So that pretty much kills our hopes of Tom Hiddleston being in Sherlock…

The BBC doesn't speculate on major casting rumours - and it certainly doesn't create viral videos about them, says Paul Jones

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Have you seen the mash-up of Sherlock and The Night Manager? Brilliant isn’t it? A genuinely clever piece of viral marketing for the BBC Store that will convince anyone who was still unsure, that Tom Hiddleston would make a fantastic third Holmes brother. 

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Unfortunately, it all but dashes Sherlock fans’ hopes that this will actually happen.

You see, the BBC – like most broadcasters – “does not comment on speculation” regarding major casting, or anything else, around its big dramas. As a journalist, if you ask a question like, say, “Is Tom Hiddleston going to play the third Holmes brother in Sherlock?”, that is the response you will get.

At times, they can be pretty unimpressed if you even speculate based on existing source material about what might happen or who might be involved.

So when Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss – aka Mycroft Holmes – gets playful and teases a photo of himself and Hiddleston together, along with the hashtag #Blud, any hopes you had that this was actually going to happen start to fade.

And when the BBC itself shares a video showing you exactly what a Cumberbatch, Gatiss, Hiddleston/Sherlock, Mycroft, Sherrinford brotherhood would look like, it’s basically the final nail in the coffin for your dream.

But let’s not be completely downbeat about this. Sometimes the most obvious casting isn’t the best – and it’s fair to say that the minds behind Sherlock have done a pretty good job of choosing their stars so far. Most people didn’t know who Benedict Cumberbatch was when he started in Sherlock. And casting Martin Freeman was a stroke of genius. You could say the same for Amanda Abbington’s Mary, and certainly for Andrew Scott and Lars Mikkelsen’s villains Moriarty and Charles Augustus Magnussen who, outwardly, couldn’t have been more different from the original books.

So if Mycroft’s throwaway line back in series three – “I’m not given to outbursts of brotherly compassion. You know what happened to the other one” – turns out to be more than just a loose end blowing in the breeze, we can be pretty hopeful that they’ll choose the right man for the job. Even if it isn’t the one we thought we wanted…

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Update: the original tweet seems to have been removed but you can watch the video here