ITV confirmed today (August 19) that filming will commence soon on the third series of Grantchester, with six-part third series scheduled to come to the small screen in 2017. A 90-minute Christmas special is also being filmed for broadcast at the end of this year.

Credit: ITV

Credit: ITV

James Norton and Robson Green will return to the show as the unlikely 1950s crime-fighting duo, Vicar Sidney Chambers and Police Inspector Geordie Keating.

Based on James Runcie's The Grantchester Mysteries, the show will see Tessa Peake-Jones return as Sidney's housekeeper, Mrs Maguire, and Morven Christie back as Sidney's forbidden lover Amanda. Al Weaver is also returning as curate Leonard Finch, Kacey Ainsworth as Geordie's wife Cathy and Lorne MacFadyen as DC Phil Wilkinson.

Details have been given for the first ever Christmas special, with pregnant Amanda adjusting to life without her husband Guy - played by Tom Austen. There's palpable love between Sidney and Amanda, but in the 1950s, a vicar and a married, pregnant woman being romantically intertwined is not the done thing.

Though it sounds all doom and gloom, viewers are told to also expect a festive and snow-filled episode, with just as much joy as emotion and drama.

Meanwhile, the synopsis given for the third series and batch of new episodes detail how new Archdeacon Gabriel Atubo is getting involved in Sidney's business, reminding him of how, as a clergyman, he must put his duty above his own needs and passions.

Geordie's still happily married to Cathy, but the spark between himself and police secretary Margaret (Seline Hizli) is undeniable.

Leonard is heartbroken after Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale) left him for another man, but in this series he will aim to put his relationship of the past behind him, whilst finding happiness with somebody else.

Mrs Maguire is getting closer to Jack (Nick Brimble), but her past and memories of her late husband Ronnie are weighing heavy on her mind.

When it all comes down to it however, the heart of Granchester all comes down to the friendship between Sidney and Geordie. As they continue to solve crimes in Grantchester and beyond, they also deal with personal crises at home and once again, their friendship is put to the test.

Peter Davison guest stars this series as Geoff Towler as the village solicitor, who doubles up as captain of the cricket team and is described as ruling his family "with a rod of iron".

Diederick Santer, Kudos' chief executive on the series comments: "Granchester continues to be a delight to make and I hope will continue to delight the viewer. To be bringing to the audience a third series AND a very special Christmas episode is a particular thrill, and we can't wait to be pouring snow onto the East Anglian Fens."

ITV's Controller of Drama, Victoria Fea who commissioned the third series added: "Viewers have really taken Grantchester to their hearts. We're really excited to commission not only a third series, but also a Christmas special. The village of Grantchester is always beautiful, but to add a festive touch will be absolutely wonderful."

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