I've been a fan of Sherlock Holmes ever since reading  the short stories as a child in my school's library - an old building of granite, dark wood and leather that would have been entirely comfortable within the pages of an Arthur Conan Doyle story.

When working as an actor I tried the character on for size twice.

 Initially it was in an entirely nonsensical comedy sketch I wrote for Adams & Jarrett, the prosaically titled touring show Phil Jarret and I hiked around provincial theatres and comedy clubs. Occasionally we would perform to literally tens of people. Sometimes they laughed.

(Audio version of the sketch uploaded here)

Later, Phil and I attempted a revival of The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, 

 a play originally commissioned by Holmes actor, Jeremy Brett. 

 I didn't play the part particularly well, it was a shallow imitation of Brett who was - and still is - my favourite actor in the role. It's hard to play a character afresh when you think someone else has already hit the nail on the head.

The local reviewers were nice enough though and I got to embarrass my co-star (who was a superb Watson, understated and delicate) by jumping in the river Avon with a bunch of theatre students from the Carpe Diem Theatre School (I kept insisting that Carpe Diem meant 'fish of God', the sort of Latin joke that appeals to dead Romans with no sense of humour).

Since becoming a writer I've also become involved with Holmes, both in a slightly fraught coffee-table book and a pair of novels for Titan Books. Click on the licks at the side for more info.