Amanda Abbington joins the cast of Sherlock Series 3

Martin Freeman's real-life partner Amanda Abbington has joined the cast of Sherlock Series Three, becoming the first officially named new cast member.

While her character remains a mystery at present, her role is described as someone  'that significantly impacts upon the lives of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes.'

Amanda's character features in S3E1: The Empty Hearse, which is currently filming. There is no word if the character will recur in any other episodes.

News of Amanda's casting was revealed by the BBC One Twitter account, and was retweeted by members of the cast and crew including Mark Gatiss.