Belfast Telegraph

BBC boss defends Sherlock nudity

BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson has defended nude scenes in hit series Sherlock, telling journalists that broadcasting before the watershed "doesn't mean you have to be dull".

Around 100 people complained about the racy footage of actress Lara Pulver who played the character Irene Adler in the New Year's Day episode.

Mr Stephenson told the Broadcasting Press Guild: "We thought about it incredibly carefully and obviously it got 100 complaints and 10.6 million people watched it".

The plot, an update of Arthur Conan Doyle's A Scandal in Bohemia, starred Pulver as a whip-wielding dominatrix and included nude pre-watershed scenes with her and Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the master detective.

The BBC1 show was watched by more than 10 million viewers.

Mr Stephenson said: "We had lots of conversations about it and I think we were right in thinking it's a bit of a cheeky show and that just because you're on pre-watershed doesn't mean you have to be dull."

He added: "You actually saw more of Benedict than you did of Lara."

Mr Stephenson also revealed he decided to commission the show despite being told it would be a flop.

He said: "We did some research on Sherlock before we made it and we were told it would not work, that it would get an old audience, it would get a small audience."

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