Benedict Cumberbatch seems almost perfect for the role of detective 'Sherlock Holmes' in the TV series of the same name. But the 37 year-old revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he was very close to turning down the part.

Sherlock Holmes
'Sherlock Holmes' will be debuting season 3 in the US on Jan 19th

"My reservation was 'Well, this is a very iconic character, there will be a lot of attention on it,'" Cumberbatch told EW. "This was before I had had any significant success [but] I knew there would still be a lot of focus on it. And while I had done work, it wasn't stepping into the populist limelight like playing a character like Holmes. So I did have a pause for thought."

He was absolutely right. The modern day version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's incredibly intelligent character has garnered a huge amount of attention. Season three has just wrapped up in the United Kingdom and the last episode saw viewing figures hit an all-time high, the show will look to produce the same success when the latest season debuts on PBS in the US this Sunday (Jan 19th).

Cumberbatch also gets to act alongside his 'The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug' co-star Martin Freeman, who plays 'Dr John Watson' in the series.

Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman plays 'Dr John Watson' in the television series

So what was the deciding factor which made the Brit become Sherlock Holmes?

"I thought, if I'm going to do this, if I'm going to step into the limelight with a large leading role of iconic status, then I might as well do it these people," he remembers. "They know what they're doing and I completely trust them. I felt like I was being asked to join the family and have some fun. There was nothing businessy about it. And that's how to operate it."

Read our review round-up of season three's opening episode

Fans will be pleased to know while season three has just finished airing, co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, have already planned out a season four and five for Cumberbatch and Freeman.

"Rather excitingly, Mark and I, for no particular reason, we just got out of the rain and sat at the top of the [Sherlock] production bus. and we just started plotting out what we could do in the future," Moffat said, according to the Radio Times. "And we plotted out the whole of series four and five."

Martin Freeman
Cumberbatch and Watson on the set os season 3