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Photos and Video: Treasure hunter Merlin goes for TV gold

08:45 28 August 2013

Merlin Cadogan with some of the gold he has discovered metal detecting in North Devon and abroad.

Merlin Cadogan with some of the gold he has discovered metal detecting in North Devon and abroad.


The escapologist has discovered all sorts on North Devon’s beaches from gold rings to live ammunition, and is now hoping to run a television show on metal detecting.

Merlin’s top finds

• A gold Spanish St Christopher pendant

• A gold ring dating back to between 1849 and 1874

• A cache of live handgun bullets

• An diamond engagement and wedding ring – which he reunited with the owner

• Six pristine half pennies

AN escapologist with a passion for metal detecting could be heading up a new television show on the subject.

Merlin Cadogan, from Northam, is currently filming a Youtube series detailing his treasure hunting adventures with his faithful doggy sidekick, Chewy.

But Merlin’s sponsors Minelab have expressed an interest in the five-part series and his two decades of metal detecting experience, with the possibility of a television show in the pipeline.

Merlin first shot to fame in 2009 when he reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent, and now performs escapology shows around the country.

Merlin with his Minelab Excalibur metal detector on Instow beach. Pic: Graham Hobbs.Merlin with his Minelab Excalibur metal detector on Instow beach. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

But in his down time Merlin takes to the beaches and has discovered hundreds-of-pounds worth of gold in the last year.

“A good session for me is about four-to-five hours, or if I’m wading in the shoreline about three-to-four hours,” said Merlin, who also takes his detector scuba diving.

“I’d love to know the stories behind some of the items I have found and where I can, I try and return them to their owners.

“I’ve found gold rings and necklaces, loads of old pennies and even live ammunition from the war.

“The latest ring I found dates back to between 1849 and 1874 – it was meant to symbolise eternal love but it’s obviously been cut and thrown into the ocean.”

Merlin’s most recent discovery has been a cache of six live 9mm bullets on Instow, which he handed into the police, but it hasn’t all been so exciting.

“I do find a lot of cans and ring-pulls, but I always pick them up,” said Merlin.

“I figure if I’m taking the bad bits then the good bits are my reward.”

You can watch Merlin and his sidekick Chewy discovering ammunition on Instow beach on the video above. To see more photos of Merlin metal detecting, click the gallery on the right of the page.


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