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Page 3 Profile: Colin Morgan, actor

He can't be leaving Merlin, surely?

Even worse, I'm afraid. The BBC1 fantasy drama is ending after a Christmas double-bill, meaning this current season will be its last. Merlin has never drawn critical raves, but it has proven consistently popular, bagging upwards of six million viewers every Saturday despite airing at the same time as talent show juggernaut The X-Factor. Understandably, BBC1 bosses weren't overjoyed. "I admire the creators' decision to end Merlin on a high," said BBC1 controller Danny Cohen, "but also know that we will miss it in the BBC1 schedule."

What did Morgan make of it all?

"It's come to its highest point – it's grown and grown each year," the 26-year-old said. "It has become darker, it has become stronger, characters have grown up, the audience has grown up with it and... we want to end on its strongest point. I think we've achieved that." It's unclear just how much he knew about the shock end to the series. Only last month, when questioned about whether Merlin would carry on for several more years, he said: "There are always new avenues you can go down. The legends have lasted for centuries, and they can always be revamped and retold."

What's the real story behind its cancellation?

It's a hard one to fathom. The show, which has been sold to 183 countries, is certainly a money-spinner, and it regularly sits atop the iPlayer rankings. Morgan has drummed up a considerable fanbase, and there were no suggestions that the show's Arthurian adventures and incomprehensible spells were becoming stale. But a few hours after the announcement, the production company behind the show declared that Merlin's executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy would be leaving to start their own business.

Leaving Morgan in the lurch?

He may not need his P45 after all. Murphy said there were "definitely" talks about a movie spin-off, though it's unknown whether Morgan would reprise his role as the wizard. In any case he shouldn't struggle to find work. Prior to Merlin he was a breakout star of the stage, attracting stellar notes for his performance in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic in 2007.

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