TOP TV detective drama Lewis is back and will be filmed in Oxford next month after an eighth series was commissioned by ITV.

Actors Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox return to the drama, which started in 2006, as detectives Robbie Lewis and James Hathaway.

In 2012, Mr Fox said the seventh series of Lewis would be the last because he and Mr Whately wanted to focus on other projects.

But the stars have been signed up for six new one-hour episodes set amid the dreaming spires of Oxford.

ITV’s director of drama Steve November said: “Viewers have a great deal of respect for Inspector Lewis and a huge loyalty to Kevin Whately.

“Together with Laurence, he has forged a formidable partnership and we’re delighted to have them back on ITV.”

Executive producer Michele Buck added: “Lewis has a special place in the hearts of the ITV audience.

“Each story is intriguing and complex and viewers relish the fine writing, acting and excellent production values.”

Morse creator Colin Dexter, who lives in Oxford, will continue as a consultant on all aspects of production.

The final scene of the seventh series of Lewis mimicked the last scene of its predecessor Inspector Morse – both of which were filmed in the beer garden at The Victoria Arms in Old Marston.

Pub manager Joe Caudle said: “I think that it is great that they are going to be doing another series.

“We were very honoured that we got the opportunity to help.

“With Inspector Morse and Lewis filmed here we do get a lot of people coming in and looking at the photos and sitting in the same place as the characters.”

He added: “We would like to get Endeavour (the Morse prequel) here to get the full set.”

Experience Oxfordshire chief executive Giles Ingram said: “It is extremely good news for tourism in Oxford.

“We see visitors from across the globe coming not just for big films like Harry Potter but TV as well.”

He added: “Within the visitor information centre we run walking tours for Morse and Lewis and they have been very popular for a very long time.”

Director Nick Renton will direct the first two-part drama entitled Entry Wounds. Details of where in Oxford it will be filmed have not been revealed.