Why are Liverpool and Leyland so important for new Netflix Sherlock Holmes adaptation The Irregulars?


There have been so many Sherlock Holmes television adaptations in the past, but none like this one.

First of all writer Tom Bidwell has created a new, supernatural world for Holmes and Dr. Watson where they enlist the help of a group of street urchins from Victorian London.

But secondly Tom is not only the writer, but he's the series creator, executive producer - he's basically the showrunner who calls the shots.

Tom Bidwell is also a local lad from Leyland in Lancashire.

He decided to film 'The Irregulars' mainly in Liverpool and he cast local lass Darci Shaw in the lead role of Jessie.

So with so many north west connections let's find out some more.


Tom BIdwell is the writer and creator of the new Netflix crime drama the Irregulars. Credit: PA Images

I first met writer Tom Bidwell 10 years ago when he was nominated for an Oscar. His film 'Wish 143' - about a dying boy's final wish, as he had cancer - was nominated in the short film section.

  • Tom and I met in LA in 2010 when he was nominated for an Oscar

On his 27th birthday he celebrated by attending the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, but despite losing out on the gong fast forward ten years and he's now the showrunner of this incredible new series.

After seeing him again, virtually this time, he joked he was "still here" and "hadn't aged very well - sorry!".

His reference of 'still being here' is down to his diagnosis of Lymphoma when he was young - and where he got his inspiration for his film 'Wish 143'.

Luckily, he is still here and as he says "he's fine now... just stressed with a young toddler and another baby on the way, plus a new television show to launch during lockdown - other than that I'm fine."

He's over the moon that we have chatted to Liverpool lass Darci Shaw too.


Darci Shaw first appeared on our screens playing a young Judy Garland in the film Judy. Credit: PA Images

At just 18 she's already starred in the first series of ITV drama 'The Bay', portrayed a young Judy Garland in the film 'Judy' alongside Oscar winner Renee Zellweger and now she's the lead in this brand new series.

I knew her star was on the rise when I met her at her mother's home in Liverpool two years ago - before 'Judy' had been released.

  • I first spoke to Darci in October 2019

Her shy and polite nature makes you wonder how on earth she managed to keep her cool during the scary moments of 'The Irregulars'!!

But as she tells me, "there were about 90 people on set so it's not actually that scary". But she did add when actors were dressed as corpses it freaked her out a little bit.

She was also very proud that the production was mainly shot in and around her home of Liverpool. She said: "I was on set within five minutes it was crazy... the waterfront can quite easily double up as New York so we've had a few big films shot here like Batman."

Peaky Blinders is just one of the most recent programmes to be filmed in Liverpool. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Steve Rotheram the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region said: "Liverpool is fast becoming not only a national filming destination of choice but an international one as well.

"We're investing in a multi- million pound Hollywood of the North TV & film studio in Liverpool."

So 'The Irregulars' has well and truly given a huge nod to the talent in the North West - not just the city backdrop of Liverpool but Lancashire creator Tom Bidwell and Liverpool's Darci Shaw too!

Makes you proud to be a Northerner!!

You can see the North West talent in all their glory on Netflix.


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