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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Can you keep a secret..? The magic is back! Merlin returns to Saturday nights on BBC One

Merlin and the Great Dragon (image from series one)

Spellbinding Saturday night family drama series Merlin returns to BBC One this autumn with more magic, mystery, adventure and romance as the young wizard struggles to keep his powers secret in the ever more perilous world of Camelot.

Having enchanted audiences of more than 6.3 million in its inaugural series, Merlin returns with bigger and bolder ambitions for its second season – with a host of big-name guest stars joining the popular regular cast to enthral audiences over the 13-week run.

Mackenzie Crook (Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Office) is announced to guest-star in the opening episode as the creepy Cedric, who is determined to muscle in on Merlin's position as Arthur's right-hand-man – much to Merlin's frustration.

Sarah Parish (Mistresses, Cutting It) will play a disgusting troll masquerading as the beautiful Lady Catrina; Adrian Lester (Hustle, Bonekickers) is the devious Myror; Charles Dance (Bleak House, Gosford Park) will guest-star as Aredian, the sinister Witchfinder; and Santiago Cabrera (Heroes) returns as the dashing Lancelot.

Further guest stars will be announced at a later date.

Colin Morgan returns as our secret hero Merlin, who must fulfil his destiny to protect the young Prince Arthur (Bradley James) and the kingdom of Camelot, a place where magic has been banned by the ruthless King Uther (Anthony Head).

Merlin and Arthur's master-servant friendship once again provides many comical moments, as Merlin struggles to keep his magical gifts a secret from Prince and King alike.

They join Katie McGrath as the mesmerising Morgana, the King's ward who has a secret she dare not reveal; Angel Coulby as her loyal maid Gwen, who begins her difficult journey towards becoming the Queen Guinevere of legend; and Richard Wilson as wise Court Physician Gaius.

The inimitable John Hurt returns as the voice of the Great Dragon, the mythical creature imprisoned by the King.

The spectacular CGI effects that bring to life the fantastical world of Camelot and the legendary beings that inhabit it will once again be created by The Mill, the Oscar-winning visual and special effects team behind Gladiator and Doctor Who.

Bethan Jones, Executive Producer for BBC, said: "With its combination of fantasy, humour and adventure Merlin has firmly established itself as a Saturday evening family fixture.

"It's great to be working again with the brilliant Shine team who have put together a thrilling second series."

Johnny Capps, Executive Producer for Shine Television, says: "We're thrilled to be producing another series of Merlin for the BBC.

"It's going to be bigger, bolder and more action-packed than ever, with great new villains, white knuckle fight sequences and hilarious comic fun for the whole family to enjoy."

Merlin is executive produced by the award-winning Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy for Shine Television, with Bethan Jones executive producer for BBC.

Merlin was re-commissioned for a second series by Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, and BBC One Controller Jay Hunt, and has begun filming on location in Wales and France.

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