Nov 24, 2022
College Sports | What went wrong with Cal football this season and can the Bears fix it?
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BERKELEY — The Cal football season will end Friday afternoon with a home game against UCLA and, win or lose, this is not what the Bears or their fans envisioned.
“I thought they were going to be right around 8-4,” said Yogi Roth, an analyst for the Pac-12 Network. “I thought this was a really special year for them.”
Instead, the Bears are 4-7 after snapping a six-game losing streak with a 27-20 win over rival Stanford in the Big Game. At 2-6 in Pac-12 play, they have failed to sculpt a winning conference record for the 13th consecutive season. No other school in the league has gone longer than five years since doing that.
So, what in the name of Pappy Waldorf has gone wrong?
And can the Bears fix it?
Many of Cal’s recent woes can be traced to a chronically underperforming offense. In an era of high-scoring football, the Bears haven’t averaged even 24 points a game since coach Justin Wilcox’s debut season of 2017.
Wilcox understands it’s not a winning formula, and within the next week to 10 days is expected to hire his third offensive coordinator, along with a new offensive line coach. He fired OC Bill Musgrave and line coach Angus McClure after the Bears failed to score an offensive touchdown in a loss at Oregon State two weeks ago.
Wilcox called the interest in the coordinator job “significant.”
“You’ve got to score four touchdowns in a game to really have a chance to make noise. They haven’t been able to do it,” said Roth, who played wide receiver at Pitt two decades ago. “College football’s changed and they run an offense I grew up in. Nothing seemed to come easy.”
Roth said the coordinator should bring a scheme that is quarterback-friendly, simple, uses every corner of the field, and creates one-on-one opportunities for Cal’s receivers.
Despite Cal’s disappointing track record on offense in recent years, Roth expects Wilcox to hit a home run with this hire.
“They’re going to hire somebody who’s going to make legit noise in this league,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a really exciting brand of ball.”
Cal won’t get there unless it drastically upgrades an offensive line that has allowed Jack Plummer to be sacked 31 times and for much of the season hasn’t created even a sliver of running room for talented freshman Jaydn Ott.
That will require hiring the right man to coach the position and restocking its O-line room.
Recruiting never ends, and for Wilcox and his staff it starts with keeping the talent they have. That includes Ott, who has rushed for 842 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, and a talented receiving corps, led by Jeremiah Hunter and J.Michael Sturdivant.
Plummer is among a large group of seniors who has another year of eligibility, thanks to the 2020 COVID exemption. He hasn’t made a decision, and wants to know who would be coaching him.
The new variable in recruiting is the transfer portal, which allows players to move easily from school to school. Finding players who meet Cal’s academic rigors is a challenge, but Wilcox says the Bears will be more aggressive in seeking talent through that avenue.
“We don’t want to become a portal-only recruiting outfit,” Wilcox said. “But I do think it’s something we need to try to take advantage of and we think we have a lot to offer a guy that’s coming out of the portal.”
Six Pac-12 teams — including USC, Oregon and Washington — found their starting quarterbacks this season via transfer, a trend Roth refers to as “portal-palooza.”
He believes Cal will do a good job retaining players and adding talent. “I think you might be surprised by the transfers they bring in.”
Cal’s defense, elite since Wilcox arrived, slipped this season. The Bears are seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing 27.2 points per game.
Injuries were impactful, including the loss for the second straight year of defensive lineman Brett Johnson, who might have been the Bears’ best player.
“When I talk to other coaches, a lot of them say Cal is the most well-coached defense in the league or in the conversation for it,” Roth said. “If you’re not scoring, it impacts so much of the game.”
Wilcox, who signed a contract extension last January that runs through 2027, remains upbeat about his program’s future.Related Articles
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“I think we can be a very, very good football team,” he said. “There’s some things that we need to address, whether it’s schematically, our roster, how we do things. But there’s no reason we can’t be very successful here and I have more conviction in that than I ever have.
“College football is changing. We have to change and adjust with it. But we can still stay true to Cal and who we want to be in doing so.”
The Bears aren’t that far from becoming that team, Roth said.
“I think Cal’s in a really good spot. They’re a new system and a couple offensive linemen away from flipping their record.”
News Source: mercurynews.com
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PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Elizabeth Debicki mirrors Princess Diana being swarmed by paparazzi alongside Dodi Fayed in their final hours while filming season six of The Crown in London
Elizabeth Debicki mirrored Princess Diana being swarmed by paparazzi in her final hours while filming for season six of The Crown.
