We already knew that Rupert attended Pangbourne College in Berkshire during the academic years 1991-96, with mentions of his skills in (field) hockey and acting. Delightfully, though, the College has now digitised its annual magazine, The Log, and made it publicly available online – and so we are gifted with some more lovely details about our favourite young man.
If these magazines only provided a few dry facts, I would probably not cross the line and share them here. However, there are a couple of absolutely adorable anecdotes included – and while Rupert earned himself a negative remark or two early on, the whole story ends very happily indeed.
So, in the hopes that no one will mind too much, I hereby present the relevant excerpts.
1991-92, age 13
[The following “Young” may or may not be our Rupert, but chances are that he would have been in the Chapel Choir, and it does feel rather irresistibly like him! There was another student as well as a teacher or housemaster named Young, hence the need for disambiguation.]
The Italian Jobby
What a wonderful idea; combine a choir and brass group tour with a little culture in the company of some Lower Sixth Art Historians. Seduced by thoughts of Vivaldi, Gabrielli and Purcell blending with Botticelli, Brunelleschi and Michelangelo, a troupe of some 47 musicians, culture vultures and camp followers set off for Dover and parts foreign. …
The electric keyboard sounded more like a harpsichord as the evening progressed with La P doing her stuff and McVittie, Young (the thin, beardless, musical variety) and Gummer were in equally fine voice. It was especially good to hear Simpson finally being supported by the tenors he had abused, cajoled and at last convinced to open their mouths when singing and not just when eating.
[That pseudonym is divine in this context. It’s a musical direction meaning “turn the page quickly”.]
The Rugby Club, U 14 ‘B’ XV
After such a successful and enjoyable season it would be more fitting to look back at the players involved with the glory of a happily balanced side than to reflect on the highlights of autumn. …
Now looking forward we see a pack seething with spirit, keen to block, keen to drive, and always keen for ball. In the front row we had a specialist hooker in C. Young (we will not mention fine-outs) who was propped up by two valiant players in R. Young, the captain, and Davidson, both of whom would have preferred to play in the back row. They were very obviously worried about looking like a familiar Scottish biologist but were reassured when told that it took years to end up like him and that one term would do them no harm. …
This [a miracle transformation] is actually true of the whole side. After they had got down to basics and learnt how good discipline can be effective they became a stylishly professional side which deserved the success it enjoyed.
T.J.C.R. / P.G.S.
Source: Twitter, with thanks to Dan!
Alexander Vlahos (the older Mordred in Merlin) posted this to Twitter. They are attending MCM Comic Con in Birmingham this weekend, along with Tom Hopper (Percival) and Asa Butterfiled (the younger Mordred).
Could he be any more adorable…?
Tom Hopper posted this image of the BBC Merlin peeps to Instagram on 18 January 2019. From left to right: our Rupert (Leon); Bradley James (Arthur); Eoin Macken (Gwaine); Tomiwa Edun (Elyan); and Tom (Percival).
Eoin Macken also posted it to Instagram, in black and white:
Bradley also posted the image to Instagram, with the message “You can tell this was taken having just eaten as @tom.hopperhops is smiling. Always a joy getting the squad back together”.
It also appeared on Tomiwa’s Instagram account, with the message, “Gettin’ the band back together. Feel the #magic!”
It was the tenth anniversary since Merlin first aired on BBC One, on 20 September 2018. We were all feeling sentimental – including Bradley James, who Tweeted the above shot of cast and crew at the Chateau de Pierrefonds. Rupert is there in his Sir Leon costume. Bradley said:
10 Years since #Merlin aired for the first time. One of the first things my memory jumps to is great times with our crew. Not all pictured but much missed. Many a laugh shared with a team who became family (and they put up with me for 5 years 🏅)
Bradley also shared the following photo of Arthur and some of the Knights, including Leon, on Instagram.
Just sat round the fire 🔥reminiscing ⚔️🛡🐉🤴🏼. Night all #10YearsofMerlin
Happy Merlin-versary, all!
update: Rupert was interviewed by Chris Daniel for Kapow! to mark the tenth anniversary.
Tom Hopper (Sir Percival) was feeling as sentimental as the rest of us on this, the ninth anniversary of the first episode of Merlin being screened on 20 September 2008.
He posted the above photo on Instagram and waxed lyrical about the “instant brotherhood” formed between Arthur and the knights. Rupert is mentioned as giving Tom “tips on how to drink coffee and chat” – very civilised, is our Sir Rupert! And of course that’s him in Sir Leon’s casual gear in the centre of the photo at Arthur’s right hand.
Tom goes on to say to the Merlin fans, “I can’t thank you enough for the love.”
It’s our pleasure, Tom!
It’s not as creative as the earlier one, but it’s rather more up to date, so it’s all good!