What’s in store for Merlin this series – we’ve heard it’s a little bit more grown-up?
For sure. Until now it’s always been Merlin as a boy and when’s he going to become this great warlock that he’s destined to be and that we know from legend. For the first time we’re seeing that legend – or flashes of it.
Merlin’s so different to who he was when he first came to Camelot: he’s no longer naïve; he’s no longer dependent so much on others; he’s very much thinking for himself. He’s a lot more ruthless - this season he doesn’t hold back.
How old is he now?
Interesting question. Essentially we’re ageless; we’re cartoon characters like The Simpsons, so we don’t change. Hence why I’ve been wearing the same costume since I first arrived in Camelot - that scrubby brown jacket and scarf – and why Merlin has never had to learn to shave.
What’s the average age of your fan?
I think it’s important to grow with your audiences. Merlin definitely started out as a kids’ show – and it’s turned into something that I think is very sophisticated. We meet people in their 20s right up until their 80s. It always surprises me!
What skills have you acquired in the last four years?
Horse-riding is one skill that I’ll be putting on my CV. I learnt for the show and I’m pretty good - but I’m by no means Olympic standard! I think learning to relax and respect the horse is the main thing; they seem to have a sixth sense for people who are nervous…
I’ve got a vivid imagination, too, because Kilgharrah – our dragon – sometimes gets tired, so I have our scenes without him, unfortunately. And Old English. Sadly, Old English chat-up lines don’t go down so well with modern ladies; they tend to run the other way.