Death in Paradise: JP Hooper actor told to keep exit plans a secret from BBC bosses

Death in Paradise: Tobi Bakare speaks after departure from show

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Death in Paradise’s JP Hooper (played by Tobi Bakare) left Saint Marie at the end of season 10 after accepting a job offer from Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington). The actor admitted he knew he would leave the BBC drama at that point for some time but was warned against telling show bosses of his plans. 

Discussing his reasons for leaving, JP admitted there was a “media answer” – he wanted to explore other TV projects – and the right answer. 

In 2017 when Tobi was filming season seven, the actor revealed he visited a church in Guadeloupe and heard a message that spoke to him.

The preacher mentioned seven years leading to Tobi realising it would be the right time to leave Death in Paradise when his seven years on the show was up. 

Although Tobi came to this realisation in 2017 he admitted he was told not to share the news with BBC bosses.

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He explained: “To be honest with you, I told my agent immediately, and my agent was like, ‘OK, Tobes, don’t say anything, because, you know, we’ve still got to negotiate next year’s fee.'” 

And when the actor tried to argue, his agent reiterated: “‘No, don’t say anything! Because we’ve got to negotiate next year’s fee.’ 

“So I was like, ‘Alright, cool. I’ll keep it under wraps.’”

However, at the end of season nine, Tobi felt it was the right time to let the show’s creators know his plans.

“I eventually just told my agent, ‘Look, man, I need to say something, because I want to make sure that it’s not going to be a story that’s not befitting of seven years on the show. I want them to build into it,’” he continued.

“But thankfully, they naturally were building towards that seven-year mark.” 

Instead of the writers considering JP’s exit, “they were actually building towards this storyline with JP becoming a sergeant”. 

“It was just happening organically anyway. So the show has done well to sort of wrap it up, and how they ended that storyline,” he told Radio

JP devastated fans when he announced his departure from the island after season 10’s penultimate episode ended on a cliffhanger. 

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Selwyn explained the Board had offered JP a promotion but the sergeant rejected the role at first. 

However, after being told to think it over with his wife, JP decided accepting the promotion would be the best thing to do for his family. 

The sergeant will be missed and his exit paves the way for a more experienced officer to join the force and guide Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) in the right direction.

Could JP’s departure lead to Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) returning to the drama?

The actor recently addressed the possibility of him reprising the role when a fan shared their excitement at the season 10 finale.

Commenting on the upcoming episode, one fan said: “Can’t wait! But please bring Dwayne back! @DannyJohnJules.”

The actor replied to the fan with a gif that included the words, “Leave me out of this,” and the same fan replied with a gif of Guardians of the Galaxy character Groot with the words “Come back!”

The actor responded with a gif of the infamous flying bike scene from E.T while another fan added: “Yes please come back.”

The former Death in Paradise star then replied with a link to the music video of Player’s Baby Come Back.

Death in Paradise is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

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