Death In Paradise cast newcomer and Sting’s ex speaks out on playing blind character

The Strangers star, Frances Tomelty, is set to appear on our TV screens in the BBC drama, Death In Paradise, tomorrow, where she will play the role of Olivia Reeves – an actress who has moved to the island of Saint Marie with her husband after losing her sight. Frances, who shares two children with ex-husband Sting, said her character is “much more stellar than me” and is “closer to our wonderful dames Judi [Dench], Maggie [Smith] et al”.

Frances went on to reveal how she prepared to play the part as a blind actress in the crime drama.

She said: “I did things with my eyes closed. Swimming, showering, dressing.”

The Catastrophe actress continued: “Ella, our lovely producer, arranged a meeting with a young woman named Rilanna who went blind aged 12 and who is full of light.”

She continued to say that meeting with Rilanna helped to show her the reality of being blind in order to help her to play her character.


I did things with my eyes closed. Swimming, showering, dressing.

Frances Tomelty

Frances added: “She showed me how to navigate unfamiliar spaces. To listen and smell and intuit where people stood and to read their differing energies.

“She remembered colours. She had pink hair and asked if I liked her shorts. ‘Blue like the sky!’ she said.”

On top of her role as WDC Linda Doran in The Strangers, Frances has starred in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Inspector Morse, Testament of Youth and many more.

Frances married Sting in 1976 and they have two children together, Joseph and Kate.


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They divorced and Sting went on to marry his current wife, Trudie Styler.

The episode will feature Frances as she reunites with Peter De Jersey, her on-screen husband, who will star as Robert Garwood.

The latter started out as Steve Waring in BBC’s Holby City and has recently appeared in other dramas, Line of Duty, Broadchurch, and Doctor Foster.

Humans’ actor, Ukweli Roach, will play the role of Robert’s son from his previous relationship, Archie Garwood.


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Ukweli also starred as an FBI psychiatrist in Blindspot, and bodyguard Marcus in The Royals.

Frances revealed that she had met Peter while filming the Netflix series, Warrior Nun.

She added: ”We didn’t have screen time together so we were ‘ships that pass’, but it was fun getting to know him this time round.”

The new Detective Inspector who has taken over from DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon) is played by The Royle Family’s Ralf Little.

Ralf has also appeared in Doctor Who and Borderline.

Ardal, also known as Father Dougal McGuire in Father Ted, departed the series earlier this month.

He told the BBC last year that he was leaving to pursue new career opportunities.

Death In Paradise continues tomorrow at 9pm BBC One.

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