Sherlock fans will be relieved to hear Benedict Cumberbatch has said he will continue playing the crime detective as long he is being challenged by the role.

Speaking to USA Today about the conclusion of series three Stateside, the 37-year-old actor has revealed he will stay with the show as long as the title character continues to develop.

He said: "I'll keep doing it as long as [Sherlock grows], as long as I feel he's developing and there's stuff we're all being challenged by and that it's being loyal to the original stories as well."

Cumberbatch also credited the success of Sherlock with giving him many exciting career opportunities.

He said: "[The show has] done a lot. I won't say it's changed my life, because I had a huge break at the same time as this role first came to fruition."

"It was a sort of perfect storm of all mediums coming together at the same time, television, film and theater, even some radio."