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Inside Death in Paradise star Don Warrington's life away from the cameras: from actress wife to famous son

Don Warrington in Death in Paradise
Don Warrington in Death in Paradise (Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon)

Don Warrington is back on our screens this month in a brand new series of BBC One's hit crime drama, Death in Paradise, in which he plays the charming Commissioner Selwyn Patterson.

In series 13, which opens with the show's 100th episode on Sunday, Selwyn's fiftieth work anniversary takes a dark turn when he's shot by a mysterious assassin and left fighting for his life. As Selwyn's fate hangs in the balance, find out more about the actor who plays him and his life away from the cameras.

Don Warrington's home life in London

When he's not busy filming in Guadeloupe, where he spends half of the year, Don lives in London.

Sharing a glimpse into his home life during an interview with The Guardian, Don revealed how he likes to spend his weekend mornings. "I like a bit of a lie-in," he said. "I listen to BBC Radio 4 at 9am on a Sunday morning. What I have for breakfast depends on where I am. If I'm out here in Guadeloupe [filming Death In Paradise], where I am for five or six months of the year, I'll go for some croissant and coffee. Back in England I'll go for something cereal-based."

Naomi Thomas (SHANTOL JACKSON), Marlon Pryce (TAHJ MILES), Selwyn Patterson (DON WARRINGTON) and Catherine Bordey (ELIZABETH BOURGINE)
Don plays Selwyn Patterson in Death in Paradise (Denis Guyenon)

The actor, who was born in Trinidad and grew up in Newcastle, also revealed that he's partial to a dip in the ocean while filming the BBC show. "In the Caribbean, the sea is just around the corner, so I’ll have a swim or a stroll," he said.

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Don Warrington's wife and two sons

The 72-year-old is married to Mary Maddocks, an actress and director who has appeared in episodes of Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders, and Doctor Who, and also starred in a West End production of The Rocky Horror Show. 

The couple share two grown-up sons, Jacob and Archie, with the latter following in his parents' footsteps having carved out a successful career as a comedian and writer.

In 2016, he took his debut comedy show Shirts Vs Skins to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which was well received by critics and later toured in South Africa. His follow-up show, IlluminArchie, was also praised by critics and transferred to London's Soho Theatre in 2017 and VAULT Festival in 2018.

Don Warrington's son Archie Maddocks
Don's son Archie is a writer and comedian (@archiemaddocks/Instagram)

As a writer, Archie penned the 2021 play, A Place For We, starring The Inbetweeners' Blake Harrison at London's Park Theatre, which received an Oliver Award nomination for an Outstanding Achievement In Affiliate Theatre. He's also worked as a writer on the 2023 thriller film, Gassed Up, and the TV series Intergalactic.

Most recently, BBC Children commissioned his comedy-drama, Crongton, which is based on the best-selling novels by Alex Wheatle about a group of young people living on an urban housing estate.

As for his relationship with his parents, Archie previously spoke about their mutual love for performing in an interview.

don warrington
Don's son has followed in his footsteps (Photo: BBC)

"Both my parents are actors," he said. "My mum, Mary Maddocks, is an actress: she was in The Rocky Horror Show when it was in the West End; and my dad is Don Warrington.

"The main thing I get from both of them is they understand the art of performance and the need to perform. It's not something you choose to do. It's something that you can't not do."

Death in Paradise series 13 will be available on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 4 February 2024.