the BBC complete audio



From the first words spoken in the studio to the last, recording the complete collection of all sixty Conan Doyle mysteries took eight years, seven months, two weeks, three days and just under nine hours.

The Further Adventures took the grand total to twenty years, one month, three weeks, three days and fifteen hours.

Clive Merrison has played Sherlock Holmes in programmes whose combined length exceeds sixty two hours. He used the same prop pipe throughout.

On only one occasion did he say "Elementary, my dear Watson" and then he was quoting someone else.

In addition to Merrison the combined casts included four other actors who had played Holmes, at least one who had played both the detective and Watson, and one whose son is an internationally famous Sherlock.

A genuine Victorian Hansom cab was used to record sound effects for the shows in a 3am session on a cobbled street in Edinburgh. The flatulent horse added its own regular and loud contributions which had to be painstakingly edited out of the takes.

Howlers: in one episode a leading character is addressed by completely the wrong name. In another someone works for a real-life organisation which in reality had been out of business for decades. Two of the BBC CD covers depict visual anachronisms even more glaring.

Specially produced spinoffs from the shows included Holmes and Watson publicising the BBC's Children in Need charity telethon and a five-episode mini-serial in which they encourage listeners to switch from medium wave to FM radio.

The dialogue for the shows includes homages to Batman, Star Trek, The Shadow, The Man From Uncle and Doctor Who.