After over a year of rumours and speculation, RadioTimes.com can exclusively reveal that David Tennant and Olivia Colman will both be returning for the second series of Broadchurch.
The pair – who played crime-solving duo DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller – will be joined by Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan who portrayed parents of the murdered schoolboy Danny Latimer, as well as Arthur Darvill who will reprise his role as Reverend Paul Coates.
But while the return of the local police force and Latimer family all but confirms the action will remain in Broadchurch, writer Chris Chibnall and his team are keeping silent on what will unfold when the second series hits screens.
"We're delighted Broadchurch is back in production, but we're remaining tight-lipped about how the story develops," said ITV's director of drama, Steve November. "Suffice to say Chris has delivered as always and the scripts are just as exciting as the first series."
"The reaction to Broadchurch from UK viewers has been incredible," added executive producer Jane Featherstone, "so we'd like viewers to enjoy the new series knowing as little as possible about what's to come and for the story to unfold in real time."
James Strong – who directed five episodes of series one – will also return to direct the first two instalments of the new series when filming begins in Dorset shortly. There is no word yet on whether fellow cast members Pauline Quirke, Charlotte Beaumont, Vicky McClure or Will Mellor will reprise their roles.
While it was anticipated that Colman would return to the award-winning drama, Tennant's participation had been under question after he signed up to star in the show's US remake Gracepoint opposite Breaking Bad star Anna Gunn. In the British version, his character was last seen suffering a heart attack and looked so worse for wear that Chibnall recently hinted to RadioTimes.com that his days might be numbered.
Meanwhile, Colman's DS Ellie Miller had her life ripped apart during the series finale after it emerged her husband Joe was responsible for Danny Latimer's death.
The first series of Broadchurch aired on ITV last spring and quickly gripped the nation, becoming one of the most-watched TV dramas of the year and pulling in over 9 million viewers during its series finale. The commission of a second series was revealed to fans following the final broadcast when the words "Broadchurch will return" appeared after the end credits.
Watch our interview with Broadchurch star Olivia Colman below...