The actor has been cast in the role

Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play Richard III in a new BBC Two production.

The show has been commissioned for the channel’s second series of William Shakespeare‘s history plays and Benedict, 37, is very excited about the role.

‘I can’t wait to bring this complex, funny and dangerous character to life,’ he says.

The announcement comes days after it was revealed that Benedict‘s Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman will star as Richard III in London’s West End.

Martin, 42, is appearing on stage at the Trafalgar Studios later this year.

Shakespeare‘s play – which tells the story of Richard III‘s rise to power and his short reign of England – is believed to have been written in around 1592.

The programme’s creators think Benedict will be excellent in the part.

‘Benedict’s range and dexterity as an actor make him the perfect choice to bring one of Shakespeare’s towering characters to television,’ Tweeted BBC Two yesterday.

SEE PICTURES Benedict Cumberbatch‘s life in photos

SEE PICTURES Benedict Cumberbatch shows off his sexy beach body

SEE PICTURES Sexy Benedict Cumberbatch makes catwalk debut at London

Anna Duff