Cumberbatch 'irreplaceable' as Sherlock
'Sherlock' creator Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch is irreplaceable.
The show's boss admitted the programme would not be able to continue without its leading man in the role of the fictional detective, and insisted both he and Martin Freeman are vital to its success.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he said: "If Benedict went under a bus tomorrow it would be the end of the show.
"Benedict and Martin are our stars. We do three episodes a year and although people want more that's all we can do. They are so famous now it's difficult to get them."
Gatiss recently responded to criticism at fans having to wait until 2016 for new episodes - due to their two lead actors having very busy schedules - and point out the gap between series is "always" a similar length.
He explained: "Everyone wants to carry on doing 'Sherlock'. It's a simple matter of schedules - particularly Benedict and Martin.
"They've become superstars, which is brilliant, but we all want to carry on as long as we can.
"There was suddenly a kind of outraged response that it might not be back until 2016 but that's precisely how long it always is. It's always two years! But we'd like to return soon, of course."