The fifth season of The Crown is now available in full, with many fans having already binged their way through all 10 episodes of the royal drama.

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The new season sees the action move forward into the 1990s, with Prime Minister John Major taking over from Margaret Thatcher.

However, the end of the season also sees the arrival of a new Prime Minister on the scene, who is sure to shake up the show's dynamic in season 6 – Labour's Tony Blair.

But who plays Tony Blair in The Crown season 5, how does he factor into the season and who plays his wife Cherie? Read on for everything you need to know.

Who plays Tony Blair?

Actor Bertie Carvel attends the European premiere of 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' at the Royal Festival Hall during Closing Night Gala of the 65th BFI London Film Festival in London, United Kingdom on October 17, 2021.
Bertie Carvel Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tony Blair is played in The Crown season 5 by actor Bertie Carvel, who is expected to carry the character forward into season 6 as well.

Carvel is best known for his roles in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Doctor Foster, Baghdad Central and Dalgliesh, while he has also appeared in shows such as Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Carvel has actually also appeared in The Crown before – he played journalist and broadcaster Robin Day in the season 2 episode Marionettes.

On playing Blair in the new season, Carvel recently told i News: "Actors are a different kind of truthtellers from historians or journalists. I can’t tell the whole truth of Tony Blair through whatever Peter Morgan chooses to write about him in seasons 5 and 6, but I can offer an insight or a way of looking at that story differently."

When does Tony Blair first appear in The Crown season 5?

Bertie Carvel as Tony Blair and Jonny Lee Miller as John Major in The Crown
Bertie Carvel as Tony Blair and Jonny Lee Miller as John Major in The Crown Netflix

Carvel's first appearance as Blair is in season 5 episode 10, when Charles is seen watching his electoral victory on television. He is later seen meeting with Jonny Lee Miller's John Major, who leaves him a note in his new office saying "It's a great job. Enjoy it."

Blair then meets with The Queen, where she brings up funding for the Royal Yacht Britannia. Blair suggests a new funding arrangement, which would see a brand-new yacht leased to the Crown by private owners. While the rest of the Royal Family are aghast at this proposal, Charles seems accepting of it.

Charles then meets with the Prime Minister while they are both in Hong Kong, where he admits his approval of the decision to decommission the yacht.

Charles suggests the Royal Family needs a "renovation" in its attitudes, and notes that he believes the public would prefer to see him happily remarried with Camilla rather than remain unmarried. He says the pair of them should work together to protect the future of the monarchy.

Blair then discusses the meeting with his wife Cherie on the plane, saying he found Charles an impressive man, but notes how shocking he found the meeting.

Who plays Cherie Blair?

Lydia Leonard attends "The Crown" Season 5 World Premiere at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on November 08, 2022 in London, England.
Lydia Leonard at "The Crown" Season 5 World Premiere Mike Marsland/WireImage

Cherie Blair, Tony's wife and a barrister and writer, appears in The Crown season 5 only briefly, where she is played by Lydia Leonard.

Leonard is known for appearing in the film Last Christmas, as well as series including Apple Tree Yard, Gentleman Jack, Absentia and Ten Percent.

What has the real Tony Blair said about his portrayal in The Crown?

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair John Lamparski/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Just like his Prime Ministerial predecessor John Major, Tony Blair hit out at reports of his character's portrayal in the drama – specifically, a scene which saw him meeting with Prince Charles and discussing the future of the monarchy. In the scene, Charles tries to make Blair an ally, and lay the groundwork for him to marry Camilla.

A spokesperson for Blair told The Telegraph: "It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish."

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? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.

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