Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is worth more to London tourism than Harry Potter

The BBC1 drama starring Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has given the UK capital more than £11m in free publicity according to a study by Film London - but it still can't compete with Notting Hill

Benedict Cumberbatch drama Sherlock has attracted nearly £11 million in free publicity for London according to a new study.


The promotional body Film London has estimated that all the popular excitement about the capital generated from the show – including Twitter and Facebook posts – would be worth nearly £11m in advertising value.

The analysis found that the Sherlock series has so far explicitly featured 21 London locations including streets around Baker Street where Sherlock and Watson live, Speedy’s Cafe and St Bart’s Hospital.

However Sherlock still has a little way to go before it beats Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill in terms of its promotional value for London.

Film London has deduced that the Hugh Grant And Julia Roberts film – made before Twitter was even invented – generated the equivalent of £19.5 million in advertising spend for London.

The Harry Potter series netted £10.4m a year due to the prominence of locations such as King’s Cross station and Leadenhall Market.

Adrian Wootton, Film London’s chief executive, said of the findings: “This research shows that productions don’t just sell cinema tickets and box sets, they also sell the places where they’re made.


“Productions get people talking about the destinations and locations they feature. In many cases this directly translates into visits. Quite simply, this is free advertising, and emphasises the power of screen productions as a tourism driver.”