The lead actors in BBC's 'Sherlock' have once again insisted that there is no on-screen romance between the legendary detective Holmes and his sidekick Dr John Watson.
The nature of the relationship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's duo has long been a subject of intense speculation, and the latest television adaptation - starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - has again set tongues wagging.
From the original books to the current films starring Robert Downey Jr, some people have perceived there to be an underlying tone of homoeroticism.
The author himself raised eyebrows in the 1893 short story 'The Adventure of the Yellow Face', when he referred to the duo as two men 'who know each other intimately', taken by some to mean they were homosexual.
As the latest series got under way, Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes, said they have been forced to deal with constant speculation on whether the characters are lovers.
"Much as Sherlock adores John, and he's fond of him, there's no love, there's nothing sexual - all the jokes aside," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
"The problem is, [the jokes] fuel the fantasy of the few into flames for the many. People presume that's what it is, but it's not," he said. Freeman, who plays Dr Watson, said he did not think there was anything sexual in the relationship.
"There are a lot of people hoping that our characters are rampantly at it. If you want to think that they are secretly at it, then you can, but we've never played anything like that," he said.
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