Yasmine Akram on kissing Benedict Cumberbatch: “It was lovely and very soft”

Yasmine Akram, who plays Sherlock's unexpected love interest, is awaiting the reaction from fans

What's it like to kiss Sherlock Holmes? One woman can tell you.

Yasmine Akram, the actor lucky enough to have been cast as Sherlock's girlfriend Janine, says locking lips with Benedict Cumberbatch in the final episode of Sherlock was an absolute delight. “It was lovely and very soft,” she told RadioTimes.com, adding that it would be top of her list of things to do with her afternoon.

His Last Vow draws to a close the third series of BBC1's colossal hit Sherlock, written by Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Stephen Thompson. It sees Sherlock face the man he despises more than any other: the merciless newspaper baron (and “Napoleon of blackmail”) Charles Augustus Magnussen, played by The Killing's imperious Lars Mikkelsen. It also ends with what looks very much like the imminent resurrection of Moriarty, believed to have died at the end of series two (Moffat may be going back on his words: “He shoots himself in the brains. You don't come back from that”).

The first shock viewers will experience, however, is the early addition of a girlfriend for Sherlock, with whom he shares a bath and other cosy domestic moments. Girlfriends, says Sherlock in the first series, are “not really my area”. It is distinctly unsettling to see the detective being cute and cuddly with another human being.

Akram says the steamy scenes with Cumberbatch were “bound to put a few noses out of joint” and that she would probably be the envy of a great number of fans: “Those first 20 minutes, half an hour, people are going to be like 'Whaaaat!?'”

She says that although the kissing scene came at the end of a shoot that lasted about five hours, there would have been nobody better to kiss than Cumberbatch: “It was absolutely lovely”. She also explains that her performance would not have been as good without Cumberbatch as a co-star: “He doesn't intimidate you; he was just very kind and generous.”

It's not clear whether Janine – who also shares some flirtation and a dance with Sherlock at the Watsons' wedding – will feature in further episodes. Akram said, “Una [Stubbs, who plays Mrs Hudson] and Louise [Brealey – Molly] were like, 'They're gonna kill you'.” But Akram told Mark Gatiss how much she had loved her experiences on the second episode, to which he replied “Well, we'll have to get you back then, won't we.”

Prior to the airing of The Sign of Three, Akram says, she was bracing herself for the fans' reactions on Twitter. She is now preparing for an even greater deluge of attention. She says she needs to remind herself that any potential haters “are not upset with me; it's people loving him and loving the show”.