Sherlock Holmes came to Sussex this week as the county took up a starring role in a new film.

Hailsham, Seaford and East Dean are the leading locations in a new movie based on the legendary detective currently being filmed for release next year. On Monday production trucks for the simply titled Mr Holmes lined up outside of Hailsham Pavilion and an eager crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of Holmes himself – being played by veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen.

The Lord of the Rings star is the latest actor to pick up the mantle, which is also held by Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock and Robert Downey Jr in Guy Ritchie’s Hollywood blockbusters, In the new flick McKellen plays an aged and tired version of the super sleuth.

Jane Pearson, assistant manager at Hailsham Pavilion, said: “We were approached out of the blue a few months ago and we could not believe it.

“It was a superb experience and is lovely recognition for the Pavilion to be portrayed in such an English film with the iconic Sherlock Holmes played by such a respected actor.

“It was very busy and there was a phenomenal amount of people and a lot of energy – all the people you see from film credits were there for real, everyone from the assistant director to the chief grip.

“Sir Ian was extremely professional. At the end of his successful shoot he went across the road and signed autographs. It was lovely. He is very genuine and very nice.” At the cinema Sir Ian was performing a scene in which the elderly Holmes sees a film featuring a fictionalised version of himself.

Seaford is providing the movie’s beach scenes and East Dean is being used as Holmes’ home. The film is an adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s novel A Slight Trick of The Mind.