Ardal O’Hanlon has said he had to leave Death In Paradise to maintain his sharpness as a stand-up.
The actor, 54, announced last year that he was saying goodbye to the BBC crime drama after three sun-soaked years as DI Jack Mooney.
The show was filmed on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe – where O’Hanlon said the heat and humidity were “astonishing” – and he told Radio Times that although it was an “incredible” experience, it was time to go.
“It’s a tough gig, physically draining,” the actor told the magazine.
“You’re working in incredible conditions and cannot sustain the intensity.
“And I wanted to go back to stand-up.”
“If I’d left it another year, all my sharpness as a stand-up would have gone,” he said.
“I announced I was doing tours and then I knew the writing was on the wall for Death In Paradise. Something has to give.”
O’Hanlon is being replaced by Ralf Little in the tropical detective series, who he called a “really smart actor with lots of charisma”.
The former Father Ted star said “preparation” was key for the role.
“Not just knowing the lines but knowing the story inside out so when your brain shuts down in the afternoon heat, which it will, you can go on autopilot,” he said.
This week’s Radio Times is out on Tuesday.