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Martin Freeman praises 'brilliant' ex Amanda Abbington as he opens up about split

Gemma Strong

Fans were shocked and sadden by last month's announcement that Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington had split after 16 years together. Now, in a new interview with the Radio Times, Martin has opened up about their separation, and spoken about the experience of working side-by-side with Amanda in the new series of Sherlock. "I mean, we're very friendly and it's all lovely and cool," the star said.

"Yes, we've not been together for a while. I mean we did the series not together. You know enough about me to know that I won't talk about it, but I'm all right, yes.

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Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington have worked side-by-side on Sherlock since 2014

"I mean, we are honest to God [separating] in about as civilised a manner as I've ever heard of, you know. I love Amanda's work, but, yes, we're… you know, that's what happened. It's just one of those things. It happens, doesn't it? But we're cool."

Martin – who stars as Dr John Watson in the hit BBC drama – confirmed his split from Amanda in December, adding: "It's very, very amicable – I'll always love Amanda."

Amanda has also spoken about their break-up. "Martin and I remain best friends and love each other, and it was entirely amicable," she told the Sunday Telegraph, adding: "We've been apart a lot and I think that's one of the reasons it happened.

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The new series of Sherlock premiered on New Year's Day

"You can't be away from people for too long, because you start to function on your own, you get used to being separate. You lose the connection and lose sight of it in the end."

Martin and Amanda met in 2001 and have two children together. The pair have been starring in Sherlock since series three in 2014, when her character Mary was first introduced. Martin recently confessed to the Guardian that the experience of filming this latest series had been "odd".   

"So we did this series not being together, which was kind of odd, although we were doing it as friends and we're still very close," he said. "It's always interesting doing stuff with your partner because you know each other better than anybody else and that was obviously still the case with this series."

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