Sherlock Holmes And The Baker Street Irregulars
Bill Paterson is Dr Watson
Bill Paterson was born in Glasgow in 1945. After a three-year stint as a struggling apprentice quantity surveyor, he escaped to the teaching course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
His first professional appearance was with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre in their 1967 production of Brecht's Arturo Ui. He became a founding member of John McGrath's 7:84 Theatre Company and toured extensively throughout Scotland, Ireland and Europe.
Paterson made his first appearance in London in 1976 with the company and appeared at the Royal Court with Billy Conolly's first play, An Me Wi' A Bad Leg Tae.
Paterson has an impressive list of both stage and screen credits to his name, from The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (1987) to Miss Potter with Renée Zellwegger and Ewan McGregor (2006).
His television credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lie With Me, Foyle's War and, most recently, as the lead in the popular BBC drama Sea Of Souls.
Bill Paterson on the Irregulars and Dublin:
How did you come to play Dr Watson?
"Jon and I are very old friends and, over the years, I occasionally said to him: 'You know, we should do Holmes and Watson one day'. And we'd nod our heads and move on and do other things. Then the opportunity came up for Jon and he said to me: 'What about doing Watson?'"
Tell us about the Irregulars.
"The cast were all lovely. Watson doesn't actually spend a huge amount of time with the kids in the way that Holmes does but they were delightful and very fast at picking things up – a lot quicker than the adults, in fact!
"I don't know how many times the Irregulars pop up in the original stories but they are a real gang of ruffians that first appear in Holmes's office – much to Watson's agony.
"It's such a nice idea that Holmes has this Fagan-like gang of kids, all of whom are working on the side of good rather than the side of evil, picking pockets. Our little group are working on the side of goodness and morality. I think there's potential for more stories there."
Did you enjoy filming in Dublin?
"I've been working in and going to Dublin since the Sixties. This was my first time back since the early Nineties. Even in the last five years or so, it's all changed. It's become a heaving, cosmopolitan place. It's great, wonderful and so exciting. My highlight was trying to find what was left of the old Dublin – and I did!"