Sherlock creator Steven Moffat says the next series could be the last


Sherlock creator Steven Moffat has said the next series of the BBC show could be its last.

Steven made his comment as the corporation released a first look photograph of series four, which will be broadcast in 2017.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes, is pictured kneeling beside a dog.

Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock series four (Robert Viglasky/BBC/Hartswood Films)

During an interview with The Telegraph, Steven said the popularity of leads Benedict and Martin Freeman may result in the end of Sherlock.

"We do have two film stars in the programme. They haven't needed to do these jobs for a very long time. They're coming back because they want to," he said.

Steven added: "I don't know how long we can keep it going. I'm personally willing, but I'm hardly the main draw. I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show."

Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock (BBC/Hartswood/Robert Viglasky)

The success of the BBC One programme has been cemented with Emmy Award nominations.

Benedict was recognised in the lead actor in a limited series category for his role as the intrepid detective.

He will compete against Bryan Cranston (for All The Way), Idris Elba (Luther), The People vs OJ Simpson's Cuba Gooding Jr and Courtney B Vance and Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager).

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock  (BBC/Hartswood/Robert Viglasky)

The Abominable Bride special, which was broadcast in January, is nominated for best TV movie and is up against All The Way, Confirmation, Luther and A Very Murray Christmas.

Victorian-set special Sherlock: The Abominable Bride is the top-selling title of the year for BBC Worldwide and was licensed to 216 territories.