles] and now to other characters have evolved.
“The audience is interested in how those connections develop, that to some extent makes it a successful series.
“The formula for the show has a magical chemistry.”
With central detective Neville having just entered his third series on the island, some fans are concerned the popular character will be moving on soon.
Actor Ralf currently holds the title as the longest-serving detective on the series, so some think it’s only a matter of time before Neville is replaced.
Several have theorised Neville might decide to leave and return to the UK with his recent love interest, Sophie (Chelsea Edge).
The pair hit it off quickly, but solo traveller Sophie explained she was keen to head back to Manchester.
This has led to speculation Neville will eventually return back home to be with Sophie.
Death in Paradise continues on Friday at 9pm on BBC One.
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