Merlin to be axed after fifth series ends in December

26/11/12

King Arthur and Merlin

The BBC show Merlin will end after the current series.

The programme has been running for five years and pulls in almost seven million viewers in its Saturday evening slot.

The creators say the show, which features a young King Arthur and his wizard servant, will come to a "natural and dramatic end" with a two-part finale.

"I think the show has run its natural course," admits Northern Ireland-born Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin.

"We've arrived at its strongest point and we've achieved what we set out to do."

Newsbeat recently spoke to Bradley James who plays King Arthur about Merlin's future.

"It's always wise to go out on a high and I think we are at a stage where you take it series by series and think do we want to another one or do we want to do something else?"

'Spectacular finale'

The creators of Merlin say this series is where the storylines have reached their peak.

"We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best-known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot."

Richard Wilson plays Merlin's mentor in the show and admits while he is extremely sad the show is ending thinks it is good news for his character.

I think the show has run its natural course. We've arrived at its strongest point and we've achieved what we set out to do
Colin Morgan
Merlin

"Speaking as Gaius I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can. He is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted."

Over the years the programme has had a number of guest stars including Michelle Ryan, Emilia Fox and Mackenzie Crook.

The controller of BBC One says they have ambitious plans for new drama in Merlin's Saturday night slot for 2013.

The next episode of Merlin is on BBC One at 8pm on Saturday 1 December.

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