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‘Sherlock’ showrunner reveals show’s secret

Moffat speaks of his 'love' for Holmes

EDINBURGH — The creators of the breakout U.K. hit “Sherlock,” recently nominated for 13 primetime Emmys, have revealed the secret of the show’s extraordinary success — love.

“We love the character of Sherlock Holmes so much we’d make this show just for ourselves,” said co-write Steven Moffat, speaking at a masterclass on “Sherlock” at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

He added: “It’s the ultimate in fan fiction. It might sound sentimental and ridiculous, but we are in love with this show.”

“Sherlock,” made by Hartswood Films and TV and distributed by BBC Worldwide, has become a massive international hit selling to 234 territories.

In the U.S. it is rivalling “Downton Abbey” in the popularity stakes and has a devoted fanbase in Russia and the Far East.

Show’s producer Sue Vertue revealed that the third season of three 90-minute episodes would start filming next January for a still-to-be decided transmission date.

Which three Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories are being adapted for the next series is a closely guarded secret.

But the creative team behind “Sherlock” gave a three word clue to their identity — “rat,” “wedding” and “bow.”

This cryptic clue is certain to become poured over by “Sherlock” fans via Twitter and other online platforms in the coming days.

The production team also explained that the show’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, was the only actor ever considered for the role.

“Everyone knew Benedict from playing the creepy villain in films such as ‘Atonement,’ ” said Moffat.

“We wanted someone who was tall, thin, angular — and with an impressive nose,” he added.

The rest, as they say, was elementary.