Millions of viewers tuned in to see the last ever episode of Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour.

ITV announced last year that series nine would be the last and the final episode last night was followed by a special documentary, Morse & the last Endeavour.

From the original Inspector Morse series (1987-2000), through to the spin-off Lewis (2006-2015) and Endeavour, which explored the detective’s back story in 1960s an early 1970s Oxford, the story of Inspector Morse has finally come to an end.

The pilot episode of Endeavour was screened in 2012 and attracted 8.2 million viewers and ever since Shaun Evans as Endeavour and Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday - plus a strong supporting cast have kept viewers tuning in.

Janice Troup, head of ITV programme publicity, confirmed that millions of viewers have been tuning in to the final series.

Stroud News and Journal:

She said: "The first episode of Endeavour series 9 - Prelude - which aired on Sunday, February 26, consolidated with an audience of five million viewers. 

"Last night's Endeavour finale - Exeunt - achieved an overnight audience of 3.9 million, with a 24.3% share and a peak audience of 4.3 million.

"This figure will rise during the seven-day ratings consolidation period."

Series one, four and six all got an average UK audience of about seven million viewers, while series seven got 6.8 million viewers.

The TV role of Inspector Morse, first played by John Thaw, is based on the character created by Oxford author Colin Dexter, who had a number of cameo roles in the three series.

Featuring interviews with all the main cast members, the documentary explores the global appeal of this Oxford universe of crime.

Shaun Evans explores the journey he’s taken from bringing the origins of the detective to life to his more recent challenges directing episodes of the series.

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READ AGAIN: When Inspector Morse hit the beat - in pictures

And original Morse star Kevin Whately reflects on the huge effect the hit detective series has had on his career.

As the series was coming to an end, all the cast and crew of Endeavour reflected on the rich appeal of the series set in 1960s and early 1970s Oxford.

Last week viewers were reminded that Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter wrote a clause in his will banning anyone else playing the part of the detective after his death – to prevent future actors 'competing' with John Thaw.

The author died in 2017 and a memorial service was held at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford the following year.

Before he died he made it clear that he did not want any other TV dramas to follow Endeavour in the series - Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour was enough.

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The author said: "We never want to repeat what John has done.

"A lot of people connected with Morse didn’t want anyone coming along to say we will try and outdo dear old John. I said I’m not ever going to allow that, full stop.”