Steven Moffat cancels Moscow masterclass as Sherlock leak investigation continues

Showrunner Moffat and producer Sue Vertue had been due to visit Russia's TV station Channel One

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Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue have cancelled a Moscow masterclass hosted by Russia’s Channel One in the wake of a major leak controversy. 

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A Russian-language version of Sherlock episode three, The Final Problem, appeared online a day early, originating from Channel One. The broadcaster admitted it may have been hacked by an “external third party”. 

But with investigations still under way in Russia and the UK, Moffat and Vertue – who were meant to be running a masterclass – opted out of the workshop at Channel One’s television academy. 

“Due to the continuing investigations regarding the leaked Sherlock episode in Russia, BBC Worldwide postponed the planned master class for Channel One’s TV academy with Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue,” a spokesperson for BBC told The Hollywood Reporter.

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“We apologise for the inconvenience caused for those due to attend and we will reschedule this once investigations are concluded.”

Elena Afanasyeva, head of creative planning at Channel One, said on her Facebook account that Vertue and Moffat hated to let people down and understood the importance of communication within the industry.

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BBC Worldwide, which sells the BBC’s content overseas, has “initiated a full investigation” into the leak, which analysts have suggested could have been intended to damage the British broadcaster.