Sherlock v Boris Johnson: who said what?

The detective drama has been accused of having a sly dig at the Mayor of London - but are Sherlock and Boris really so different? Take our quiz to find out...


The writers of Sherlock have been accused of having a sly dig at Boris Johnson via a newspaper article that flashed up on screen during Sunday’s episode of the BBC1 detective drama.


The fictional story, entitled Thames to Become Watery Motorway, described an unnamed London Mayor as “dithering, incoherent, and self-interested” and claimed he planned to turn the capital’s river into traffic lanes, following a “recently-mocked concept of putting an airport in the middle of the estuary” – a clear reference to the real mayor’s proposed “Boris Island”. 

The BBC has denied the article has anything to do with Boris – but even if it is an attempt to make fun of him, is it really necessary? After all, are Sherlock and Boris so different?

There’s only one way to find out – can you tell which of them said the following…?

1. “Don’t know what’s got into the criminal classes. Good job I’m not one of them.”

2. “We seek cities because there are a greater range of girls at the bar, of reproductive choice. But above all, talented people seek cities for fame.” 

3. “London. It’s like a great cesspool into which all kinds of criminals, agents and drifters are irresistibly drained.”

4. “Look, it doesn’t matter to me who’s Prime Minister, or who’s sleeping with whom.” 

5. “Sex doesn’t alarm me.” 

6. “I lead a life of blameless domesticity and always have done.”

7. “None of the cabs would take me.” 

8. “So, I am human, I’m not as tall as people think I am… I’m nice-ish, clever, important to some people, but I tend to rub them up the wrong way.”

9. “If we judged everybody by the stupid, unguarded things they blurt out to their nearest and dearest, then we wouldn’t ever get anywhere.”

10. “A secret terrorist organisation is planning an attack. That’s what secret terrorist organisations do, isn’t it? It’s their version of golf.”

11. “I don’t see why people are so snooty about Channel 5. It has some respectable documentaries about the Second World War. It also devotes considerable airtime to investigations into lap-dancing, and other related and vital subjects.” 

12. “What I’ve been trying to say is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant and all-round obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet.”

13. “Of course. I am a show-off, that’s what we do.”

14. “He is a mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet. He is barely human in his elusiveness.”

15. “Too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs.”

16. “As I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.”

17. “Ladies and gentlemen, will you please all get on your knees.” 

18. “I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn’t go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar.” 

19. “He has no difficulty in orally extemporising a series of grammatical English sentences, each containing a main verb.” 

20. “Look at them. They all care so much. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with us?”

21. “Some people play the piano, some do Sudoku, some watch television, some people go out to dinner parties. I write books.”

22. “I don’t believe that is necessarily any more dangerous than the many other risky things that people do with their free hands while driving – nose-picking, reading the paper, studying the A-Z, beating the children, and so on.”