The Aussie actress, 32, wore an identical grey suit and black t-shirt to the outfit worn by the late royal the night of the tragic car crash as she and Dodi Fayed actor Khalid Abdallah left The Ritz hotel in London.
Filming in London, the crew were recreating The Ritz Hotel in Paris which was the last place Princess Diana was before she died in August 1997.
Mirror image: Elizabeth Debicki mirrored Princess Diana being swarmed by paparazzi in her final hours while filming for season six of The Crown
Low profile: The Aussie actress, 32, wore an identical grey suit and black t-shirt to the outfit worn by the late royal the night of the tragic car crash (Diana is pictured right in 1994 being swarmed by wellwishers as she leaves the Royal College of Nursing in London)
Donning Diana's signature blonde hairdo, Elizabeth walked out of the luxury London hotel to a sea of photographers looking to get a snap of the Princess.
She wore a pair of black sunglasses to try and keep a lower profile.RELATED ARTICLES
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Also on set was actor Harry Anton, who plays her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones.
Another familiar face could also be seen on set, former Hollyoaks actor Lee Otway, although it's unknown what role he is cast for on the Netflix series.
Back then: CCTV footage showing the final hours of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed at The Ritz Hotel in Paris hours before the tragic car crash which killed them both in August 1997
Spotted: Filming in London, the crew were recreating The Ritz Hotel in Paris which was the last place Princess Diana was before she died in August 1997
Working: Donning Diana's signature blonde hairdo, Elizabeth walked out of the luxury London hotel to a sea of photographers looking to get a snap of the Princess
On set: She wore a pair of black sunglasses to try and keep a lower profile like Diana did
The cast have been recreating the lead-up to Diana's death for several weeks, as in late October Elizabeth was seen in Barcelona doing takes from the ill-fated car.
However Netflix has insisted the crash itself will not be shown in the series.
Debicki was then spotted in the back of a car with Khalid Abdalla, 40, who plays Egyptian film producer Dodi, during production.
The Catalan city's Francesc Macia Square was given a French makeover ahead of Netflix's return to film the scenes - as fans of the show are still reeling from the release of the trailer for series five.
Crew: Also on set was actor Harry Anton, who plays her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones
Swarmed: The cast have been recreating the lead-up to Diana's death for several weeks, as in late October Elizabeth was seen in Barcelona doing takes from the ill-fated car
A blur: Netflix has insisted the crash which killed Diana and Dodi will not be shown in the series
Filming for series six of the Netflix drama had been temporarily halted following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September, but in the last few weeks the crew have been spotted at work throughout Europe.
Recently, production got underway in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, where it is believed the crew filmed scenes depicting Princess Diana's St Tropez yachting trip with Dodi in July 1997, just weeks before they died.
Young actors Rufus Kampa and Will Powell were spotted with Debicki and Abdalla, playing Prince William and Prince Harry, who were also on the holiday.
It is also thought the series will feature Dodi in St Tropez with Kelly Fisher - his jilted ex-girlfriend who claimed she was due to marry the son of the Egyptian billionaire just days after photos emerged of him on a yacht with the Princess.
Crazy: Elizabeth recreates a moment Diana was swarmed as she left The Ritz Hotel back in 1997
Busy: Elizabeth and Dodi Fayed actor Khalid Abdallah left The Ritz hotel in London while being swarmed during a scene
In October, Netflix was forced to defend the series after former British PM John Major lashed out at a storyline showing King Charles plotting to oust his mum.
Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench has also criticised The Crown and expressed fears it will present 'an inaccurate and hurtful account of history.'
The trailer for the fifth series was released in late October ahead of its release in early November, and fans of the show got a sneak peek at how the breakdown of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage will be dramatised onscreen.
Throughout the trailer, emphasis is placed on pressure the royal family faced during the 1990s as the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana broke down - while also covering the late Monarch (Imelda Staunton) and her reaction to the Windsor Castle Fire of 1992.
lt also includes an entire episode focusing on Diana's controversial sit-down interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995, in which she sensationally said 'there were three of us in the marriage' - a reference to Charles and Camilla.
Over the first three series of The Crown, the Netflix hit has become well known for bending facts to suit its narrative, and while some artistic license is inevitable, some critics have been outraged in its rewriting of history and relationships.
But in its most controversial series yet, the brand new trailer declares that the 'royal family is in genuine crisis', as it depicts at-the-time Prince Charles and Diana's divorce.
