Game of Thrones series three returns to Sky in April

Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister in the fantasy series

The third series of Game of Thrones will air on UK television in April, a day after it is shown in the US.

The ten episodes will be based largely on the first half of George R.R. Martin's third book, A Storm of Swords.

Actors including Mackenzie Crook, Paul Kay and Diana Rigg will join the cast.

Existing stars including Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Alfie Allen will all be returning to the drama, as will Peter Dinklage who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.

The creators have said that series three is "the season that we have been anticipating from the very beginning".

Coldplay drummer Will Champion and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody have also confirmed cameos.

Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss also confirmed that the run time of each episode will increase.

They describe it as a "super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords. Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56,57."

Game of Thrones will start on Sky Atlantic at 9pm Monday 1 April