Mere seconds after Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc announced the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2016 in the show's final last night, the BBC took advantage of the many viewers who would be watching and aired a teaser trailer for the long-awaited fourth series of Sherlock. Most of the footage in the new clip has already been seen but it did confirm one exciting thing; the show will finally return on New Year's Day 2017.

While the sneak peek made everyone aware of the series' premiere date, the BBC had shared it hours before on Twitter, alongside an image of Sherlock's violin. In the accompanying tweet, the BBC also revealed that the first episode will be called The Six Thatchers.

Just like previous series, the fourth outing will feature just three episodes. The second episode in the upcoming season is titled The Lying Detective, while the third episode's is currently unknown.

Those familiar with author Arthur Conan Doyle's work are sure to realise that The Six Thatchers will likely be a play on one of his stories: The Six Napoleons. However, the phrase has also been linked to the show in another way, having been the name of a case that appeared on The Personal Blog of Dr. John Watson, which is an official website that publishes material to coincide with the television series.

As for the new clip, it pretty much echoes all that was shown in a teaser revealed at San Diego Comic Con earlier this year. It sees brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) not only struggling with the idea that Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) may have survived his suicide and has returned to cause trouble for him once again, but also his inner demons and problems with substance abuse too, which were explored in series three. Mark Gatiss, who plays Holmes' brother Mycroft, Amanda Abbington, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey and Martin Freeman can be seen reprising their roles in the video too.

Sherlock series 4
Fans will finally see hit BBC show Sherlock return for its fourth series on New Year's Day 2017 - almost three years after series three concluded BBC / YouTube

It's been three whole years since Sherlock's third season ended so it seems pretty safe to assume that millions of viewers – both in the US and the UK – will be tuning in to see the super sleuth return on 1 January 2017.

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