'Death in Paradise' director hilariously thought Harry the Lizard was real, reveals Ralf Little

Harry the Lizard in Death in Paradise
Harry the Lizard in 'Death in Paradise' is sadly not real. (Image credit: BBC)

Death in Paradise star Ralf Little has retold the hilarious story of how one of the show's directors thought Harry the Lizard was real!

Harry the Lizard is made using CGI and has been a regular feature on the show ever since the first series, where Ben Miller's DI Richard Poole slowly warmed to the reptile.

Amusingly though current leading man Ralf, who plays DI Neville Parker, revealed that a new director believed Harry was real. And, not only that, also asked if Harry might be difficult to work with!

"They had this three-hour production meeting and at the end, the director, who’d worked in telly for 35 years, and really knew his stuff was like: 'OK, the last question: Harry the Lizard, is he well trained? Is he a good performer? Can he be difficult?'"

Death in Paradise Ralf Little in a boat

Ralf Little as Neville in 'Death in Paradise'. (Image credit: BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)

Ralf told the story on Saturday Kitchen recently and said while he understood someone who watches it might be fooled, it was hard to believe that someone who works in the industry would be tricked!

Harry, although sadly not real, is still a big part of the show and has turned up during the current series, Death in Paradise season 11.

All the show’s detectives, from Ben Miller right through to Ralf Little, have enjoyed little moments with Harry. They often have chats with Harry, who almost seems to be giving them advice.

Ralf also spoke about how the cast and crew worked hard to make the show seem so relaxed and fun.

“Sometimes people say, 'Ooh it’s my guilty pleasure, it’s my guilty pleasure'. I’m trying to dissuade people from calling it that. 

"It takes a lot of work from everybody involved — from the crew, the producers, the writers — to make a show feel that digestible and to provide that escapism, to make it look that easy."

Death in Paradise season 11 is currently being shown on BBC1.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!