David Tennant is ‘right to be worried’ about being killed off in the second series of Broadchurch, the show’s creator Chris Chibnall has teased.

The screenwriter hinted that the actor, who has voiced concerns about his return, may not even reprise his role as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy for ITV’s crime drama, because he may be too busy with the US version, Gracepoint, which will begin shooting in Canada shortly, and his stage work.

“David’s very busy and Alec Hardy, at the end of series one, he was fired from the police, he had a heart problem – I don’t see how you come back. How would that happen?” he told RadioTimes.com.

“He’s [David] right to be worried. He’s a king on the stage, he’s off doing an American show right now I believe, he’s got a lot on his plate.”

Chris also promised ‘a different journey’ for the second series, saying: “The one thing I can promise is we’re not going to start with another dead body on the beach at the start of series two.

“We’re going to go somewhere different, we’re going to go on a different journey, I hope it’s going to be surprising and interesting. That’s the aim.”

He teased that there may not even be a whodunnit, saying: “Who says there’s a murderer?”

Meanwhile, David’s co-star Olivia Colman joked that her character, Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, may also be killed off.

“Maybe. I think I’m in it, but I might be killed off, I might not last the whole… I don’t know,” she said.

Production on the second series of Broadchurch is expected to start this year.