Sergeant JP Hooper played by Tobi Bakare decided to leave Death in Paradise at the end of series 10 as he wanted to spend more time with his wife and children. However it wasnt long before BBC bosses confirmed actress Shantol Jackson would replace him as officer Naomi Thomas. Fans were introduced to Naomi at the beginning of series 11 and it was clear to see the police officer was keen to impress Neville Parker Ralf Little and Florence Cassell Josephine Jobert.However speaking in a new interview the actress opened up about how she landed the role in the BBC drama.Her co star Tahj also admitted to her that he hoped BBC bosses would bring in a woman to replace Tobi on the show.Sergeant Naomi Thomas the new face the fan favourite Tahj began.Ill tell you right now I knew wed have to get a new character when Tobi Bakare left I wanted them to get a female.
He continued I didnt know until I got the email saying can you do a reading with new actress Shantol JacksonThey didnt specify whether you had it or not the job or whether it was an audition but the fact I was only auditioning with just you I was like shes pretty much got this part.Despite not knowing whether Shantol had been given the role of Naomi the Marlon Pryce star said she was the right person for the role.He continued in his podcast The Table Read Even after our meeting I was like Theres no way theyre not giving her this part I was like shes killed it shes perfect.That was my perspective of your audition Tahj laughed. How did that come along?Shantol went on to explain that before landing the role as Naomi she had auditioned for another part years before that but she didnt get it.I did five auditions and they kept saying Hey we love your performance but you need to change this and change that Shantol told Tahj.Tahj I wont lie I balled the star explained as she recalled the moment she didnt get the part.She continued I was so devastated and I cried I was like This industry is so awful why am I doing this?Despite the setback Shantol remained optimistic and told herself she was going to keep on going.
She recalled My agent said The journey is a marathon not a sprint and we are still here because we believe in you.And like literally after that his assistant messaged me and said you know what weve heard from Death in Paradise they want you to audition for something again.The Naomi Thomas actress explained that when it came to auditioning for the show again she went straight to a chemistry read with the cast.That meant I had jumped all of the hoops and they were like We know what you can do because youve auditioned before we loved you it just wasnt the right role at the right time.So I did the chemistry read with you guys on the Thursday that was hilarious.There was construction happening next door do you remember? I had to go and ask the guys I was like Could you just stop hammering for like 20 minutes so I can do this tape?