It was playing pondering polymath Sherlock Holmes that made Benedict Cumberbatch a sex symbol, according to the co-writer of BBC1's Sherlock, Steven Moffat.
"It wasn’t like, in all fairness, anyone was salivating over Benedict before he was Sherlock Holmes," he told the University Observer when asked about the newfound popularity of the show among women. "It's a meeting of part and actor I think that makes geeky sexy."
Moffat admitted "Sherlock is probably the first time that the Sherlock Holmes
demographic has been female skewed" but he noted that "he’s [Cumberbatch] not the first
handsome man to play Sherlock Holmes, oddly enough."
Cumberbatch recently topped a poll of over 27,000 RadioTimes.com readers as the most desirable television star to take on a Valentine's Day date, receiving more than 12,000 votes to beat former Doctor Who star David Tennant into second place. Fellow Sherlock star Louise Brealey - who plays lab technician Molly Hooper - came top of the female poll with 1,625 votes.
And so perhaps the words of Sherlock's very own Irene Adler are true: "Brainy is the new sexy."
Own up: did you have Benedict Cumberbatch down as a major sex symbol before you saw him in Sherlock? Leave a comment and let us know.