It’s no picnic putting the BBC’s Merlin together, as David Wigg discovered when he met the stars on set in the soggy Welsh countryside

The legendary kingdom of Camelot has undoubtedly seen darker days, but probably not wetter.

We are on location in Wales, filming scenes for BBC1’s Merlin, which returns for a fifth series tonight, and the cast is ankle-deep in swamp water, slogging and sliding through thick mud.

It can only be a matter of minutes before the chain mail armour, worn in such proud defiance by King Arthur’s brave knights, turns to rust.

‘This will go on record as everyone’s least favourite day,’ mutters Colin Morgan, who plays the young wizard. He’s soaked to the skin and if magic hadn’t been declared unlawful by the king’s father, he would undoubtedly be casting a spell to bring on a heatwave.

Angel Coulby, who plays Queen Guinevere, recalls how they had to film in a disused lime quarry at Trefil, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Gwent, 400m above sea level.

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