Josh O’Connor reveals the surprising similarities between The Durrells and The Crown

Believe or not, the Windsors are far closer to the Durrells than you may think…

Josh O’Connor plays Larry Durrell in The Durrells

After four years, Josh O’Connor is leaving the sun-drenched island of Corfu, swapping springtime in the sun on The Durrells for a series of stately homes in The Crown.

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With the popular ITV series coming to an end after four series, O’Connor, 28, is leaving Larry behind to play a young Prince Charles in the Netflix biopic.

But leaving the madcap and boisterous Durrells for a place amongst the royal household isn’t such a drastic change as first thought, O’Connor tells RadioTimes.com.

“There’s more similarities than there are differences in many ways. It’s weird to think of the Durrell family as anything like the royal family – though I guess they’ve got corgis,” he joked.

“I think there are similarities in the fact that at the heart of Peter Morgan’s work [in The Crown], you’re looking at conflicts in families and complications between families, which is heightened with the royal family because of pressures from the outside.

“At the heart of The Durrells is a single mother who – at a time where it’s completely absurd what they did – takes her entire family to a Greek Island and start over from scratch. The magic you get from that and the magic you get from The Crown at seeing a family unite and divide and come back together, we can all relate to that.

“It’s the power of this series that we can all relate to these characters.”

But while O’Connor may now be in a more princely role, he still has a soft spot for his Durrells family – calling Corfu his “second home”.

“We all have a strong connection with each other, we’re constantly in touch over WhatsApp,” he said. “We’ll miss the whole of the island but I’m going on holiday there in the summer. As soon as we were finished everyone was sad but I knew I was probably going to go back every year anyway. It’s basically a second home for us.”

The Durrells

The final series of The Durrells, which airs on ITV from Sunday 7th April, sees Larry caught in a quandary as he struggles to reconcile his two conflicting desires.

“At the heart of it for Larry there’s this burning feeling of him wanting to be the father of the house and look after the family, but also wanting to go and explore and discover for himself and write as he does,” O’Connor explained. “That’s the conundrum we’ve got this series.

“We also find he’s seeing two women at the same time – dancers – which is classic Larry.”

While the upcoming series of The Durrells will be the show’s final series, both Keeley Hawes and the show’s producers are keen on doing a spin-off on the family’s further adventures some time in the future.

Although the idea of reuniting with his Durrells family is something that appeals to O’Connor, for now, he’s just proud that he’s been a part of such a well-loved show.

“If anything was to come to it in the future, I think we’d be silly to reject that,” he said. “I can of course see a life for the show beyond this in whatever form that takes.

“But I think we’re celebrating the fact we’re a huge success with beautiful stories written by Simon Nye, incredible directors and an incredible cast.

“For now, we’re just celebrating these four series.”

The Durrells returns to ITV on Sunday 7th April at 8pm


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Josh O’Connor is appearing at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival on Saturday 13th April. For tickets, click here