Following her scene-stealing turn as Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown, Gillian Anderson will be replaced with a new Prime Minister as they head through to the 1990s in the hit show's fifth season.
Netflix has confirmed that actor Johnny Lee Miller has been cast as former Prime Minister John Major. The 48-year-old is best known for his previous roles in Trainspotting - as heroin addict Sick Boy - Hackers and Mansfield Park, as well as playing a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in hit series Elementary. He also received an Olivier Award for his performance in a theatre production of Frankenstein opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
News of Miller's casting was announced via the official Instagram account of The Crown.
John Major, commonly nicknamed "the Grey Man", served as leader of the Conservative party from 1990 to 1997, having previously worked under the Thatcher government as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary. He lost to Tony Blair's Labour party in the 1997 election - one of the largest electoral defeats of all time.
Significant events which took place during his time as Prime Minister, and which may well be featured in the fifth series of The Crown, include the Gulf War, a severe recession, and the reinvigoration of the Northern Ireland peace process. The series will also feature the breakdown of Charles and Diana's marriage, as well as the tragic death of the princess in 1997. The late royal will be played by Elizabeth Debicki in season five.
The entire cast will be replaced for the final fifth and sixth seasons - as is customary with The Crown, in order to realistically portray the royal family as they get older. Imelda Staunton will play the Queen - following in the successful footsteps of Claire Foy and Olivia Colman - while Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip. Olivia Williams will take on the role of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and its widely reported that Dominic West will be stepping into the shoes of Prince Charles.
The fifth season of The Crown is due to air in 2022. The sixth season, which will take the storyline into the early 2000s, will be the show's last.
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