The Sherlock actor Martin Freeman has revealed how he almost missed out on the role of Dr John Watson because he was so grumpy at his audition after the theft of his wallet.
The Hobbit actor stars with Benedict Cumberbatch in the modern-day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, which returns to BBC1 on New Year's Day.
Mark Gatiss, the detective drama's co-creator, told the Radio Times that Freeman's wallet had been stolen on the way to his audition.
Freeman, who had never read any Arthur Conan Doyle before going up for the role, said that because he "wasn't in the best frame of mind" he gave the impression that he did not want to be in the show, which has become a huge hit.
He told the magazine: "I'll admit maybe I was a bit stressed. But a week later my agent rang and said, 'Listen, this Sherlock thing, they're sort of under the impression you weren't that into it.'
"And I said 'Oh … I am really interested. Please call them and let them know that I am interested.'
"I wasn't being blase about it at all. I just wasn't on my best day. So I came in again, read with Benedict and it instantly worked, it seemed to me … I thought he was a fantastic actor and there was something about our rhythms, similarities and differences that meant that it just happened."
Freeman, whose real-life partner, the actor Amanda Abbington, stars as his new love-interest in the next installment, said the drama was "writing for grown-ups, where you're not having to cheat the audience".
The BBC released an online seven-minute teaser episode on Christmas Eve, though no further clues were offered to explain Sherlock's return from the dead after his seemingly fatal fall at the end of the last series. The short video, entitled Many Happy Returns, sets the stage for Sherlock (played by Cumberbatch) to return to London. His friends still think he's dead; his sidekick Watson even wound up in therapy. As Many Happy Returns begins, we find that a series of crimes across the globe, from New Delhi to Germany, have been solved by almost impossible means.
Who else would you like to have seen in the role, ONTD?