For most Benedict Cumberbatch fans, kissing Sherlock would be its own reward. But it turns out it comes with another bonus – an improved social media profile.
Louise Brealey – who plays lovelorn lab geek Molly Hooper in the BBC1 drama series – tells Radio Times that a fantasy scene in which her character is involved in a passionate clinch with the detective immediately earned her thousands of new Twitter followers.
"It went completely crackers when the show came out," says Brealey in the new issue of the magazine. "I got 7,000 Twitter followers within five minutes of that kiss airing. It had doubled by the time the episode ended."
Brealey received countless tweets too, yet almost all of them were congratulatory rather than jealous, due, she says, to the fact that meek Molly – not to mention her unreciprocated crush on Sherlock – is someone the audience can identify with.
"She's unthreatening. She's an ordinary woman experiencing the agony of unrequited love, and most of us have been there."
Brealey is in cinemas soon, in another role she believes will strike a chord with many young women, that of bulimia sufferer Stella in indie film Delicious.
"I get a lot of tweets from young women who struggle with body image, who self-harm, who have eating disorders," says Brealey. "One in four of us is going to have a mental-health issue and yet we pretened it's not happening."
Read the full interview with Louise Brealey in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale from Tuesday