Martin Freeman has revealed that his first audition to play Dr. Watson in Sherlock didn't go very well and he nearly didn't get the part.

The 42-year-old star told Radio Times that he was mugged the day of his audition which left him in a weird head-space, "I'll admit maybe I was a bit stressed. But a week later my agent rang and said, 'Listen, this Sherlock thing, they're sort of under the impression you weren't that into it'.

"And I said, 'Oh, I am really interested. Please call them and let them know that I am interested'. I wasn't being blasé about it at all. I just wasn't on my best day."

His next audition with Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the legendary detective, went a lot better, "I came in again, read with Benedict and it instantly worked, it seemed to me... I thought he was a fantastic actor and there was something about our rhythms, similarities and differences that it just happened."

Sherlock will return to our screens on New Year's Day at 9pm on BBC One.