The UK air date for the third season of Sherlock has been confirmed. The hit BBC detective drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will return to BBC1 on New Years Day. The BBC has broken the news via a hearse driving through the streets of London with flowers arranged into "SHERLOCK" and "01 01 14" with the hashtag #sherlocklives printed on the window.

Benedict Cumberbatch [L] and Martin Freeman [R] Are Back For 'Sherlock' Season 3

Naturally, the use of social media has meant that the news has spread quickly throughout the Twittersphere with fans reacting excitedly to the major excitement. The new series will reveal how Sherlock managed to fake his own death after Moriarty forced suicide upon him and whether the villain truly could have died. We're guessing not seeing as Sherlock would be left without his greatest nemesis.

Showrunner Steven Moffat has hinted that the end of the second season brought a "clue everybody's missed." The first of the three new episodes, appropriately titled 'The Empty Hearse,' will air on the 1st January 2014 for another three-part mystery adventure. The second episode will air on the following Sunday, 5 January, with the final outing of the new series on 12 January, according to The Guardian.

Watch The 'Sherlock' Teaser:

Early this year, we were teased with photos showing sets from the first two episodes which were filmed in April and May. Mark Gatiss has written the first episode, whilst the writer of 'The Blind Banker,' Stephen Thompson, scripted the second, 'The Sign of Three,' with Steven Moffat taking responsibility for the final episode, 'His Last Vow.'

Gatiss also alerted fans' attention today when he tweeted "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective. Much missed by friends & family. In *living* memory. Jan 1st 2014! #SherlockLives." The show built up an avid following after debuting in 2010 and series three is likely to be no different with a forecasted audience of 10 million for its January return.