QUEEN OF CAMELOT! the People Who Sexed Up the Tudors Are Back, Bringing Bond Girl Eva Green with Them. Get Set for a King Arthur the Likes of Which You've Not Seen Before

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Byline: by Tanya Sweeney

THEY'RE the people who put the sex in to the 16 th century, and now the team behind The Tudors is gearing up for another ambitious production here.

Not surprisingly, expectations for new historical drama Camelot -which boasts a huge budget, even bigger stars and countless extras -are running sky-high.

Due to start shooting at the end of the month at Wicklow's Ardmore studios - where The Tudors was filmed - it stars Joseph Fiennes as wizard Merlin, opposite former Bond Girl eva Green's evil sorceress Morgana. The two have already touched down and are busy rehearsing.

Camelot certainly has enough star power to set the small screen alight, but whether the TV series will boast the raunch factor of its predecessor remains to be seen.

For now, industry insiders are saying little about what fans can expect from the historical drama, and so far, pre-production details have been shrouded in mystery. Camelot is expected to be a five-season series, which should mean five years of filming here.

THE PERSONNEL

INDUSTRY heavyweight Morgan o'sullivan, the man behind The Tudors, is at the helm of the production. Given that his other credits include the films ps I Love You and King Arthur, it's safe to assume the project is in safe hands.

His co-producers include James Flynn, who also boasts an impressive track record (King Arthur, Inside I'm Dancing, ps I Love You, ella enchanted), and Douglas Rae and Michael parke, who both worked on RTE's restaurant drama Raw.

Michael hirst, creator and writer of The Tudors, has drawn up the outline for Camelot and written the first four episodes. Also will be on board for screenwriting is Chris on board for screenwriting is Chris Chibnall, whose TV credits include Torchwood, Law & order, Doctor Who and Life on Mars.

The drama will broadcast on u.s. cable station starz, which has exclusive u.s. broadcast rights to Camelot, although it is unclear which english or Irish broadcasters will snap up the series.

Extended casting is currently under way for the drama and is being carried out by Frank and Nuala Moiselle, who previously oversaw the casting for The Tudors.

And with Joan Bergin picking up an emmy award for her sumptuous costumes on that series, it is thought she will look after the wardrobe for Camelot.

The series's makers are thought to have been attracted here by the experienced actors and crew, the scenery - and the tax breaks. hirst said: 'The landscape is perfect for the Arthurian setting.You get a real sense of the Dark Ages in Ireland. I've had such fun working in Ireland and with Irish crews, who are the best in the world. I'm so happy that it looks like we're all back together.

'We are working on Camelot, which we hope to do in more or less the same way at Ardmore. And if we get our own way we'll have the same crew and setup.

'It has been a project I have wanted to do as far as I can remember. In fact, when I was a boy in rural Yorkshire walking to school, something I always wanted to see was a knight in armour coming round a bend, so I might get to see that finally.'

Martin Cullen has welcomed the production of the show. he said: 'Landing a series of this scale is indicative of the quality of Irish film talent, both in front of and behind the camera.'

The adjustments made to the Section 481 tax relief for those wishing to invest in film and television in Ireland - which increase the amount that productions can get a tax break on - have also been a factor in securing this international production.

Mr Cullen added: 'I am sure it will be as successful as The Tudors and will continue to build on the excellent international reputation of Irish film talent. …