Latest series: lt also includes an entire episode focusing on Diana's controversial sit-down interview (pictured) with BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995, in which she sensationally said 'there were three of us in the marriage' - a reference to Charles and CamillaWHO ARE THE CAST OF THE CROWN SEASON FIVE?
Princess Diana - Elizabeth Debicki
Princess Diana: Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki (left) had her big break in 2013's The Great Gatsby and became a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager (right: Princess Diana in 1994)
It was announced that Elizabeth, 32, had been cast to play Princess Diana for the next two seasons and fans of the Netflix show were delighted to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role - replacing Emma Corrin.
The actress said of her casting: 'Princess Diana's spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.'
Elizabeth also hit out at critics of the series, stating: 'It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.
‘Now the disclaimer is up there, we can maybe stop talking about it and move on. If that’s helpful for certain people, so be it, and now the conversation can be returned to the creative endeavour of what the show is.’
Prince Charles - Dominic West
Prince Charles: Photographs captured the amazing transformation of Dominic West (left) into The Prince Of Wales (pictured right in 1992) - with the actor mirroring the heir to the throne's signature mannerisms.
Golden Globe nominee Dominic, 53, is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown, taking over from Josh O'Connor who played the young prince in season three and four.
The Prince Of Wales was played in his teenage years by Julian Baring and as a child by Billy Jenkins.
Dominic is best known for playing Jimmy McNulty in The Wire and Noah Solloway in The Affair and has won two BAFTAs for his work.
The actor previously revealed that he had contacted King Charles to resign as an ambassador from the Prince's Trust after being cast in series five over the Netflix drama, over fears his new role would be a conflict of interest.
However, the King did not express any objections when informed that Dominic would be portraying him, refusing his offer.
Camilla Parker Bowles - Olivia Williams
Camilla Parker Bowles: Olivia Williams (left) will be taking on the role of King Charles' future Queen Consort (pictured right in 1995)
Olivia, 54, will be taking on the role of King Charles' future Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, a role previously played by Emerald Fennell in seasons three and four.
The actress, from London, came from ordinary beginnings and was on the verge of giving up on the career when she was named 'the most beautiful women to come on screen in the last ten years' by Kevin Costner in 1997.
He picked her to star in his $90-million uber-flop The Postman, in which the two had a raunchy sex scene.
Since then, her rising star has been on the up-and-up, with roles opposite Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, Carey Mulligan in An Education and even a guest appearance as Matt Le Blanc's love interest in Friends.
Olivia will have personal insight into the character, having met Camilla after her marriage to Charles, by which time she had become the Duchess of Cornwall.
Queen Elizabeth II - Imelda Staunton
Queen Elizabeth II: BAFTA-winning actress Imelda Staunton (left) is taking on Queen Elizabeth for seasons five and six (the late monarch is pictured right at the 1971 ball)
BAFTA-winning actress Imelda, 66, is taking on the matriarchal monarch for seasons five and six, replacing Olivia Colman who took on the role for season three and four and Claire Foy who played the Queen for the first two series.
A star of both stage and screen, Imelda has won four Laurence Olivier Awards for her work in the theatre and was Oscar-nominated for her starring role in Vera Drake.
Speaking about joining The Crown, Imelda previously admitted she is 'frightened' to take on the Queen Elizabeth role as she has an 'extra challenge' playing a recent version as it will be fresh in the audiences mind.
Imelda said: 'When Claire was in the first series, to all of us that felt like history. Then following on from that with Olivia, again it seems like history.
'Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That's the extra challenge I have, people saying, "Oh, I don't think she's like that at all"'.
Prince Philip - Jonathan Pryce
Prince Philip: Jonathan Pryce (left) will take on the role of Prince Philip for the final seasons (pictured right in 2007)
Jonathan, 75, will take on the role of Prince Philip for the final seasons, taking over from Tobias Menzies who played the role in season three and four and Matt Smith who kicked off the portrayal for the first two seasons.
The actor - who was previously knighted for his services to drama - has two Tony and two Olivier Awards and received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Pope Francis in The Two Popes.
He previously revealed he's 'confident' about 'tackling the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip' and it will be 'a joy' to act alongside Imelda Staunton as the Queen and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.
In a statement shared on social media by Netflix, Jonathan said: 'I am delighted to be working with Netflix again.
'The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip.
'To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda [Staunton] and Lesley [Manville] will be a joy.'
