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Sherlock stars set to perform same Shakespeare role

TV's Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Dr Watson, Martin Freeman, have both been cast in the play's lead role. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire and Ian West/PA Wire

Sherlock co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman look set to deliver rivaling portrayals of Shakespeare's Richard III on screen and stage.

Cumberbatch has been confirmed as the bard's king in BBC Two's second series of Shakespeare's History plays, two days after it emerged Freeman had landed the same role in the West End.

The Hobbit is most pirated film of 2013

British actor Martin Freeman played Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. Credit: PA

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the most pirated film of 2013, according to filesharing news site TorrentFreak.

The Peter Jackson-directed movie was downloaded 8.4 million times last year, the site said.

Film site Box Office Mojo estimates it grossed around £618m worldwide from a budget of up to £180m.

Django Unchained (8.1m downloads), Fast and Furious 6 (7.9m), Iron Man 3 (7.6m) and Silver Linings Playbook (7.5m) make up the rest of the top five.

TorrentFreak notes that the download figures do not include internet users who streamed the films and so the piracy totals will likely be "significantly higher".

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Sherlock cliffhanger to be solved on New Year's Day

One of television's biggest cliffhangers since who shot JR? will be solved on New Year's Day when millions of Sherlock fans find out how the master detective survived his rooftop leap at the end of the last series.

Fans tuning in to the last series saw Benedict Cumberbatch's character seemingly lying dead on the pavement after tumbling from the top of a building, before resurfacing very much alive and watching over his own grave.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will star in the new series of Sherlock. Credit: Press Association

Since the episode, fans of the show have been debating online how Sherlock was able to fake his own death.

The show's co-creator, Steven Moffat, said making up theories is "much more fun than being told" and his partner on the show, Mark Gatiss, admitted the hype from the fans put pressure on them to come up with a suitable solution.

He said: "We knew right from the start how we were going to do it.

"But we had absolutely no idea it would take on the epic proportions it has so that really by the time we came to actually do it we really had to address the fact it had become so huge and there are only so many ways you can jump off a building onto the pavement."

Sherlock will be screened on BBC 1 at 9pm.

Martin Freeman 'not surprised' Hobbit is not nominated

Martin Freeman has said he is not surprised that Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of The Hobbit has not received any Bafta nominations.

The English actor is part of the team nominated in the Short Film category for The Voorman Problem - the story of a prisoner who believes he is God.