Everything you need to know about Broadchurch series three

The third and final series of ITV's smash hit drama Broadchurch will air in 2017, and the question on everyone's lips is just how the story of detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) will wrap up. Here's everything you need to know about the highly-anticipated show.

Broadchurch will see the return of Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan as the parents of Danny Latimer, the 11-year-old boy whose murder was the focus of series one, along with Arthur Darville as the town vicar Paul Coates. The actor, who is best known for his role as Rory Williams in Doctor Who, opened up about the new season telling Digital Spy: "This series, I think, is just going to be brilliant. I can't tell you too much about it, but the subject matter of it is really heavy. I loved the second series of Broadchurch - I think it was really necessary to tell that part of the story - but I think this series has more of the feel of the first series." 

Broadchurch's first image shows Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh sat in the background

The show will also welcome several new names including Lenny Henry, Benidorm actor Roy Hudd and Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh, who can be spotted in the first official photo from series three. While Hardy and Miller pose looking into the camera, Julie's character sits in the background while gazing out into the distance. While series two focused on the aftermath of discovering who was responsible for the death of Danny, season three will reportedly return to a crime mystery format, with Miller and Hardy teaming up to investigate a serious sexual assault case. Speaking about the upcoming season, writer Chris Chiball said: "This is the final chapter of Broadchurch. We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters. I hope it's a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me." Although ITV is yet to announce an official airdate, the show is expected to premiere in early 2017 after filming took place in the summer. 

David Tennant and Olivia Coleman will reprise their roles as Hardy and Miller