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James Norton will leave Grantchester after fourth series

James Norton (Jonathan Brady/PA)
James Norton (Jonathan Brady/PA)

JAMES NORTON will depart Grantchester after the fourth series, ITV has confirmed.

The actor, who has been tipped as a contender to play James Bond, has starred as the charismatic, crime-fighting clergyman Sidney Chambers in the series based on the novels by James Runcie since it started.

He will return for a fourth series of the programme alongside Robson Green, who plays Detective Geordie Keating, as well as Al Weaver, Tessa Peake-Jones and Kacey Ainsworth.

BAFTA Scotland Awards – Glasgow
Robson Green (Danny Lawson/PA)
Filming on the show, which is a co-production with Masterpiece on PBS in the US, will begin in June in London, Cambridge and Grantchester, and casting of the new vicar arriving in the hamlet will be announced shortly, the broadcaster said.

Diederick Santer, executive producer at production company Kudos, said: “I’m ecstatic that – with Masterpiece and ITV – we are returning to Grantchester with all our favourite characters.

“While I’m sad that these will be James Norton’s final episodes, we will make sure he goes out with a bang.

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“We’ve got exciting plans for where the show is heading and the vicarage won’t be vacant for long.”

Rebecca Eaton, executive producer at Masterpiece, added: “It’s a bittersweet time for Grantchester fans, who will be cheering the return of the series but crushed to say goodbye to James.

“We want to assure them that the series they love will continue with brilliant new episodes and a captivating new vicar.”