Why We Love DI Richard Poole

The detective hero of Death in Paradise may just be our favourite human being ever to grace the small screen. Here’s why…

DI Richard Poole

HE'S WONDERFULLY AWKWARD

Richard Poole may be a detective, but he's a far cry from the cool cops we're so used to seeing. Instead, he's... awkward. Incredibly awkward. Magnificently ill-at-ease. Epically out-of-whack. His default mode is "mild discomfort". His resting face is a pained squint (occasionally giving way to a sort of gawp of despair). And how could anyone not be totally charmed and endeared to a chap who's so helplessly at odds with the easy-going world around him? Most of us would be utterly delighted at being transferred to a gorgeous Caribbean island, but Richard is so out of his comfort zone that you can just tell he'd sooner swap the beachside bars for some dreary office in Blighty. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is really rather adorable.

This Summer

HE'S IMPECCABLY BRITISH

How British is DI Richard Poole? This British: he's been known to flash his badge and say "I'm a police officer and I want a cup of tea." Which, as police proclamations go, has to rank as the ultimate British counterpoint to Dirty Harry's "Do you feel lucky, punk?" We've already mentioned how Richard would CLEARLY rather be back on his home turf than in the Lesser Antilles, but let's just emphasise again how stunningly immune he seems to be to the charms of the Caribbean. Richard Poole never forgets where he comes from, and you can see that by the way he constantly has the gruffly impatient air of a man shouldering his way through the crowds at the London Underground. Even when he's actually ambling under the palm trees of Saint Marie, bless him.

HE HAS A NATTY DRESS SENSE

We can surely all agree that people just don't dress sharply enough these days. Why, even TV journalists and politicians can often be glimpsed with no tie, their unbuttoned collars gaping with abandon! Unkempt louts, the lot of them. So let us salute DI Richard Poole, who stubbornly insists on wearing his formal suit and tie even in the sweltering climes of the Caribbean. Admittedly he does look fairly (very) ridiculous, and we can only imagine the sweat patches on his crisp white underarms, but... yes. Good on him for sticking to his sartorial principles and shunning the happy tyranny of Hawaiian shirts.

Ben Miller as DI Richard Poole.

Ben Miller as DI Richard Poole.

HE HAS NO EGO

Something else we love about Richard? His modesty. While other TV crime solvers will swan around, basking in their own brilliance and being all snooty towards lesser mortals, Richard just gets on with the job at hand. He has a keen, clever mind, but we only know this because he solves crimes, and not because he's constantly reminding us of his keen, clever mind. This fellow has no ego - and isn't that something to cherish in the super-vain 21st Century?

HE'S QUIETLY HILARIOUS

He may look (and sound and carry himself) like a nervous accountant, but here's the other thing about DI Richard Poole. He's funny. The man knows how to deploy a cheeky quip. Example - Camille saying "You are the most annoying man I've ever met", to which he suavely replies: "It's a very small island." And let's not forget his wry observations ("There's a lot of Caribbean food in the Caribbean"), and his irresistible promise to Camille: "If you ever come to England I'll take you in a caravan to Clapton for the weekend." Oh, you smooth talking devil, Richard Poole.