October 3, 2016 - 17:31 AMT
Benedict Cumberbatch hints next series of “Sherlock” could be the last

Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted the next series of Sherlock could be the last, according to RTE.

A fourth instalment of the hit BBC drama, starring Cumberbatch as the eponymous detective and Martin Freeman as his sidekick Doctor Watson, is expected to air early next year.

Cumberbatch told the November issue of British GQ magazine it felt like the "end of an era".

While The Imitation Game star said he would "never say never" to reprising the role, he said the series felt "complete".

Cumberbatch said: "It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest. It goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately.

"We never say never on the show. I'd love to revisit it, I'd love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that, but in the immediate future we all have things that we want to crack on with and we've made something very complete as it is, so I think we'll just wait and see.

"The idea of never playing him again is really galling."

The fourth series of the hit show will consist of three episodes, which the BBC has said will be "the most shocking and surprising... yet".