Mark Gatiss: The Sherlock special is the first time Steven Moffat and I have written together

Teaming up was "a real joy" and the co-creators are considering doing the same on series four...

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Sherlock is their brainchild, but this year’s Christmas special will be the first time Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have collaborated on a script.

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“Over the years we’ve always been across each other’s Sherlock scripts because we want it to be holistic,“ says Gatiss in this week’s issue of Radio Times. “But the upcoming episode is the first time we’ve actually written together.”

The programme is likely to air at Christmas, and Gatiss is optimistic that it’s the start of a longer term partnership.

“It’s been a real joy,” he says. “I think it will carry on for the next series.”

Gatiss, who plays Sherlock’s Machiavellian brother Mycroft in the hit BBC1 drama and is pictured above with leading man Benedict Cumberbatch, also explains how he first fell for the Baker Street sleuth.

“My mum got me The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes when I had German measles, aged ten,” he recalls. “I loved the flavour of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. He was a master storyteller and you get a brilliant snapshot of Victorian Britain.”

His obsession continued into adulthood – and he found a fellow devotee in Moffat.

“Sherlock happened because Steven Moffat and I were in the same place, singing from the same hymn sheets,” says Gatiss. “The idea of making Sherlock modern again was one of these light bulb moments. We just looked at each other and went, ‘Someone should do that.’”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times, in shops on Tuesday 21st April and for newsstand for iPad and iPhone.

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Sherlock is one of the nominees for this year’s Bafta Radio Times Audience Award. You can vote for your favourite here.