Una Stubbs on the Sherlock special: “It’s a brilliant script – it’s so funny”

The 77-year-old Sherlock star talks "corsets and bustles and wigs", Setlock and the long breaks between filming

Sherlock fans awaiting the next instalment of the hit BBC1 detective drama, already know to expect a Victorian setting, and are hoping for a resolution to the cliffhanger return of arch-nemesis Moriarty at the end of series three. But along with the starched shirts and drama, they should also prepare for a laugh…

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“It’s a brilliant script – it’s so funny,” Una Stubbs told RadioTimes.com, after completing filming on the one-off episode recently.

The actress who plays Sherlock’s long-suffering landlady wouldn’t be drawn on the details so we’ll just have to wait to see whether Victorian Sherlock will be paying a naked visit to Buckingham Palace or getting drunk with Dr Watson.

What she will say is that she enjoyed getting back on set – “You realise how attached you are to people when you see them again. It was lovely” – as well as embracing the special’s period setting.

“Corsets and bustles and wigs, it was gorgeous wearing all that,” she tells us.

Stubbs also revealed she was taken aback by the passion of the fans, who flooded so-called Setlock to get a glimpse of the stars during shooting.

“There were crowds there when we were filming. You know, a really unbelievable amount. Twelve deep [on] all the roads around there, which is extraordinary. I’ve never known the like.” 

Setlock has been something of a contentious issue for those involved in the making of the show. Martin Freeman, aka John Watson, admitted it can be difficult acting in front of crowds, while co-creator and star Mark Gatiss explained that it has changed the way the drama is made. But, like co-creator Steven Moffat and fellow actress Louise Brealey, Stubbs is supportive of the practice. 

“It’s extraordinary, the devotion,” she says, adding that the fans “are as good as gold.”

For those fans, it’ll be back to the waiting game once the special episode airs towards the end of this year on BBC1.

“I think there’s a break [before series four],” says Stubbs. “It depends, really, on so much. The boys [Benedict Cumberbatch an Martin Freeman] are doing brilliantly and so it’s very difficult for them to find gaps that match each other… there’s Andrew [Scott] and Rupert [Graves] and Mark [Gatiss]. When it happens, it happens.”

“I don’t think anybody could imagine that it would be this big, and that Benedict and Martin would become absolute overnight stars,” she adds, saying of Sherlock’s success: “It’s lovely. You just feel blimin’ lucky.” 

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Una Stubbs stars in Sunday’s episode of Call the Midwife, on BBC1 at 8:00pm