The BBC has announced that the current fifth season of its Saturday evening fantasy-drama Merlin will be the last, and the show will end with a two-part finale.

Co-creators and executive producers, Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, said: "This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot.

"We'd like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, FME (Fremantle Media Enterprises) and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series.

"But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin's remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe."

Armagh actor Colin Morgan, who plays the lead role, added: "From the beginning this was always going to be a five-year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course.

"The show has grown and grown each year and now we've arrived at its strongest point and we've achieved what we set out to do...

"I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!"