Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 May 2016

Steven Moffat hails 'dream jobs' as Sherlock and Doctor Who writer collects OBE

Published 04/02/2016

Screenwriter Steven Moffat at Buckingham Palace after being made an OBE
Screenwriter Steven Moffat at Buckingham Palace after being made an OBE

Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat said helping to bring the hit detective TV show and Doctor Who to the screen were "two dream jobs", as he was awarded an OBE for services to drama.

The writer and producer played down his achievements, saying his double success showed "the value of luck".

Moffat received his honour from the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony and said about the experience: "It was very thrilling and formal and slightly, slightly, just very slightly, like being back at school. But nicer because everyone got a prize."

He added: "Talking to other people before I came in, I kind of feel everyone's here for a better reason than me.

"I've got not one, but two dream jobs so to get this lovely thing for already indulging myself in public, seems like an excess of good fortune."

His journey to the television studio started in the classroom when the then teacher came up with an idea for a show about a school newspaper.

Press Gang made stars of its young cast including Dexter Fletcher and Julia Sawalha, and launched Moffat into the world of television.

He wrote some of the episodes for the revived Doctor Who and took over from Russell T Davies as executive producer and chief writer on the show in 2008.

Since then, he has guided the show to new heights and steered it successfully through two regenerations of its title character.

Moffat, whose credits also include Coupling and Chalk, had even more success with another revival when he brought master sleuth Sherlock Holmes into the modern world.

The idea for the show, which features Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, came out of a conversation with the actor and fellow Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss and has been an international hit.

Moffat, speaking about the success of Sherlock, which he co-writes with Gatiss, said: "I think every single one of us involved, we're daily surprised."

The writer, whose wife Sue Virtue is a fellow executive producer for the sleuth show, said: "It's just a tiny cottage industry Sherlock, it's just a wee bunch of folk, who all know each other, we have to keep reminding each other this is an international deal."

He added: "Benedict seems to have claimed the part more than anyone else except Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone. He seems to be the third one in a way.

"Sherlock Holmes is one of those things, if you love it enough and work hard at it, it will always reward you. Most of what we do is get Arthur Conan Doyle right, we update it, but we get it right."

Asked about his future with Sherlock he said it would continue "as long as Benedict and Martin want to show up".

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