Is Morse returning to ITV?

Inspector Morse could be making a return to ITV1 in a prequel to the long-running detective series that ended 11 years ago.

John Thaw played Morse from 1987 until the series ended in 2000.

And it seems that ITV is now keen to explore the detective’s early years studying classics at St John’s College, Oxford, in a one-off drama, after a short story written by creator Colin Dexter appeared in a newspaper.

“ITV came to me and said it would be marvellous if we could do something with those stories,” the author told the Witney Gazette. “I was not terribly enthusiastic at first, but I thought it would be a nice story to tell.”

The final episode of Inspector Morse, in which the detective died of a heart attack, was watched by 12.6 million viewers.

John died in 2002 but the show later spawned the spin-off series Lewis starring Morse’s police sidekick, played by Kevin Whately.

Colin doesn’t know who would play the younger Morse. “I don’t really have any actors in mind who could play him. I have never really had much to do with the casting.”

However, the Guardian reports that the drama has not yet been formally given the green light by ITV.

An ITV spokesperson said: “We think it’s a great idea but the drama hasn’t been commissioned yet.”

If commissioned, the new one-off drama is likely to be broadcast to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first Morse next year.

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