Geoff of Monmouth? Loudmouth. Chretien de Troyes? Cretin. Malory? Meh. For years I have quested through the misty verbal thickets of our eminent Arthurian authorities, but amongst all the legend's comely ladies and puissant knights, they collectively fail to mention the fairest of them all. Yep, apparently, Merlin was hot. A puppy-eyed, crooked-grinned, bone-fide geek-chic, Benedict Cumberbatch-Jnr-in-a-jerkin stud.
That's right. The cultural highlight of my weekend won't be my newly be-membered trip to the the Tate Modern's hotly tipped Rothko show; or my long-booked front-row seats to see Kenny Branny act all kinds of five stars out of Ivanov. It will be spending an hour watching Giles from Buffy, Victor Meldrew, a couple of starlets who look like Rupert Penry-Jones' kid brother and Keira Knightley's celtic cousin, and the aforementioned thaumaturgical totty, drag each other towards, and then back from, the brink of peril in a hormone-fuelled tug-of-warlock.
Sure, we all hated Robin Hood, with its bumfluffed boy bandit and cardboard castles; but Merlin, BBC1's yoof history successor, is far less nudge-wink, piss-taking Keith Allen clever, and far more good clean fun. And it casts John Hurt as a dragon.
Sigh. Knights, horses, magic, and valiant derring do. Camelot? You bet I do.