News, Culture & Society

The Crown series five filming is halted as eight crew members test positive for coronavirus 

The Crown has become the latest victim of Covid, days after the Blair family were seen on set for the first time. 

Filming of the new series was halted on Wednesday after at least eight crew members tested positive, a source close to the Netflix hit told the Daily Mail.

On Thursday night, Netflix confirmed: ‘The Crown finished filming one day earlier than planned for the Christmas break following a few positive cases.’ 

The coronavirus outbreak on set comes after Bertie Carvel, 44, and Lydia Leonard, 40, were pictured for the first time as Tony Blair and wife Cherie.   

Pictured: The Crown has become the latest victim of Covid, days after the Blair family were seen on set for the first time as they filmed scenes in Kent on Tuesday (pictured Bertie Carvel and Lydia Leonard as Tony Blair and wife Cherie) 

His walk to PM: Tony Blair cast his vote in the 1997 Election at the Community Centre in Trimdon Colliery, Durham alongside his family (pictured left to right; Cherie Blair, daughter Kathryn, sons Nicky and Euan and Tony)

His walk to PM: Tony Blair cast his vote in the 1997 Election at the Community Centre in Trimdon Colliery, Durham alongside his family (pictured left to right; Cherie Blair, daughter Kathryn, sons Nicky and Euan and Tony) 

The actor bore a striking resemblance to the former PM as The Crown filmed the Blairs casting their votes in the 1997 election that swept labour to power. 

It marked a poignant moment as Tony, then 43, became the youngest person to be prime minister since Lord Liverpool became PM aged 42 in 1812. 

The scene, filmed in Kent rather than County Durham, showed Tony and Cherie setting off to vote with their three children; daughter Kathryn and sons Nicky and Euan, in tow.

The cast wore near identical costumes to those that the Blairs wore when walking to the Community Centre in Trimdon Colliery, with Bertie rocking a bouffant wig and red tie. 

The 1997 election saw Labour win by a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote.

PM: Bertie Carvel, 44, (pictured) one of this country's most acclaimed actors, is to portray Tony Blair in The Crown

Pictured: Tony Blair

Spitting image: The cast wore near identical costumes to those that the Blairs wore when walking to the Community Centre in Trimdon Colliery, with Bertie rocking a bouffant wig and red tie 

New role: Lydia transformed into Cherie as she arrived on set in the brown white collared shirt and matching trousers

Poignant moment: Cherie Blair in 1997

New role: Lydia (L) transformed into Cherie (R) as she arrived on set in the brown white collared shirt and matching trousers 

The Crown series 5: coronavirus outbreak on set comes after Bertie, 44, and Lydia, 40, were pictured for the first time as Tony Blair and wife Cherie

The Crown series 5: coronavirus outbreak on set comes after Bertie, 44, and Lydia, 40, were pictured for the first time as Tony Blair and wife Cherie 

It marked a poignant scene as in May of that year Tony Blair, then 43, was the youngest person to become prime minister since Lord Liverpool became prime minister aged 42 in 1812

It marked a poignant scene as in May of that year Tony Blair, then 43, was the youngest person to become prime minister since Lord Liverpool became prime minister aged 42 in 1812

The overall result of the election ended 18 years of Conservative government, in their worst defeat since 1906.   

The party suffered defeat with a loss of 178 seats, despite winning 30.7% of the vote. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown, made a net gain of 28 seats, winning 16.8% of the vote.  

Bertie previously played then Liberal Democrat leader Mr Clegg in the Channel 4 drama Coalition. Lydia, 40, played Jackie O – the widow of assassinated US President John F Kennedy, who married a Greek shipping tycoon – in the 2010 West End play Onassis. 

Remarkable: The 1997 election saw Labour win by a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote

Remarkable: The 1997 election saw Labour win by a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote

The fifth series of The Crown will air next November.

It features Charles and Diana’s marriage split and the lead up to her death.

Stepping in the PM’s seat is Bertie, whose previous roles have ranged from Nick Clegg to Rupert Murdoch to the philandering former husband of TV’s Doctor Foster.   

It is a giant role for the actor, who possesses an uncanny, chameleon-esque ability to disappear into his characters.

The Crown’s creative team have a draft script written by Peter Morgan that explores Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, three months after Blair was elected to No 10 following a landslide victory.

The party suffered defeat with a loss of 178 seats, despite winning 30.7% of the vote. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown, made a net gain of 28 seats, winning 16.8% of the vote

The party suffered defeat with a loss of 178 seats, despite winning 30.7% of the vote. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown, made a net gain of 28 seats, winning 16.8% of the vote

Action: The scene, filmed in Kent rather than County Durham, showed Tony and Cherie setting off to vote with their three children in tow

Action: The scene, filmed in Kent rather than County Durham, showed Tony and Cherie setting off to vote with their three children in tow

Blair famously hailed Diana as 'The People's Princess', while the Queen deemed her death a private matter and was not prepared for the national outpouring of emotion from the public

Blair famously hailed Diana as ‘The People’s Princess’, while the Queen deemed her death a private matter and was not prepared for the national outpouring of emotion from the public

Peter has been very clear that the episode will not show the actual crash. Intriguingly, though, it will explore a different angle from the one depicted in the 2006 film The Queen, which starred Helen Mirren as the monarch and Michael Sheen as Blair.  

Blair famously hailed Diana as ‘The People’s Princess’, while the Queen deemed her death a private matter and was not prepared for the national outpouring of emotion from the public.

The Crown wants to examine more of the constitutional crisis behind the scenes; and how the Queen was said to have felt bullied by her Prime Minister into making a public declaration about Diana.

The Crown wants to examine more of the constitutional crisis behind the scenes; and how the Queen was said to have felt bullied by her Prime Minister into making a public declaration about Diana

The Crown wants to examine more of the constitutional crisis behind the scenes; and how the Queen was said to have felt bullied by her Prime Minister into making a public declaration about Diana

‘We don’t want to go the same route as the film,’ an executive on the production confided. 

‘There are aspects of the clash between the Queen and Blair that haven’t really been aired yet. It’s being so sensitively handled because of Diana’s sons — and the Queen . . . and Charles. Just making it is seen as controversial. And then we have to show it.’

Joining Bertie on set was Lydia who is most well known as the her role as Suranne Jones’ lesbian lover in Gentleman Jack. 

'There are aspects of the clash between the Queen and Blair that haven't really been aired yet. It's being so sensitively handled because of Diana's sons — and the Queen . . . and Charles', Peter previously said

‘There are aspects of the clash between the Queen and Blair that haven’t really been aired yet. It’s being so sensitively handled because of Diana’s sons — and the Queen . . . and Charles’, Peter previously said

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk