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Merlin Series Four Confirmed

But it’s only 10 episodes long

The BBC has commissioned a fourth series of Merlin , it was confirmed today, but only for 10 episodes, rather than the usual 13.

Ben Stephenson, Controller Drama Commissioning, said: “ Merlin continues to perform outstandingly well against X Factor and offers audiences an alternative treat on Saturday nights. I’m pleased to confirm that the magical world of Camelot will be returning next year for a fourth series of this fresh and modern retelling of a classic British legend.”

Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, executive producers for Shine TV, added: “We are both delighted with the continuing success of Merlin , and relish the chance to take the series to the next level with the long-awaited arrival of the Knights of the Round Table."

The new ten-part series will start filming in March 2011. And while the reasons for cutting the episode order are unclear (perhaps they’re forward planning how they’re going to fit it into the schedules alongside Doctor Who ’s second set of 2011 episodes next autumn/winter) there’s not too much to worry about. They can just chop out the three “comedy” episodes they insist on doing every year…