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Sherlock nude scene was for real, says Lara

It was the sizzling scene that set the BBC’s phones buzzing at New Year. Lara Pulver played the teasing dominatrix Irene Adler in the first episode of the drama series Sherlock. The extended nude scene provoked more than 100 viewers to call in and complain... and millions of other viewers to make a mental note to watch again on iPlayer.

Now Pulver has revealed that the nudity was genuine. She was offered some discreet clothing to protect her modesty for the scene she shot opposite Martin Freeman (Dr Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) but opted to go naked, as she explained to Radio Times.

"The director Paul McGuigan very sweetly said to me, 'OK, the choice is we spend hours shooting it to avoid seeing straps or we take all that off and shoot it quickly.' I thought I couldn't put myself through being there all day, practically naked anyway, so I might as well get completely naked and get it done in a few hours."

"Martin said a few things but they were harmless. They were both supportive and by the end of it I wouldn't move on to the next line until Benedict had stared at my boobs!"

Pulver said that being completely naked for the scene gave her a sense of empowerment, and helped her get into the character of the teasing and enigmatic Irene Adler. "There are huge elements of our characters that are us. But I don't go around whipping people. And I'm not a lesbian."

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