Death in Paradise’s Tobi Bakare refused to tell BBC bosses he knew co-star

Death in Paradise: Ralf Little says show isn't 'that easy’

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Sergeant JP Hooper (played by Tobi Bakare) decided to leave Death in Paradise at the end of series 10 because he wanted to spend more time with his wife and daughters. The police officer was quickly replaced in the BBC show by officer Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) who was keen to impress detective Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert).

However, before JP left the Saint Marie police force, much to his horror, he had to work with criminal turned trainee police officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles).

Marlon had been arrested many times before, but rather than being sent to prison, the Commissioner (Don Warrington) decided to help him by giving him a job.

JP was horrified at the thought of working with a criminal, and it’s safe to say, the duo clashed more than once during their time working together.

Although, as JP’s time on the island came to a close, he did end up warming to Marlon.

Speaking in Tahj Miles’ podcast the Table Read, Tobi opened up about why he decided to leave the show.

He went on to admit that he already knew Tahj before his audition, but at the time, he decided to keep that information from show bosses.

At the time of auditioning for the role of Marlon, Tahj explained he was training at drama school and his teacher was in fact, Tobi.

“He was teaching me, I think it’d been a week or two,” Tahj recalled. “Then I got the audition for Death in Paradise.

“I was aware of the show because I knew our teacher at the time was in the show.

“I remember asking… because we were doing a technique at the time, a very good acting technique and I remember asking I’ve got an audition, do you think I could use your technique for the audition?

“And he said, ‘Yeah, go ahead’. I did my audition, my first one and it went pretty well.

“I got a recall, it was a chemistry read with lo and behold, Tobi Bakare.”

Tobi went on to add that at the time of his audition, Tahj came to him for help.

“He came and told me he had a recall which is great,” the actor said.

“Doing the chemistry read and I am acting like I don’t know him because I didn’t want them to think, ‘There’s a bit of favouritism here’.

“I didn’t tell them at all, that I was teaching you at the time or anything because I just wanted it to be you.

“Neither did I call you at the time, it was just you, trust the technique.

“Lo and behold we were eventually working with each other.”

Paying a tribute to his co-star, the JP Hooper actor added: “I really enjoyed working with you.

“I knew I was going to leave Death in Paradise before I left, but I would have stayed another year because of you.

“You were the one that created the conflict in between me leaving because we found the flow.”

Death in Paradise is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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