Wolf Hall fans will have to wait at least two years before seeing the second instalment of the hit historical drama starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis.

Director Peter Kosminsky revealed at the Radio Times Covers Party that the third book by author Hilary Mantel – provisionally called The Mirror and the Light – will not be finished this year and that the second and final series will not be on air for at least another year.

“She has still got at least a year of writing on the novel and we have to get it adapted which will take quite a while because it’s probably going to be quite a thick book," he said. "It’s not going to be any time soon I’m afraid. Two years down the road I would think, probably.

“Getting that team back together is a challenge [as well]. First of all we have to get Peter Straughan the adaptor to be available and we have to get Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis into a studio together at the same time. They are both international superstars now so it’s going to be quite a challenge but we will do it."

However, Kosminsky said that team was “itching” to get on with the drama and that before Christmas Mantel showed him a short eight-page outline of the new book – the third in the trilogy.

“What’s particular exciting it it’s not, ‘OK, just dramatise the short period of time between Anne Boleyn’s death and Cromwell’s death’. She’s going back in time, she’s going into memory, earlier parts of Cromwell’s life, and so it’s not going to be predictable in any way."

Wolf Hall was a critical and ratings success, attracting nearly 4 million viewers to episode one according to the overnights, making it BBC2's highest ever drama series debut since Rome first aired ten years ago.

See the full interview with Kosminsky here: