Scottish actor and presenter David Hayman has discovered the real-life inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes - who surprisingly turns out not to have been impressed by the honour.
David Hayman goes to Edinburgh University, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle learnt his great love of storytelling.
It was also there that he studied his profession as a doctor: where he learned not only the art of deduction, but he also met the man who was to be the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
David talks to Alan Mackaill, co-author of Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell: The Real Sherlock Holmes, to get a greater understand of the locations in which the author found himself during his studies. He is also shown the letter in which Doyle writes to Joseph Bell to tell him that the iconic investigator was based upon him.
In it he writes: “It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes.”
However, Alan added: “In actual fact scholars of the Holmes stories would say that while Bell was certainly the most important of the people who inspired him, there were others.
“One may have been Doyle’s own father, and another might have been Bryan Waller, who was a medical student who lodged with the Doyle family. And there’s a little bit of Arthur Conan Doyle himself!”
It also turns out that Bell wasn’t terribly impressed when he found out he was the inspiration for Holmes. Alan guesses Bell was unhappy because what Holmes does in the stories was bad science.
Scottish actor David has become a sleuth himself to examine the truth behind Sherlock Holmes in a new one-off STV documentary.
Showing on STV on Monday December 28 at 9pm, the show will coincide with the release of the latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation directed by Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
The Search for Sherlock Holmes follows Hayman on a fascinating and personal journey to reveal the heart of one of the world’s most significant and loved literary figures, and the most portrayed movie character of all time.