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Luther star Idris Elba has admitted that the new series of the show is so dark that even he was spooked out by it.

The actor, who returns to screens as troubled DCI John Luther on July 2, will immediately be plunged into an episode involving an internet tormentor and a copycat killer inspired by a string of unsolved murders.

And viewers could well find their own nerves tested by the violent episode – particularly by one very bloody moment involving a food mixer.

“This season has been a real struggle for me, my personal life has been so much darker when I get home than ever before,” Idris admitted. “It’s harder to shake off.

“There’s a man that’s hanging from a tree and I have to try and take him down and that actually happens to Idris the actor. That stuck with me.”

The new series also features the return of Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), the research scientist and psychopath who Luther investigated for killing her parents in series one – then helped to escape from a mental asylum at the end of series two.

He hinted that there could be a few surprises in store when she makes her comeback.

“She has a very specific job that she does in this season – we get the sense that she’s been away and she’s definitely back!” Idris revealed.

 “I don’t want to give away too much but it’s great having Ruth Wilson, she’s a great great actress and a great mate and she just does so much justice to that character and I think it’s more popular than the main character!”