Death in Paradise star Ralf Little has backed the Worcestershire Education Awards and paid tribute to teachers in a video filmed on a beach in the Caribbean.

The actor has just finished filming a new series of the popular BBC crime drama but took time out of his schedule to record a message for our competition finalists.

The identities of our finalists will be revealed tomorrow (Thursday, February 3) in a special supplement printed in the Worcester News.

We will find out the winners during a virtual awards ceremony taking place live on the Worcester News Facebook page on Thursday, February 24.

A host of celebrities have recorded messages for our finalists, including Olympic legends Sir Mo Farah and Rebecca Adlington, and comedian Jason Manford.

Former Royle Family star Ralf Little recorded his message on his last day in the Caribbean after filming the new series of Death in Paradise.

He wished all Worcestershire Education Awards finalists good luck and took the chance to pay tribute to teachers more generally.

“We talk, as we should, about the NHS and frontline workers and how amazing they’ve been in the pandemic,” he said.

“And that’s the right thing to do, but I think teachers are slightly overlooked as well. It’s incredible what you’ve been through during the pandemic and how you’ve been essentially frontline workers as well.

“You’ve soldiered on and put yourselves sometimes in harm’s way physically and at risk if you’re teaching in schools. And also having to regroup and work out how to do it all online.

“Just know that there are many people who appreciate you and I’m certainly one of them. I think what you’ve done and what you’ve been through in the pandemic is incredible. Good luck to all of you, congratulations again and have a wonderful night.”

Ralf also urged finalists to get dressed up and enjoy a glass of champagne, even though the ceremony will again be a virtual one this year.

The awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate educational excellence across Worcestershire and are run in partnership with The University of Worcester.