The pair are returning as Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson

It was confirmed at exactly 2.21pm yesterday that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will star in a new series of Sherlock.

Fans learnt from BBC One‘s Twitter page that the detective show is coming back, with the channel saying they’re ‘ready to unleash the most shocking and surprising series of #Sherlock yet’.

‘”Miss me?” #Sherlock, the hit @BBCOne drama, will return for a Special, followed by a series of three new episodes. #221back,’ Tweeted BBC One.

‘After the briefest of exiles, #Sherlock will return to face one of his biggest mysteries yet… why is Moriarty’s face being broadcast on every television in the land? #Sherlock #221back.

‘Shooting on the #Sherlock special will begin in January 2015, with the series shooting later next year. #221back.’

The exciting news comes after fans were teased by a GIF of Sherlock‘s nemesis Moriarty – played by Andrew Scott – grinning on a screen on Tuesday.

Despite the latest instalment not being expected to hit screens until Christmas 2015, viewers are already excited to see what Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson will get up to.

‘Oh, that’s brilliant. Fab news!’ Tweeted one, while another wrote: ‘YAAAAAAAY.’

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Anna Duff