‘Sherlock’ writer and co-creator Mark Gatiss has revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch almost missed out on playing the detective, because he didn't have the right look.

Speaking to The Sunday People, Gatiss said Cumberbatch was originally thought of as “a sort of ginger weird person” and not sexy enough for the role.

Sherlock season 4Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, with co-star Martin Freeman

“When we presented Ben on his audition day, everyone at the BBC agreed he’s definitely got to be in it,” Gatiss explained.

“And then they went ‘We were promised a sexy one though. ’And we didn’t say ‘yeah he is sexy’ we went ‘he’s very good isn’t he?’ And Benedict to this day doesn’t think of himself as sexy.”

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“His nose was entirely wrong apparently,” Gatiss continued.

“We thought if only we could get the nose right we might have something. The truth is, this isn’t made up.” However despite the reservations, Cumberbatch was eventually cast as the series’ lead and proved the naysayers wrong.

“But as he walked through into 221B Baker Street it all changed. He was a weird man a few minutes ago, a sort of ginger weird person,” Gatiss added.

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“But that disappeared. It was the thing that suddenly worked with Colin Firth with Mr Darcy.”

Cumberbatch returns to our screens as Sherlock for the show’s fourth series on BBC One, January 1, to solve the mystery of ‘The Six Thatchers’.