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Gay Times October 11 - Issue 398


Darren Scott on why you’d be mad to underestimate the magic of Merlin.

The medieval fantasy adventure that’s been bewitching us since 2008 is one of Britain’s biggest telly exports. It’s seen in 183 countries – out of 196 that buy television programmes. That’s bigger than Doctor Who (apparently the only show that outsells Merlin is Midsomer Murders. Go figure.)
Also, it’s ridiculously homoerotic. In fact, we’d go so far as to guess that the writers play up to it. The fans certainly lap it up – their response at a recent press event was utter joy whenever there was a hint of a more than platonic relationship between Prince Arthur (Bradley James) and his young wizard servant Merlin (Colin Morgan).
Now, we’ve gone all over the place chasing the boys (and sometimes the girls, that Morgana is a right camp one) from Merlin. We’ve been to launches in London, wielded weapons in Wales and frolicked in France over the years (the actual castle from Merlin – which we took great pleasure in mincing around – is the Chateau de Pierrefonds in France) but today we’re underground in a ye olde fashioned medieval banquet hall.
There are three of the Knights of Camelot extremely keen to get their kit off as soon as they arrive. It’s not for any exciting reason, they just want to be able to eat something. See, even with bodies like these they’re as conscious as the rest of us.
The last series upped its game – the CGI was bigger, the effects better, Morgana turned evil and the not in any way unattractive knights of Camelot joined forces to save the day in the season finale.
Now Rupert Young (Sir Leon), Eoin Macken (Gwaine) and Tom Hopper (Sir Percival) all return for the fourth series which sees you right through until Christmas Eve – and what’s more magical than that?
Oh. Probably seeing Tom strip to his Armani briefs. Silence literally falls on the shoot.
We only notice because the rest of the time they’re larking around, laughing and trying to put each other off.
Rupert’s the joker. The photographer asks which character he plays.
“Character?” he replies. “I’m not in Merlin. I was just standing outside… I was coming in for a meal.”
Eoin (pronounced Owen) is a former model for Abercrombie and Fitch, so he’s got the hair flips down to a tee, and Tom’s graced our cover before – he knows where we’re going with this...

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