Actors and writers have criticised the Daily Telegraph columnist Charles Moore for claiming that Olivia Colman has “a distinctly leftwing face” in remarks which suggested she was unsuitable to portray the Queen in the upcoming series of The Crown.
The suggestion provoked bemusement on Twitter, with the comedian David Baddiel describing it as “idiot columnist rhetoric” and Little Britain actor Matt Lucas saying it did not make the remotest sense. Tracy Ann Oberman tweeting: “Jaw drop. To the floor.”
“Speculation builds about how well Olivia Colman will succeed Claire Foy as the Queen in the coming third series of The Crown,” Moore wrote on Monday, in a column which picked up traction on social media throughout the week.
“Ms Colman herself has expressed anxiety on this score. There is no doubt that she is one of the best actresses of the age, but I have a doubt, too. She has a distinctly leftwing face. This is hard to describe, but easy to recognise.
“It is something to do with looking slightly resentful and ironic at the idea of having to play a public role which satisfies the demands of others. The real live Queen has no such face – allowing almost no difference discernible in public between the role and the person.
“I hasten to add that I have no idea what Olivia Colman’s political views are. I just have a hunch, which I hope will be proved wrong.”
Colman, who first came to prominence in comedy series Peep Show, won best actress at this year’s Oscars for her performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite.
She has replaced Foy to play Queen Elizabeth II during the early 60s to early 80s for series three and four of The Crown, which airs on Netflix in November. Her contemporaries derided the suggestion that she would not succeed in the role.
Writer Will Black tweeted: “To be fair though, Charles Moore looks exactly like my perception of a callous, creepy, misogynistic, embittered, out of touch, enraged, impotent and dated Tory hack. He looks like one of those pompous establishment psychopaths John Fortune played brilliantly.”