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When Death in Paradise first began on the BBC, there was already a detective working on the island called DI Charlie Hulme (played by Hugo Speer). However, he left the show very quickly to make way for Richard Poole (Ben Miller). Here’s everything fans need to know about him and why he exited the crime drama.
Why did Hugo Speer leave Death in Paradise?
Over nine seasons of Death in Paradise so far, viewers have followed the goings-on of four different detectives.
Every few seasons they have been replaced by a newcomer when they move on or life on the island becomes too much.
However, fans might have forgotten how there was actually another detective altogether in the show.
Back in episode one, it was revealed DI Hulme had been killed during the line of duty.
Played by actor Hugo Speer, viewers got a few glimpses at him in several flashbacks.
His mysterious death was also the catalyst which sent DI Poole to the island of Saint Marie.
This is because he was found dead in a locked panic room under suspicious circumstances.
When he had been researching human trafficking, he had uncovered a link to his partner Lily Thomson (Lenora Crichlow).
She then shot him dead in order to try and cover the tracks about what she had been up to.
Some might be wondering why the actor left the show so soon and whether there had been any plans for him to play a major role.
This is especially the case as Speer is a recognisable actor, having had a long career on screen.
The English actor began his career acting in shows like The Bill and Heartbeat.
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However, viewers will likely recognise him best as Guy in The Full Monty and in series like Men Behaving Badly and Bleak House.
While Speer has never addressed why he left the show, it seems like it was always part of the plan to have him die to introduce Poole.
What’s more, following his brief appearance on Death in Paradise, he went on to play a number of high-profile roles.
This includes playing Chief Inspector Valentine on Father Brown, DI David Bradford in London Kills and Lucius in Britannia.
Next viewers will see him in the latest season of Marcella as Frank Young.
His replacement on the show was Ben Miller who ended up starring in the series for three years.
Just like Speer’s character, Poole was killed off which brought another detective to the island.
Since then, the lead role has been played by Kris Marshall, Ardal O’Hanlon and Ralf Little.
Little will be back as DI Neville Parker in season 10 of the series, which is due out in 2021.
Death in Paradise seasons 1-9 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
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