http://www.express.co.uk/news/showb...-in-the-back-of-a-hearse-in-live-London-stunt FANS of Sherlock were finally given a release date for the third series of the show today, but they may not have been expecting to receive the news in such dramatic form. The start date of Sherlock Series 3 was revealed in the back of a hearse today The start date of Sherlock Series 3 was revealed in the back of a hearse today [PA] please log in to view this image In a live stunt by the BBC, an empty hearse was pictured carrying a floral tribute with the broadcast date for the new episode of Sherlock as it was driven around London. As a man drove the black vehicle around the Capital, heads turned to read the flowers as well a sign in the driver's window which read '#SHERLOCKLIVES'. It was certainly one way to get viewer's attention, rather than just reveal the date via Twitter, but it wasn't long before fans took to the social networking site to express their excitement. sherlock, series 3, benedict cumberbatch, martin freeman, new years day, funeral hearse, live stunt Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Sherlock in series three [FLYNET] Most were delighted at the fact that they only had a matter of weeks to wait until the new series kicked off. Episode one 'The Empty Hearse' will air on January 1 and BBC One have also confirmed that episode 2 will air on Sunday January 5 and episode 3 on Sunday January 12. News of the live publicity stunt was first hinted at last night when the show's producer Sue Vertue posted a mysterious message which read: "Keep your eyes peeled in the morning rush hour and pay your respects." The hearse was spotted outside the hospital of Sherlock's apparent demise on Gower Street at 9.30am this morning, and from there on fans knew that January 1 would be the date that they'd finally find out what happened to the detective. sherlock, series 3, benedict cumberbatch, martin freeman, new years day, funeral hearse, live stuntA few teaser pictures have been released of Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman [BBC] The second season of Sherlock ended earlier this year where Benedict Cumberbatch's character was seen falling from the roof of St Bart's Hospital and was laid to rest, but it seems that he may not be dead after all. Speculation over what had really happened to Sherlock began when a teaser trailer for season three was released in August and showed Sherlock alive and well whilst watching over his own grave as his sidekick John Watson mourned him. As well as the return of Sherlock, there will also be a new villain in series three who will be played by 'The Killing' star Lars Mikkelson. He is said to have taken on the role of the "terrifying" Charles Augustus Magnussen.