Raunchy period drama Bridgerton will return for a third and fourth series, it has been confirmed.
It has already been announced the Netflix show’s second series – which is set to begin filming in the UK in the spring – will follow the story of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey.
Sex Education star Simone Ashley will play the female lead in Anthony’s story arc, appearing as Kate.
A tweet from Netflix said: “BREAKING NEWS FROM THE TON. Bridgerton is returning for seasons three *AND* four!”
The news follows the announcement Rege-Jean Page, the breakout star of the first series, will not be returning.
The British-Zimbabwean actor, 31, earned critical acclaim – and the status of heartthrob – for his portrayal of the dashing Duke of Hastings, starring opposite Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, Anthony’s younger sister.
Their romance formed the centrepiece of the first series.
Page said it had been a “pleasure and a privilege” to star in Bridgerton.
News of his departure was announced through a special edition of the mysterious narrator Lady Whistledown’s gossipy Society Paper, posted on Instagram.
It said: “While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Rege-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.
“Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear. Yours Truly, Lady Whistledown.”
Bridgerton is produced by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland and has been described as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey.
Rhimes, the showrunner behind medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, tweeted: “Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.”