Three of the Merlin Knights – Rupert Young ♥ (Sir Leon), Tom Hopper (Sir Percival) and Adetomiwa Edun (Sir Elyan) – attended the MCM Expo fan convention in Birmingham on Saturday 31 March. They were available for autographs much of the day, offered photo opportunities, and took part in a short panel. And Julie was lucky enough to be there!
I arrived a bit before 11, and the autograph queue was already in full swing. So I queued… Rupert was the first on the table. He was his usual delightful self. I complimented him on his recent turn as Prince Albert in The Charles Dickens Show on BBC2. (I have a bit of a thing for Prince Albert, so this was guaranteed to make me swoon.) Rupert seemed rather relieved when I assured him I hadn’t actually stayed up to watch the original broadcast at 3:30am, but instead caught it on iPlayer. He knew I’d be interested that it was directed by Metin Huseyin, who also directed three episodes of Merlin in 2009.
Rupert asked if I’d be going to Pierrefonds this year, and I said yes. Tom was next along the table, and he picked up on the Pierrefonds thing. I confirmed I’d be there, and apologised if he found it a bit of a pain. Tom kindly replied that he enjoyed us being there, and said he likes chatting to people. But he went on to add that that’s partly because the knights have so much more spare time than Colin or Bradley. I thanked him, and I also thanked him and his girlfriend Laura for their tweets. I said it was a lot of fun to follow them. He seemed pleased, and said, ‘We try!’ [to be fun].
So then it was my turn with Adetomiwa. I asked him what I should call him, because I’ve seen him referred to as both Tommy and Ade. He said, ‘Tomiwa.’ Which is totally cool; I love how he says it. I said I’d very much enjoyed seeing his Romeo and Juliet on DVD, which was originally performed at The Globe. It’s the Shakespeare play I’m most familiar with, and I was well impressed! He said they’d filmed it on the hottest day ever, and he’d just been dripping… and then apologised for providing such a horrible image. I laughed, and said it [suffering from the heat] hadn’t shown.
And then there was the official photo opportunities. For a certain amount of money you could have your photo taken with the knight of your choice, or the group. I went with one of Rupert and then one with the three of them. Here’s my group shot – which I include here more for the sake of the three gorgeous men. Aren’t they adorable? You’ll understand why I have a rather wicked look on my face…
My friends and I headed for the panel session, and secured good seats. While we were sitting there, Bethan texted me that MCM Expo had tweeted a photo of me and the knights! How cool was that! We all got out our BlackBerrys and had a good look! LOL. I thought that was pretty awesome. They could have gone with someone a bit more photogenic!
Then the panel started, and the knights were lovely – answering the questions, and filling in the pauses with more info and banter. They were in fine form, and it’s a great pity the panel was cut short.
I didn’t get many good photos, I’m afraid, but here’s one of each of them!
To be honest, I don’t remember all that much about the questions and answers. Other than a few lovely details. They were asked what it was like to work with Richard Wilson and Anthony Head. They talked about the honour of working with these experienced actors, and learning from them. Rupert added that he felt Richard and Tony had really helped create the friendly nature of the set. I thought that was awesome, that they had shown leadership in such a worthwhile way, and that Rupert both recognised and valued it.
[And you can tell what a Rupert!fan I am by the fact that it was Tom who actually raised that lovely idea, though I think Rupert was following up on it when the panel was wound up early. Sorry, Tom.]
They were asked when they first got into acting. Rupert answered he’d been acting professionally for the last 9 years, since leaving drama school. Then he added that he’d really started when he was 5, and he played a donkey in a school play, and ‘I thought I was very good!’ LOL! Isn’t that adorable?
I got to ask the last question. Strangely enough, it was for Rupert! I said he had a really beautiful singing voice, and did he want to concentrate on his acting, or pursue both, or…? He said he’d like to pursue both, and combine them as he’d done with Company. Tomiwa chipped in and said that Merlin should really do a musical epsiode, like they do on Scrubs. I’m sure you all realise how on board I am with that idea!
And then that was that… The knights went off to do some more autographs, and we headed for our trains.
I really couldn’t have had a lovelier day! All three of these men are very personable, friendly, kind, and funny. They’re certainly very approachable, and ready to make an effort to ensure you feel you’ve genuinely engaged with them. If you get the chance to meet any of these guys, or see them in action, I hope you’ll do so. I can pretty much promise you that you won’t regret it!