The Crown series five filming is halted as eight crew members test positive for coronavirus… days after Blair family were first seen on set

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 Crown has become the latest victim of Covid (pictured: Lydia Leonard and Bertie Carvel)

Pictured: Tony Blair casts his vote in the 1997 Election at the Community Centre in Trimdon Colliery alongside his family

But before the cameras were switched off until the New Year, the Blair family made their bow – with Tony portrayed by an actor who once played Nick Clegg and Cherie by an actress who appeared onstage as Jackie Onassis.

Pictures obtained by the Mail show Bertie Carvel and Lydia Leonard as the Blairs, recreating polling day in the 1997 election that swept Labour to power. 

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

Bertie, 44, 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.

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.

Bertie Carvel (left) one of this country’s most acclaimed actors, is to portray Tony Blair in The Crown. Pictured right: Prime Minister Blair speaking after death of Princess Diana in 1997

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

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.

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.

‘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.’

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