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The Pursuit of Love: the one part of the show that viewers agree on 

Fleabag, His Dark Materials and now The Pursuit of Love - what can't he do?! 

Emmy Griffiths

The Pursuit of Love premiered on BBC One this week, and viewers had a somewhat mixed reaction to the first episode, which stars Lily James and Emily Beecham and best friends Linda and Fanny. 

MORE: Viewers have mixed response to The Pursuit of Love's first episode

The story follows the two women as they pursue love and marriage while on the hunt for an ideal husband, with their friendship being put to the test when they choose very different paths. During their searches for love, Linda befriends Lord Merlin, played by Andrew Scott, who introduces her to Tony - and viewers were full of praise for Andrew's performance in the charming role. 

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One person wrote: "Question: Am I going to watch all of #pursuitoflove just to see Andrew Scott being hot in it? Answer: What do you think?" Another added: "Well Andrew Scott in #pursuitoflove - what can I say? Sublime, especially his first scene.  Loved the book as a teenager and thought this adaptation was true to the spirit. I seem to be in the minority though!" 

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Andrew plays Lord Merlin

A third person tweeted: "Hot Priest and now Lord Merlin. It’s impossible not to love Andrew Scott," while another posted: "I unexpectedly enjoyed every... minute of that. Lily James, Dominic West and Andrew Scott were fantastic, and Le Tigre, New Order and Sleater-Kinney were inspired soundtrack choices." 

MORE: Lily James can totally relate to her 'passionate' role in new drama The Pursuit of Love

MORE: Meet the star-studded cast of BBC's The Pursuit of Love

Speaking about his role to the BBC, Andrew said: "Lord Merlin is a funny, inspiring, brave character. He’s audacious, free with his attitude towards love, life and sex and art. I think we need people like that. We are all concerned with saying the right thing. The real character that Merlin is based upon, Lord Bernard, is very unafraid and unabashed." 

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He added: "Merlin’s costumes! Sinead has done an amazing job. Playing a character like this, he’s so fluid, with his art deco bangles. The 1930s is one of the most stylish periods of all time I think." 

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