Commuters in London were given a shock on Friday morning (29Nov13) when a hearse purportedly carrying the body of Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes was driven through the streets of the city.

The Star Trek Into Darkness actor plays the super-sleuth in U.K. Tv series Sherlock and his character appeared to die at the end of series two.

However, fans of the show have now been assured of Holmes' return after producers carried out a creepy publicity stunt, driving a black hearse around London and parking it in Baker Street - the area where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective was said to live.

Flowers inside the hearse spelled out the name 'Sherlock' and the date 01.01.14, revealing the legendary detective will be back for a third series, which will kick off in the U.K. on New Year's Day (01Jan14).

The publicity stunt caused a furore on

The first episode of the new series is titled The Empty Hearse.