Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss on his Doctor Who devotion, Basil Brush trauma and refusal to go on Strictly

The Bafta nominee for the Radio Times Audience Award reveals he never misses Newsnight... or America's Next Top Model

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How much TV do you watch?

Not as much as I used to! I always try to watch Only Connect, Newsnight and America’s Next Top Model.

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What did you watch as a child?

Obviously Doctor Who, which has been the spine of my life! Jon Pertwee was my Doctor. And Children of the Stones, The Changes… how much time do you have?

How much did you watch?

I watched it all the time — it was a great friend to me. I occasionally met a kid whose parents wouldn’t allow them to watch ITV — I never met anyone who wasn’t allowed to watch TV at all, but ITV was a proscribed thing. I remember thinking they were deprived.

Do you miss watching so much?

No, because I can catch up on whatever I miss. But for everything you gain, you lose something, and what we’ve lost is the specialness of “if you miss it, it’s gone”. I can still remember the trauma of going to see Basil Brush and the Beanstalk at the Sunderland Empire in 1976, and missing episode four of The Brain of Morbius, Doctor Who. It was like having an arm off!

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Audience award favourite?

It’s got to be Sherlock, hasn’t it? Or Strictly. It’s a very uncynical show that has been an unexpected success and I love it for that. I’ve been asked to be on it many times and have always refused. I would make John Sergeant look like Nijinsky!

Why Sherlock should win the Bafta Radio Times Audience Award

See the Baftas this Sunday from 8:00pm on BBC1