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.