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Amanda Abbington says she got Sherlock role because she was with Martin Freeman

The actor was cast as Mary Watson alongside her then partner as Dr John Watson

Martin Freeman, left, and Amanda Abbington seen at the National Television Awards at the o2 Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, in London. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington were together for many years. (Invision/AP)

Amanda Abbington has said she only got her role in Sherlock because she was dating its star Martin Freeman.

Freeman starred as Dr John Watson in the hit TV show from 2010, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

Abbington – who was with Freeman for 16 years and has two children with him – joined the cast as Mary Watson in 2014.

Read more: Amanda Abbington says she was ‘stupid’ to engage with ‘angry’ Sherlock fans

However, she has now suggested that “nepotism” was at play.

Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman co-starred in the show. (Hartswood Films 2016 for MASTERPIECE)
Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman co-starred in the show. (Hartswood Films 2016 for MASTERPIECE)

Speaking on the Full Disclosure podcast, Abbington said: “I was with Martin at the time, there was a lot of nepotism being banded around.

“It's true, it was that.

"Both Mark and Steven (the show’s creators and writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) said, look, we were trying to work out who would be the best person to play Mary, John Watson's wife, and we thought it would be the person who was going out with him.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Amanda Abbington attends The Stage Debut Awards at 8 Northumberland Avenue on September 18, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Amanda Abbington has two children with Martin Freeman. (Getty Images)

“So it makes sense,” said the 48-year-old.

“And we had worked together on many things. I think we had worked together four or five times before that."

Abbington said she and Freeman enjoyed working together and it “seemed like a natural thing”.

“I was over the moon because I loved that show,” she added.

Abbington and Freeman were a couple from 2000 to 2016, and they have a son and a daughter together.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Jonathan Goodwin and Amanda Abbington attend the press night after party for
Amanda Abbington is now in a relationship with Jonathan Goodwin. (Getty Images)

The actor is now in a relationship with former America’s Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent star Jonathan Goodwin.

Read more: Amanda Abbington tearful as she reveals fiance said she could walk away after he was paralysed

The escapologist nearly died after falling 30 feet between two burning cars and missing a safety airbag below when a stunt rehearsal went wrong, and now uses a wheelchair.

Watch: Jonathan Goodwin told Amanda Abbington she could leave him after accident