Tony Blair (Photo: Leigh Vogel via Getty Images)
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair has added his voice to the ongoing criticism of The Crown ahead of its long-awaited return.
The Netflix drama is about to debut its fifth season, and now that the events depicted in the award-winning show are inching closer towards the present day, it’s been heavily criticised by many who feel it doesn’t make it clear enough that what viewers see on screen is fictional.
Among The Crown’s more vocal critics has been former PM John Major, played in the new series by Jonny Lee Miller, who took issue with one particular storyline involving him.
The Telegraph has now reported that one additional storyline in the upcoming series will see King Charles, then still the heir to the throne, attempted to recruit newly-appointed PM Blair as an ally shortly after his 1997 election win.
However, the former Labour leader’s representative told the publication: “It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish.”
The cast of The Crown's fifth season (Photo: Keith Bernstein/Netflix)
Blair will be portrayed in The Crown by Bertie Carvel, whose past credits include Doctor Foster, Dalgliesh and the film The Tragedy Of Macbeth.
Interestingly, he previously appeared in an episode of The Crown’s second season, playing journalist Robin Day.
Bertie Carvel will play Tony Blair in the new season of The Crown (Photo: David M. Benett via Getty Images)
A spokesperson for Blair’s predecessor John Major said last month: “Sir John has not cooperated – in any way – with The Crown. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact-check any script material in this or any other series.
“Discussions between the monarch and prime minister are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so.”
They went on to brand one reported storyline involving Major as “nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction” and “a barrel-load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum – and entirely false – dramatic impact”.
Following this, a disclaimer was added to the trailer for season five pointing out it is a fictional drama.
The Crown returns to Netflix on Wednesday 9 November.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.