You’re looking very dapper. Is it a relief to be out of the chainmail?
Let’s just say it’s nice to take it off. I wear chainmail day in, day out. Chainmail amplifies your temperature so if it’s hot, you cook, and if it’s cold, you freeze. I wear it for 12 hours a day and by the end…well, you know about it!
What does this series hold for Arthur?
Three years have passed between this series and the last because Camelot has been enjoying prosperity and peace, which isn’t interesting from a dramatic perspective. So Arthur has now been king for four years and knows what he’s doing. But evil is about to rear its ugly head again…
Can you reveal any of the guest stars?
Gary Lewis, who plays Alator, is coming back. In series four he was a red herring: you thought he was bad but he turned out to be good. I was so pleased the first time he turned up on set because I think he’s a fantastic actor.
And we’ve heard a rumour that another familiar face is making a comeback?
Anthony Head? He does. Fans will recall his character died last year so he’s looking a bit paler.
What skills have you acquired in five series of Merlin?
Horse riding, sword-fighting, how to sign my name at the speed of light. When asked for my autograph, I used to take a lot of time over the signature and write a little message. Now I get out of there as quickly as possible! Otherwise they smell fresh mean and suddenly come at you from all sides. It’s like that zombie film, 28 Days Later.