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What does Ardal O'Hanlon miss most while filming Death In Paradise in the Caribbean?

Ardal O'Hanlon as DI Jack Mooney in Death In Paradise

Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon is back for his third series as eccentric detective Jack Mooney in BBC One's Death In Paradise. We quizzed him about the show

What can you tell us about the new series?

We've got some fantastic new locations – we shoot in the zoo in one episode which is great. The first episode, the murder takes place on a bus. The third episode is a lot of fun as well; a TV crew come over (to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe where the series is filmed) to make a holiday programme.

What do you enjoy most about playing Jack?

I suppose what I like about it is the fact that – and it's also the thing I like least about it – I'm so busy, because he's in pretty much every scene. You get to play a real range – you've got to be very hard and very serious and very assertive, and the next scene might be very soft and emotional. Jack is very amiable. But he's a lonely character at the end of the day, and there's a sadness about him, and I really enjoy playing that.

What sort of reception have you had from fans?

Ah yeah, people are generally very supportive, and people who I never imagined in a million years would be Death In Paradise fans out themselves. They seem to really cherish it... I hope they're happy enough with me. I mean, I avoid social media, I avoid press and reviews and press coverage of it. Ugh! You'd lose your sanity if you got too bogged down in that.

So you haven't got used to being in the limelight over the years?

Never really got used to it. I love the craft, I love the process, I love the preparation, I love the performance; above all I love the sociability of it, working with other actors and directors. But I don't think a normal human being ever gets used to the other side of it, the attention, or anything like that.

What do you miss while filming in Guadeloupe?

Soup. It's too hot to eat soup. Obviously I miss my family hugely [he has three children with wife Melanie], although they do come out for quite a chunk, and I'm in daily contact with them.

How do you relax after a day on set?

I love the sea, so I love snorkelling, swimming with turtles. I also love the rainforest, which we're spoilt with as well. All that side of it is brilliant.

:: Death in Paradise returns to BBC One on Thursday January 10

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