Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bradley James promises exciting stories ahead,

AS magical drama Merlin heads towards the finale of its third series this coming Saturday, actor Bradley James - who plays Prince Arthur - says there are still many exciting stories to tell.

Bradley - who says his own hero is his mum and admits he relies on his youthful metabolism to stay in shape for the numerous shirtless shots - also rejects any criticism that the title of the show may not be the right name for an ensemble piece.

He said: "Naturally, telling the story through the eyes of one character restricts the development of the story, but Colin does such a great job of taking the audience through Merlin's experiences that it works for the premise of this show and justifies the title.

"Because we're telling the story of the pre-amble to the legend, the title works but any further on and you would be missing the point."

He said working on Merlin had been "a great learning experience", adding: "Great atmosphere on set, down to a fantastic crew who are all up for it and the great guests who are brought in. I always say the best thing about doing the show is meeting, working with and learning from all the different and brilliant guests who enhance the show."

And asked how long he believes the series will continue, he says: "Well, there's still lots of exciting stories to cover. We are given an endless supply of excellence. I've been most excited by the arrival of Arthur's future Knights of the Round Table."

The BBC has confirmed a fourth series, commissioning ten more episodes which are likely to air in early 2012.

The reduction in the number of episodes is financially motivated, according to executive producer Julian Murphy, who explained: "Merlin is an expensive show and what we are not prepared to do is cut its budget or production values. The BBC has had a really tough [financial] hit."

Murphy also revealed that discussions are under way about a fifth series.