Belfast Telegraph

Freeman: Fans spoil Sherlock set

Martin Freeman has complained that too many Sherlock fans make filming difficult.

The 43-year-old actor, who reprises his Bafta and Emmy-winning role as Dr John Watson alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as detective Sherlock Holmes in the BBC sleuth series, admitted that the hordes of supporters who hang around on set can be very distracting for the stars.

"When we're [filming at] our stand-in for Baker Street, it is hard to do your job. And I don't love it," he told The Independent. "I don't love it."

Filming on the Christmas 2015 special has started, and already, the fans are turning up in huge crowds. The phenomenon is referred to as Setlock.

Martin revealed: "It started the other day. Not hundreds, but scores, of young women mainly.

"It's like trying to act at a premiere. It really is. I wasn't in The Beatles. But I've never seen anything like it. There's such a heightened sense of excitement, so every time we come out there's applauding... Or, if we do anything - 'Cut!' - applause... It's like, 'No, this isn't a gig...' There are hundreds of people taking pictures of you and holding up placards."

He added: "Of course you want to be gracious with it. And I obviously very much appreciate, as do we all, the fact that people love it. But also, yeah, it doesn't make you doing your job any easier."

The fourth series of Sherlock will return for three episodes in early 2016, following on from the Christmas edition in December.

Martin, who next stars in BBC Two's The Eichmann Show, said part of the show's appeal is that it consists of short episodes.

"By American standards it's nothing!" he said. "Even by Downton [Abbey] standards it's pretty short! It's not eight months of our year, and it's not every year. It's so intermittent. That's what for me makes it do-able.

"I don't know about Ben but certainly for me it would soon lose a lot of its appeal if we were schlepping that around for eight months of the year, every year. A bit of the sheen would have gone off it."

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