Sherlock keeps his cool about ‘racy’ nude scene

Benedict Cumberbatch has shrugged off newspaper criticism of his female co-star’s nude scene in TV’s latest season of Sherlock.

“It’s great publicity, isn’t it?” Cumberbatch told the US Television Critics Association.

“I think there’s an awful lot of support for the way that we did it [the scene] and the taste that we did it with. And if it creates more interest in the programme, thank you very much for that.”

In the 1 January episode, entitled “A Scandal in Belgravia”, Holmes had a close encounter with whip-smart dominatrix Irene Adler, played by Lara Pulver, who got under his skin by flashing much of hers.

Some critics said the scene was too racy to be screened early in the evening, when children are more likely to be watching TV.

“It’s not supposed to be a source of stimulation for the audience,” Cumberbatch said. “It’s supposed to throw his [Holmes’s] radar off, which is exactly what it does.”

He played it coy on whether the hit series about Conan Doyle’s great detective and sidekick Dr Watson, played by Martin Freeman, will return for a third season. The actor has become a hot property with film credits including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse.

Speaking from London, Cumberbatch was also coy about his role in the forthcoming Star Trek sequel from filmmaker JJ Abrams.

“I’m just getting my head around the fact it’s happened … I’ll give you my headline on it, which is, ‘I’m over the moon’,” he said.

The actor is attending the London premiere of his new film War Horse this weekend.