Hit historical drama The Crown's fifth season is now available on Netflix, with the series having seen another major cast shake-up this time around.


The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the rest of the royals have all been recast, with Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce and Dominic West taking over the roles formerly held by Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Josh O'Connor.

This season also introduces us to a host of new characters, including journalist Martin Bashir and father and son Mohamed Al-Fayed and Dodi Fayed. But just who was Dodi and who plays him in The Crown season 5?

Read on for everything you need to know about Dodi Fayed.

Who was Dodi Fayed?

Dodi Fayed
Dodi Fayed Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis via Getty Images

Dodi Fayed was the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the Egyptian businessman who went on to buy Harrods department store and Fulham football club amongst other ventures.

He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and spent time around the world growing up, before being given a flat in Mayfair, London at age 15. He spent time working in the United Arab Emirates air force before going on to become a film financier.

He raised finance for films including Chariots of Fire and the Steven Spielberg film Hook and is credited as an executive producer on them.

Fayed married model Suzanne Gregard in 1986, but they broke up eight months later and became known as something of a 'playboy'.

He then met Diana in 1986, reportedly at a polo match in Windsor, but it was in 1997 that they got to know each other when she was reportedly invited to spend time on Mohamed's yacht, the Jonkial.

Later that year they took a trip to Paris together, where they tragically both died in a car accident on 31st August 1997.

Who plays Dodi Fayed in The Crown season 5?

Khalid Abdalla
Khalid Abdalla David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky Arts

Dodi Fayed is played in The Crown season 5 by Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian-British actor best known for his role in the film United 93.

Abdalla has also appeared in other films including The Kite Runner, Green Zone, The Square and Assassin's Creed, and series such as Hanna and Moon Knight.

What has Khalid Abdalla said about playing Dodi Fayed in The Crown?

Khalid Abdalla
Khalid Abdalla David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Netflix

Abdalla revealed that he was cast 10 months before filming and spent that time going "Oh my God, I'm going to be playing Dodi Fayed".

He said: "There was a huge responsibility and a huge sense of privilege of stepping into this figure who all of us have heard about for the last twenty five years but pretty much know nothing about."

Abdalla explained: If you're speaking about Dodi in particular, all you get is one adjective: 'Playboy'. That's it. Imagine if your entire life has been reduced to an adjective? That’s part of the reason, when I was first approached for the role, I was like, 'What, really? Me? I'm not sure, I don't – that adjective doesn't work.'

"But then of course you enter his real story and you find out how much more fascinating it is, how rich, how moving, and – from an actor's perspective – how much there is to live up to in it, and what I hope is a kind of resolution.

"It's a return of dignity. At the end of the day, he's someone who died who wasn't really mourned. He wasn't really known. And there are very big and important questions for all of us about that."

Abdalla gave "credit" to Peter Morgan and those working on The Crown for giving the storyline of the Fayeds "equal respect".

He continued: "I believe that there is a big cultural wound for anyone who has followed the story. If he had died now the media treatment of his death would be given a different space.

"There's no doubt in my mind about that and part of what we're doing, I feel, is gentle work to heal that wound, to give a gesture of respect that really should have been given at the time."

The Crown seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix now. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.


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