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Cumberbatch - I'll do OAP Sherlock

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch said he could still be playing the super sleuth as a pensioner.

The 38-year-old actor, who has become one of Hollywood's most in-demand stars since taking on the role, said the plot for next year's Christmas special was "phenomenal" and he would like to keep returning to the BBC One show.

He told Empire magazine: "As long as the ideas are still there and the audience still wants it and as long as Martin and I are not so infirm we can no longer remember the lines and shuffle round the set. I'd love to do it into old age, I really would."

The 12 Years A Slave star would not be the first actor to play a more elderly Holmes. Sir Ian McKellen is currently working on a new film playing the ageing detective grappling with the loss of his powers.

The film, called Mr Holmes, sees the 93-year-old sleuth living in seclusion by the sea with his housekeeper and her young son who help him attempt to solve his final case.

The story, based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, is directed by Bill Condon, who worked with Sir Ian on Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters.

Holmes has also been played in recent years by Robert Downey Jr in two film outings and Jonny Lee Miller has portrayed him in US TV series Elementary.

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