Benedict Cumberbatch’s premature ‘Sherlock’ announcement caused ‘state of shock’ at BBC

Actor dropped an unexpected bombshell when he suggested a fourth series had already been confirmed

Benedict Cumberbatch apparently caused a “state of shock” when he supposedly confirmed that Sherlock would be returning for a fourth series – because nobody else at BBC drama knew what he was talking about.

Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman are now midway through filming series three of the hit detective drama created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. A new trio of 90-minute episodes are expected to air on BBC1 later this year.

However, back in March (2013) Cumberbatch appeared to let slip that the actors are actually signed up for another three episodes after that. He said at the time: “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 of the upcoming series] and another three.”

Recalling the actor’s somewhat premature comments about the future of Sherlock, Steven Moffat told the Radio Times: “We were all in a state of shock at BBC drama.” However, he also confirmed there is still life in the show, adding: “If everyone wants to do it there will be a fourth [series].”

The first series of Sherlock aired in summer 2010, with a second run following in early 2012. Since then, the show’s stars have become increasingly in demand. Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, while Cumberbatch has roles in several high-profile films, including Star Trek Into Darkness and the forthcoming August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep.