TV detective series Inspector Morse brought thousands of fans to Oxford, then Lewis attracted thousands more.

Now the city’s tourist trade can expect a further boost after ITV bosses commissioned a series of the Morse prequel Endeavour.

A one-off drama starring Shaun Evans as a young Morse and Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday attracted eight million viewers – and rave reviews – when it was shown in January.

Now the pair will feature in four new two-hour episodes, with filming in Oxford over 16 weeks from late summer, before the dramas are shown next year.

Oxford City Council cabinet member for development Colin Cook said: “This is fantastic news.

“People come here, both from other parts of the UK and abroad, to visit the locations they have seen in the Inspector Morse and Lewis films.

“Now people will come because of the Endeavour connections as well. The new series will certainly draw fans in, and I hope the producers can maintain the high quality of the pilot episode.”

Author Colin Dexter, 82, has been asked to act as a consultant on the new series.

He said: “Shaun Evans and Roger Allam are fine actors. Some tourists will now be fans of Endeavour as well as Lewis and if the scripts are intriguing the viewers will keep tuning in.

“I have said that I can’t promise too many more years of fruitful service to ITV but I will certainly offer my advice where I can.

“I have met quite a few Americans already this year who are fans of Lewis – the show has become very popular in the United States.”

The new films will be written by Lewis creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis, produced by Dan McCulloch and executive-produced by Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

Mr Timmer said: “We’re delighted to be making a series of Endeavour and have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the first film.

“Russell Lewis has some bold plans to further enrich the mythology of Morse, introducing some significant new characters, and re-establishing some old favourites, all of whom are destined to have a massive impact on the future inspector’s life.”

Ms Buck added: “It’s important to us that Colin Dexter is across every aspect of Endeavour – we value his contribution enormously.”

The Oxford Mail had a starring role in the pilot’s plot when the crossword clues led to the location of a murder.

The paper is set to feature prominently again with Abigail Thaw, daughter of Morse actor John Thaw, making further appearances as Oxford Mail editor Dorothea Frazil in the new series.

Four new two-hour episodes of Lewis will be screened on ITV in May.