Good news for Vikings fans today, as the show, which films here in Ireland, has been renewed for a sixth season before the fifth has even kicked off.

The History Channel announced the news today, with production expected to begin on the 20 episode season shortly. It was also announced that series regular Katheryn Winnick will make her directorial debut in Season 6, helming one episode.

Series creator and sole writer Michael Hirst said, "It has been my pleasure and my privilege to work with History and our partner MGM over five seasons and 69 episodes of Vikings. Now we are ready to begin production of a 20 episode season six that will deliver a huge and unexpected revelation to our audience.

"There are many reasons why I love this show, not least for the commitment and creativity of everyone involved in making it, but perhaps even more important is the spirit that drives this production – one of the happiest, most collaborative and most authentic productions I have ever been involved with. And so we sail on."

Executive vice president of programming for History added, "Michael Hirst has only scratched the surface of his epic saga. We look forward to continuing our partnership with one of the greatest writers in this era of Peak TV and entertaining our viewers with 40 new episodes over the next two seasons."

For those waiting on season five, which will see Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers joining the cast full time, the first half will premiere on November 29th, while the second half will air in 2018.