Sherlock: Martin Freeman’s girlfriend, star of Mr Selfridge Amanda Abbington, joins cast for series 3!

by Anna Howell

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Amanda Abbington, the partner of current Sherlock star Martin Freeman, has reportedly joined the cast of the hit BBC detective series.

The actress, whose most recent role was that of Miss Mardle in the hugely popular ITV period drama Mr Selfridge, has been seeing Freeman, who shot to fame playing Tim in Ricky Gervais’ smash sitcom The Office, since they first met on the set of Only Men back in 2010, and has two children by him.

And it would seem that after 13 years the pair are still as happy to work alongside each other as fans of Sherlock have taken pictures of Abbington filming the first episode of the much-anticipated third series with Benedict Cumberbatch.

According to Digital Spy the actress was spotted filming a scene for the episode, entitled The Empty Hearse, running to a bonfire with Sherlock.

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Sherlock showrunner, Mark Gattis, who also stars as Mycroft Holmes in the BBC adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories recently took to social networking site, Twitter, to announce that the first instalment of series 3 will be called The Empty Hearse, we assume in reference to Sherlock’s hoax death at the end of series two, tweeting:

‘Exclusive! Ep 1 will be called ‘The Empty Hearse’. The game is on! #Sherlock

Gattis tweeted the news to followers along with a picture of a clapperboard from filming, revealing that the director of this episode will be Jeremy Lovering.

The Empty Hearse is to be based on the original Conan-Doyle novel, ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’, and will introduce new Sherlock villain Sebastian Moran.

Gatiss previously said of the first new episode: “There’s certain things about ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’ which feel set in stone because that’s how Sherlock comes back, but at the same time we feel free to invent and to introduce new stuff to it.”

Abbington’s other TV credits include Doc Martin and Being Human.