Princess Anne - Claudia Harrison
Princess Anne: RADA-trained performer Claudia Harrison (left) takes on the role of the Queen's only daughter (pictured right, in 1999)
RADA-trained performer Claudia, 46, takes on the role of Princess Anne, replacing Erin Doherty in the third and fourth series of The Crown, who followed on from Lyla Barrett-Rye who portrayed the princess as a child.
She boasts a number of TV gigs on her CV as well as a high-profile co-star following her turn in 2005 thriller Archangel, where she starred opposite Daniel Craig in the show about a mystery concerning dictator Josef Stalin.
The farmer’s wife and mother-of-three is said to have been ‘shocked and delighted’ when she was chosen to play Anne when the Royal was aged in her 40s.
In 2006, she starred in one episode of The IT Crowd as Delina and in 2015 she was in four episodes of Humans as Dr. Aveling.
Timothy Laurence - Theo Fraser Steele
Timothy Laurence: The Crown's fifth season will feature The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo Fraser Steele (left) playing Princess Anne's husband (pictured right in 2010)
The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo plays Princess Anne's husband Timothy Laurence.
The role of Timothy was not played in previous seasons as the pair did not tie the knot until 1992 after she had split from first husband Mark Phillips.
Theo's acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005. As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney.
He comes from Essex and trained to be an actor in London before working with Bill Nighy and Stella Gonet in Richard Eyre’s production of David Hare’s Skylight at the National Theatre aged just 23.
Prince Andrew - James Murray
Prince Andrew: Cutting It star James Murray, 47, (left) will play the Queen's second son in the new series (right in 2001)
James, 47, will play Prince Andrew in the new seasons, replacing Tom Byrne, who played the Queen's second son in series four and Marlo Woolley who portrayed the prince as a young boy.
Speaking about his new role, James revealed that he tries not to judge his scandal-plagued character and he tries not to be influenced by what we know now' about Prince Andrew.
He said: 'This is the 90s, so the divorce, Toegate', referring to the incident where Sarah Ferguson, 61, was photographed as her Texan financial advisor John Bryant sucked on her toes after her separation from Andrew in 1992.
James continued: 'If I'm being professional, it's not really my job to feel too much, to judge the character,' he said. 'And remember, we're in the 1990s, before all the things that we know now.
'I just have to read what's on the page, do my research and play that quasi-fictional character. Because otherwise, it's just going to get in the way.'
Sarah, Duchess of York - Emma Laird Craig
Sarah, Duchess Of York: Theatre actress Emma Laird Craig (left) will take on her first big role playing Sarah Ferguson (right in 1987) after just a handful of small roles in the likes of EastEnders and Casting Nina
Theatre actress Emma, 41, will take on her first big role playing Sarah Ferguson after just a handful of small roles in the likes of EastEnders and Casting Nina.
The Duchess of York offered words of wisdom to Emma upon hearing she'd landed the role, saying: 'Just do the best job she can.
'To be cast in The Crown… a very successful TV show, how fabulous!'
Fergie was also forced to deny claims that she 'made repeated contact' with The Crown producers after sources say Prince Andrew's ex-wife sought to partner with them on a TV adaptation of her romance novel, Her Heart For A Compass.
Prince Edward - Sam Woolf
Prince Edward: Sam Woolf (left) will be taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth's youngest child (pictured right in 1995)
Sam, 30, will be taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth's youngest child, Prince Edward, previously played by Angus Imrie in his teenage years and Sidney Jackson as a child.
The British star is relatively new to the acting but has had a minor role in Channel 4’s Humans, where he starred alongside The Crown castmate, Claudia Harrison.
Sam also appeared in one episode of Call The Midwife and on CB Strike.
While Edward has not featured heavily in the series so far, the fifth and sixth season should offer a meatier part as the final two seasons are set to cover events including his 1999 marriage to the Countess of Wessex.
Princess Margaret - Lesley Manville
Princess Margaret: Oscar-nominee Lesley Maville, 66, (left) takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth's younger sister (pictured right in 1981)
Oscar-nominee Lesley, 66, takes on the role of Princess Margaret, following on from Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit.
The lively monarch was embodied by Vanessa Kirby for the first two seasons and by child actress Beau Gadsdon for the early scenes.
Confirming the news in a statement, she said: 'I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don't want to let the side down.
'Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy.'
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother - Marcia Warren
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: Marcia Warren (left) takes on the role of The Queen Mother in her final years (pictured right in 1985)
Taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in her final years before her 2002 death is veteran actress Marcia, 78.
The Queen Mother was played by Victoria Hamilton in the first two series of The Crown, before the role went to Marion Bailey for series 3 and 4, where the character took a backseat from the main drama and only made a few appearances.
