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Real life Herman Knippenberg details how accurate The Serpent is to true events

Billy Howle plays the Dutch diplomat in the BBC drama

herman the serpent
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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The Serpent has been shocking fans in recent weeks not only due to its realistic performances but the tragic true story behind it – and now, a real life contributor to the story has opened up about the accuracies in the show.

MORE: Fans of The Serpent are saying same thing about episode six

Herman Knippenberg was a Dutch diplomat tasked with investigating the string of murders that were occurring across Thailand, Nepal and India in the 1970s at the hands of heinous criminal Charles Sobhraj.

In the BBC drama, Herman is played by Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, On Chesil Beach) and it seems the real Herman was impressed by his performance.

WATCH: The Serpent on BBC continues on Sunday

Appearing on Loose Women this week, the former diplomat, now 76, told the panel how true the life the show is. "I think that Billy Howle did a fantastic job. It was so real at times, some of the scenes I saw."

He added: "I was gripped myself and had to make up my mind whether indeed it was as Billy Howle played it or as I had experienced it, it came dangerously close."

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MORE: Where is The Serpent's Nadine Gires now?

herman loose women© Photo: Rex

Herman Knippenberg appeared on Loose Women this week

Herman, who now lives in New Zealand with his wife Vanessa after divorcing his wife Angela (portrayed in the show by Ellie Bamber), also detailed his state of mind and determination while investigating the serious crimes across Asia.

MORE: Where is The Serpent character Marie-Andrée Leclerc now?

"It was absolutely imperative to stop the killings. As I have said to friends before, even if it was not in the parameters of my work, if I could make the difference I felt in that moment I could and I would."

He continued: "It would give me the chance to extend a warning to travellers, they have to be careful because in paradise there may be the serpent lurking somewhere," Herman told the ITV programme. It's absolutely necessary when someone goes to other countries they are careful about meeting people."

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