Grantchester series 4 confirmed – but it’s set to be James Norton’s last

ITV has confirmed that the period drama will return for a fourth series, but that the new run "will feature James Norton's final episodes as Sidney Chambers"

James Norton in ITV's Grantchester (ITV, JG)

Good news: Grantchester series four has been confirmed. Bad news: the series will be the last to feature James Norton as crime-fighting vicar Sidney Chambers.

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ITV has confirmed that the period drama will return for a fourth series, but will feature “James Norton’s final episodes as character Sidney Chambers”.

Robson Green will also be back as Detective Geordie Keating, alongside returning cast including Al Weaver, Tessa Peake-Jones and Kacey Ainsworth.

Executive producer Rebecca Eaton called the news “bittersweet” for Grantchester fans, but added that the series would continue with a new vicar.

“It’s a bittersweet time for Grantchester fans, who will be cheering the return of the series but crushed to say goodbye to James,” she said. “We want to assure them that the series they love will continue with brilliant new episodes and a captivating new vicar.”

The new series will begin production in June 2018 in London, Cambridge and, of course, Grantchester itself.

Executive Producer Diederick Santer added, “I’m ecstatic that – with Masterpiece and ITV – we are returning to Grantchester with all our favourite characters. While I’m sad that these will be James Norton’s final episodes, we will make sure he goes out with a bang. We’ve got exciting plans for where the show is heading and the vicarage won’t be vacant for long.”

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Norton recently finished starring in BBC1 drama McMafia.