Sherlock actor Andrew Scott has has spoken out publicly for the first time to say that “as a gay person” he condemns Russian president Vladimir Putin for introducing anti-gay legislation to the country.

In an interview with the independent, the BAFTA-award winning actor spoke about his role in upcoming BBC2 drama ‘Legacy,’ where he sports a Russian accent.

When asked how he came to adopt the accent, Scott said: “There isn’t a huge amount of footage of Russians speaking English as a second language, so I started looking at Vladimir Putin videos on YouTube.

“But then Putin introduced anti-gay legislation this summer – so, being a gay person, I switched to Rudolf Nureyev videos instead. It was another Nureyev defection of sorts!”

On the topic of keeping a low profile on being gay, he added: “Mercifully, these days people don’t see being gay as a character flaw.

“But nor is it a virtue, like kindness. Or a talent, like playing the banjo. It’s just a fact.

“Of course, it’s part of my make-up, but I don’t want to trade on it. I am a private person; I think that’s important if you’re an actor. But there’s a difference between privacy and secrecy, and I’m not a secretive person.

“Really I just want to get on with my job, which is to pretend to be lots of different people. Simple as that.”

Scott is also set to appear in gay comedy drama film ‘Pride,’ which centres around a group of LGBT activists who decide to raise money to support the families of striking miners during the summer of 1984.