Sherlock might not return to the BBC until 2016

The detective drama's co-creator Steven Moffat says fans may have to wait

Steven Moffat has brought bad news for Sherlock fans after hinting in a recent interview that the next series might not hit TV screens until 2016.

"If people have to wait two years, they’ll have to wait two years," the detective drama’s co-creator and producer told gaming website IGN.

When asked about Sherlock 's future, Moffat insisted he had "no idea". "We'll do what we can, but with no sacrifice in quality – that’s the thing,” he said. “It’s not the kind of show that turns up all the time, it's just not. But the good news is, that probably means it will turn up sporadically for a very, very long while."

Lead actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are in high demand following Sherlock's success, meaning shooting for new episodes will depend on their work schedules.

Moffat is a busy man too. He has just started with new Time Lord Peter Capaldi on the next series of sci-fi drama Doctor Who .

Sherlock fans need not despair, however, as Moffat and his co-creator Mark Gatiss revealed at a BAFTA press screening that the fourth - and maybe even fifth - series have been plotted.

The unexpected 'surprise' of arch-villain Moriarty’s return in the series three finale will impact upon future episodes. "We always knew what we were going to do with Moriarty," Moffat told TV Guide. "I won’t say what it is we’re doing but we have plans, and I think they’re the best set of ideas we've ever had for Sherlock ."

Fans of the popular BBC show have been forced to wait two years for each series so far, but if the broadcaster has anything to do with it, Sherlock will be back in our living rooms sooner rather than later.

BBC bosses are keen to air a Sherlock Christmas special to cash in on the show's popularity, it has been reported. The three-part third series was the BBC's most-watched drama run in over a decade, pulling in an average of 11.8 million viewers when it screened in January.

Cumberbatch recently won the TV Detective award at the National Television Awards for his role as the mysterious super-sleuth. It is believed the British actor has been cast in new crime thriller Blood Mountain , directed by Sergei Bodrov.



Watch the trailer for Sherlock Season 3

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