More than 10 years after the actor made their debut on the BBC series, the character has rejoined the show for a celebratory instalment that was broadcast on Sunday (4 February).
The show’s lead, Neville Parker actor Ralf Little, revealed that Sean Maguire, who played Marlon Collins when the show first aired in 2010, will be back for the special episode days before its broadcast.
While Little acknowledged “it was very exciting” to see Maguire return and called it a treat for “eagle-eyed viewers” as not much fuss is made about the character’s return.
However, Little has admitted he was “slightly annoyed” by his appearance.
Speaking to media outlets ahead of the show’s return, the actor said: “I’m slightly annoyed though because he’s now the only other person apart from me to have done the show twice. Although that said, he was playing the same character and I’m the only person to have done it as two different characters, so I still have that little personal milestone!”
Little has played Neville since 2020, but before that, in 2014, the Royle Family star made a guest appearance as another character entirely.
The actor said that Marlon’s reappearance will be detected by “eagle-eyed viewers” only as not much fuss is made about the character’s return.
The fact he’s back after so long is not “really referenced in the episode”, Little said, adding of Maguire: “I’ve met Sean a handful of times, and I just loved him. He was fun, funny, professional and a brilliant actor.”
The new series will feature an array of guest stars, including Hayley Mills, Richard Fleeshman and Pearce Quigley.
Little admitted Mills was the only guest star he’s “got starstruck by”, stating: “With somebody who has that reputation and experience, it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility for her to be diva-ish, difficult, demanding, but she was the most gentle, professional, sweet, fun, funny, gregarious person… just the dream! A living legend of the industry.”
While fans were excited by Maguire’s return, they have also been expressing their “disappointment” over the absence of a long-standing character, which has prompted a reaction from the episode’s director.
Death in Paradise airs on BBC One at 9pm on Sundays.