Hit HBO series The Sopranos concluded in the US last night after six seasons and 86 episodes.

Trailers in the build-up to the final nine-episode run hinted at the imminent death of central character Tony Soprano, but instead the series ended with the typical concluding meal scene.

Tony, with his wife Carmella and their children AJ and Meadow, sat in a diner surrounded by the kind of characters you expect to suddenly leap up and unleash a hail of bullets, but instead the series finished with uncertainties.

The Sopranos has been one of the most successful US dramas in TV history and has walked away with a truckload of Emmys and Golden Globes in its time on HBO.

It depicts a New Jersey crime family headed by Tony and his gang of troubled killers who rule over whole districts under the cover of a 'waste management' company.

But the main draw of the show was Tony's family life and the difficulties he faced with his mother, his kids and contract killings over late security payments.

Played by James Gandolfini, Tony's character provided a prime example of the perfect anti-hero, breaking down in front of his psychiatrist at the same time as cheating on his wife and ordering murders.

Series six will be shown on Channel 4 this summer, starting on August 31st at 22:00 BST.

11/06/2007 11:04:20