The Durrells will return for a fourth series on ITV

ITV has re-commissioned the beloved family drama starring Keeley Hawes and Josh O'Connor

The Durrells S3

Good news for fans of The Durrells: ITV has announced that the period drama is getting a fourth series, with filming set to begin in Corfu later this year.

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Line of Duty actress Keeley Hawes will return as English widow and matriarch Louisa Durrell for a new six-part series, alongside her wayward on-screen kids Lawrence (John O’Connor), Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), Margo (Daisy Watersone) and Gerald (Milo Parker).

Written by Bafta-nominee Simon Nye, the drama is based on the memoirs of conservationist and animal-lover Gerald Durrell about his childhood in 1930s Corfu.

Greek actor Alexis Georgoulis will also be back as taxi-driver (and love interest) Spiros – although the future of his relationship with “Mrs Durrells” looks uncertain.

The two finally declared their feelings for one another in the dramatic conclusion of series three, but after Spiros’s wife returned to him with their children he felt compelled to end his budding relationship.

Will they be able to return to their friendship or will they rekindle the romance? Speaking to RadioTimes.com for the series finale, Nye would only say: “They’re still together on the island, and who knows what the future is.”

The Durrells - Louisa and Spiro

At the time, Nye said he was keen to make a fourth instalment – but hadn’t get been given the go-ahead.

“We’re still waiting,” he said. “Obviously the viewing figures have been pretty good, and there’s been a lot of love for the show, so I’m hopeful. But we don’t assume anything. I was commissioned to write two episodes for the new series a long time ago, so if the call comes…”

The call came.

Sally Woodward Gentle, founder of production company Sid Gentle Films Ltd, said in a statement: “We couldn’t be more delighted to be making more of The Durrells with our exceptional team and on the magical island of Corfu – it is a dream come true.”

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ITV’s Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea added: “The Durrells has proven immensely popular with viewers and critics alike, so we’re thrilled to have commissioned another series. Simon Nye’s writing is witty, big-hearted and hugely engaging, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the fourth series has in store.”