Benedict Cumberbatch On For Sherlock 4

Could there be fifth series too...?

Sherlock series three is set to start shooting next Monday, March 18, which is pretty exciting news - but reporters at The Radio Times have learnt there's even more to look forward to with Benedict Cumberbatch confirming that a fourth series is also in the pipeline.

Series three of the BBC's critically-acclaimed and much-loved modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories has been eagerly anticipated since the second series hit the air back in January 2012, with the final episode, The Reichenbach Fall, leaving fans on tenterhooks as to what was next for the famous Baker Street resident.

That general Sherlocky sensation of how-the-what-the-is-he-alive-or-dead-and-huh was back in business at The South Bank Show Awards this afternoon, where the RT noted down a few juicy quotes about both the third and fourth series.

"We've agreed to two more series but I could get into trouble for saying that. All I know at the moment is I'm doing these three [episodes for Series 3] and another three [episodes for Series 4]."

The Star Trek Into Darkness star was then quizzed about a possible series 5. "It just depends on Martin [Freeman] and I's availability, how long we can keep it going," came his response. "It depends on Steven [Moffat]'s ability. I'd love to keep it going."

Remind yourself of the ending of the final episode of the second series of Sherlock with the YouTube clip below, and remember that the show will be back later on in 2013. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - also starring Martin Freeman (as Bilbo) and Benedict Cumberbatch (as Smaug) - is out on December 13. Star Trek Into Darkness, meanwhile, hits UK cinemas on May 15.