The 1st January draws nearer and so does the prospect of the BBC's mystery series Sherlock returning to the small screens. In the third series we'll finally find out how Sherlock managed to avoid death and see Watson's romantic encounter with his real-life girlfriend, Amanda Abbington.

Amanda Abbington
Martin Freeman & Amanda Abbington Ended Up Working Together On 'Sherlock.'

"Don't c**p where you eat," goes the famous saying and indeed it's generally accepted that you shouldn't mix work and romance. So what happens when your actual partner becomes your on-screen squeeze? The 39 year-old actress spoke to The Independent about what it was like invading the everlasting bromance of her lover, Martin Freeman, and Benedict Cumberbatch, AKA Sherlock.

Martin Freeman Amanda Abbington The Hobbit
Amanda Has Spoken About How Working With Martin Wasn't Problematic.

The North London-born Case Histories actress admitted that initially it was challenging being a "third wheel" in the already established Freeman-Cumberbatch machine but said this pushed her skills as an actress. "Ben and Martin have real chemistry, and I had to hold my own in the scenes with them. It was daunting - not necessarily to come between them, but to arrive as another dynamic," she revealed.

What about the backlash Amanda faced after Sherlock casting? Click here to read more.

Whilst many couples who end up working together may find their professional relationship tarnished by conflicted emotions and feelings of jealousy, Amanda spoke of her admiration towards her Hobbit star boyfriend and how comfortable she felt acting alongside him.

Martin Freeman Benedict Cumberbatch
Martin & Benedict Had A Lot Of Fun Filming 'Sherlock' Season 3.

"I think Martin and I bounce off each other very well. He is one of my favourite actors," Amanda beamed. "He's so easy to work with and so creative. He brings something different to every single take. He is so on top of his lines that he can dig down and find a different angle every time. That really keeps you on your toes. Both characters go on a wonderful journey, and to do that with Martin was such fun."

Sherlock will return to the BBC from the 1st January 2014.