Death in Paradise’s Shantol Jackson unveils family connection to series: ‘It’s surreal’

Death in Paradise: Ralf Little dodges question on his character

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On Thursday, hosts Alex Jones and Ronan Keating were joined by Ralf Little and Shantol Jackson to talk about the new season of Death in Paradise. The murder mystery series, which first hit screens in 2011, is now into its 11th instalment. Newcomer Shantol Jackson, who plays Sergeant Naomi Thomas shared her deep family connection to the show after she claimed: “It’s an honour.”

Alex began: “Shantol, congratulations on landing the role. 

“Now, Death in Paradise, hugely popular here in the UK.

The host wondered: “Did you know about it growing up [and] had you seen any of it?”

Speaking from a live video call, the Naomi Thomas actor responded: “I did.

Shantol acknowledged her castmate Ralf, who was sitting on the sofa in the BBC studio, she exclaimed: “Hello Ralf!” 

Speaking about the hit show, the star explained how a local TV station in Jamaica aired the first series of Death in Paradise, which featured Ben Miller.

Delving into the cherished family memories the show has within her family, the actor explained: “My dad and I used to watch it all the time when I was growing up and so when I landed the role, it was just very surreal,

“My dad kept asking me, ‘Who is still in the show from when we used to watch the show? How is it going?’ and, ‘What is it like working with these people that we used to watch many, many years ago?’.”

After sharing her close connection to the Caribbean crime drama, she reiterated: “It’s very surreal and I’m very excited. 

“It’s an honour really.”

Shantol has also featured in the popular film Yardie directed by award-winning actor Idris Elba.

In her interview with The One Show, the newcomer told viewers what it was like working alongside the OBE compared to Ralf Little.

Initially, Shantol praised the pair for being “two very cool chilled guys,”

She continued: “When you see people on TV, you assume that they’re a certain type [of person] when you get very intimidated and you don’t know how to approach them.

“But, Idris was very approachable, very relaxed, Ralf was also the same.”

Before filming had begun, the actor praised her co-star for making her “feel welcome” as they travelled together from Miami to Waterloo.

She gushed: “I’m lucky enough to work with wonderful people, very professional people and people who know how to have a good time.” 

The flattered Royle Family star confessed: “There we go, that’s the most favourable comparison I’ve ever had.”

In jest, Ralf asked: “Can you do all interviews with me from now on?”

Both Alex and Ronan broke out into laughter.

Death in Paradise season 11 continues Friday at 9pm on BBC One.

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