Death in Paradise’s Nina Wadia speaks out on ‘very awkward’ scenes: ‘It’s not comfortable’

Death in Paradise: Nina Wadia discusses filming in Guadeloupe

Nina Wadia, 52, has reflected on her time acting opposite Ardal O’Hanlon when she portrayed his character DI Jack Mooney’s love interest, Anna Houghton, in season nine of Death in Paradise. The former EastEnders actress revealed that both she and the Father Ted star are “both slightly shy people”, so they found it difficult to do romantic scenes together on the BBC show.

Nina recalled in an exclusive interview with “It was funny, but it was sort of awkward because we’re both slightly shy people.”

Fortunately, the actors decided to get over their shyness by incorporating it into their roles and chemistry as an on-screen couple.

Nina continued: “So doing a sort of romantic thing is always awkward and we decided that they were going to be very awkward kind of romantic partners.

“To the point where for their first kiss, we kind of clashed teeth, which was very funny and we even said, ‘Let’s do that when we’re in the actual thing’ because when you feel awkward around someone you like, it’s not comfortable.

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“So it was fun working with him,” the star added.

Nina went on to reveal she was relieved she took the opportunity to join Death In Paradise’s guest cast when she did after initially turning down an offer from producers.

She explained: “About three years ago I was asked to go in for an episode and I was busy and I couldn’t go.

“I was so upset and I’m so glad I didn’t do it, because then I wouldn’t have been offered this particular stint.


“It was such a lovely show to be on and Ardal is one of my absolute favourite people in the world. 

“He’s funny and he’s very good at that part, he’s a really good actor, so we just got on, he’s such a nice person.”

Nina also described working on Death in Paradise as “every British actor’s dream” due to the set being based in the beautiful island of Guadeloupe.

Comparing her time on the BBC show to her experience playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders, Nina added: “The whole atmosphere working out there is so relaxed compared to EastEnders. 

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“You know you’re doing a great job when the lunchtime break means you can go and jump in the sea.

“And the whole crew has a quick dip in the sea in their lunch break, you’re like, ‘This is the best show ever!’”

Following Nina’s stint on the series, Ardal departed the show during season nine.

Fans had hoped that his character’s exit would surround his feelings for Anna.

However, DI Jack Mooney eventually decided against travelling the world with his on-screen partner and instead, returned home to London.

Following Ardal’s departure from the show, The Royle Family star Ralf Little, took on the role of Detective Inspector Neville Parker.

The character was initially sent to the island of Saint Marie to investigate the mysterious death of a woman from his hometown of Manchester.

Tommy Bulfin, commissioning editor, BBC Drama, said in an announcement at the time: “I am so pleased to welcome Ralf Little to the island, who we know will be brilliant in the role of D.I. Parker. 

“Death in Paradise brings escapism and joy to BBC One and I can’t wait for viewers to see what’s in store in the new year.”

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