TV & Movies

Death in Paradises JP Hooper star admits he said no over role

Death in Paradise: Tobi Bakare speaks after departure from show

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JP Hooper (played by Tobi Bakare) decided to leave Death in Paradise at the end of series 10 as he wanted to spend more time with his wife and children. However, it wasn’t long before BBC bosses confirmed actress Shantol Jackson would replace him as officer Naomi Thomas. Naomi soon settled into island life and was keen to impress Neville Parker (Ralf Little).

Before his sudden exit, JP got to meet bad boy turned trainee police officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles).

The pair didn’t get off to the best of starts, however, they soon put their differences aside for the sake of the team.

JP and Marlon may not have gotten along on-screen, but off-screen, the actors who play them are the best of friends.

Speaking to Tahj in his Table Read podcast, Tobi told Tahj he almost didn’t play JP Hooper.

“Death in Paradise came along, I got the audition,” the JP Hooper star began before admitting: “But to be really honest, I finally say this, I initially said no to Death in Paradise.

“I initially said no as it was the prospect of doing three years on a job, and then having the three-year option only.

“I was like, ‘Oh man that is a long time’ and it felt like the way my career was going was to do a project and move on.”

After being sent the script for JP Hooper, Tobi admitted he changed his mind and decided to audition.

Elsewhere in the interview, Tobi opened up about why he decided to leave the show.

“It was great, man,” Tobi told his co-star before adding: “I can’t lie to you, I really enjoyed working with you.

“You know, I knew I was going to leave Death in Paradise before I left, which is well-documented online.

“But I would have stayed another year because of you.”

“Really?” Tahj said in shock as his co-star replied: “You were the one that created the conflict in between me leaving.

“Because we found the flow. Do you know what I mean?

“I was like, ‘Ah, I’m going to mess it up by leaving,’ but I was like, ‘Nah, I’ve got to go.’

“I feel like, for one season, there was a beginning, middle and end.

“It felt like it was fully fleshed out. Obviously, it could have expanded but I feel like what we had in that one season – it wasn’t even a full season.”

“I came in episode two,” Tahj chipped in: “So yeah, but I feel like it was good.”

Tobi joked: “What Tahj is basically saying is that I left at the right time and that he doesn’t need me no more.”

The Marlon Pryce star burst out laughing as he agreed: “Yeah, but no, that series 10…

“11 was great as well, but I remember series 10, those little moments here and there just made it a really special season.”

Death in Paradise is available to watch on BritBox and BBC iPlayer.

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