The Hobbit star Martin Freeman has attacked trolls who targeted his wife after she joined the cast of Sherlock.

The star, who shot to fame as Tim in The Office, said it was ‘ridiculous’ that people tweeted the threats to Amanda Abbington when it was revealed she would play his love interest in the new series.

He told Time Out: “To me, they’re not fans of the show – they’re fans of a show going on their heads. Obviously I love Amanda and I want everyone to react positively to her; she plays a fantastic character and brings a hell of a lot to the third series.”

He also admitted Sherlock’s cast and crew were worried the new series would be an anti-climax after all the speculation about how Holmes faked his own death in the last episode.

The actor said: “There’s something slightly mundane in knowing the truth of a thing. It’s like asking Derren Brown to explain one of the amazing things he does. When he tells you, you’re likely to go, ‘Oh, right, erm…’ I still think it’s going to be satisfying, though. Loads of people have gone to town on how they think it happened – and some of the theories have been quite close. We have some fun with that in the show.”

He also said viewers could ‘safely assume’ there would be more episodes of the hit drama which updates Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of the great detective.