Marcia trained as an actress at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has won two Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards. On screen she appeared in No Place Like Home and Edge of Heaven among others.
Prince William - Timothee Sambo
Prince William: Timothee Samborand (left) will be playing Princess Diana and Prince Charles' eldest child (right in 1992)
Timothee, 11, is taking on the role of young Prince William in season five of The Crown, following on from Lucas Barber-Grant and twins Elliott and Jasper Hughes who portrayed the royal in season four.
Like the prince he's playing, it's believed Timothee is a keen footballer, playing for Rockslane Chiswick U11s.
He's also a talented writer, receiving a commendation in the Year 5 category for a poem he penned during lockdown in the Chiswick Book Festival's 10th Young People’s Poetry Competition last year.
Prince Harry - Teddy Hawley
Prince Harry: Teddy Hawley, seven, is portraying the younger royal in his childhood years (pictured right in 1992)
Teddy, seven, is taking on the role of a young Prince Harry, following on from Arran Tinker's brief appearance in season four.
It was previously said there was a dearth of ginger-haired actors who could play Prince Harry when casting agents went on the hunt earlier this year.
The desperation was such that show bosses were considering dyeing a child actor's hair red so he could bear an adequate resemblance to the Duke of Sussex.
Penelope Knatchbull - Natascha McElhone
Not previously featured on the show
Penelope Knatchbull : Natascha McElhone takes on the role of the Countess Mountbatten of Burma (pictured right in 2021)
Natascha, 52, takes on the role of the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, the second cousin of Prince Charles and close friend of Prince Philip's.
Penny befriended Prince Philip at a polo match in 1975 when she was 20, became one of his closest confidantes despite being 32 years his junior and was pictured on walks with the Duke over the years.
Also known as Lady Romsey and Lady Brabourne, Penny, 69, bonded with the late Philip over their shared love for the equestrian sport of carriage-driving and their closeness had sparked rumours of an affair over their decades-long friendship.
Prime Minister John Major - Jonny Lee Miller
Not previously featured on the show
John Major: Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller, 49, (left) will play the Conservative Prime Minister (pictured right in 1991)
In a 'surprise' casting, it was revealed Trainspotting star Jonny, 49, will play John Major, who was in charge of the country from November 1990 until May 1997.
The Tory Prime Minister followed on from Margaret Thatcher's leadership, with The Iron Lady played by Gillian Anderson in the wildly-popular Netflix period drama.
Sir John was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990.
Norma Major: Flora Montgomery (left) is taking on the role of Major’s wife Norma (pictured right in 1995)
Sir John was known for having a mild-mannered style which may appear to be in stark contrast to Jonny, who is known for playing bad boy characters like Sick Boy in Trainspotting.
A source said: 'It may seem like an unlikely casting as the two men couldn't be more different, but the creators of the Crown aren't interested in an actor playing a version of themselves.
'It was a similar idea to when Sex Education star Gillian Anderson was cast as Margaret Thatcher in the last series of The Crown, a decision which surprised fans of the show at the time.'
Northern Irish actress Flora Montgomery takes on the role of Norma Major, the Prime Minister's wife.
Tony Blair - Bertie Carvel
Not previously featured on the show
Tony Blair: Bertie Carvel, 45, is to portray the Labour prime minister who took over from John Major (pictured right in 1997)
Bertie, 45, whose roles have ranged from Nick Clegg to Rupert Murdoch is to portray Tony Blair in The Crown, the Labour prime minister who took over from John Major.
The actor is famed for his work in the theatre and has twice won a Laurence Olivier Award as well as a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.
He is also known for playing Jonathan Strange in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Simon Foster in Doctor Foster.
Cherie Blair: Gentleman Jack star Lydia Leonard, 40, (left) will take on the role of his wife Cherie (pictured right in 1997)
Blair's victory in the 1997 election saw Labour win by a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote.
The overall result of the election ended 18 years of Conservative government, in their worst defeat since 1906.
Blair famously hailed Diana as 'The People's Princess', following her death, while the Queen deemed her death a private matter and was not prepared for the national outpouring of emotion from the public.
The Crown wants to examine more of the constitutional crisis behind the scenes; and how the Queen was said to have felt bullied by her Prime Minister into making a public declaration about Diana.
Gentleman Jack star Lydia Leonard, 40, will take on the role of his wife Cherie.
Martin Bashir - Prasanna Puwanarajah
Not previously featured on the show
Martin Bashir: Prasanna Puwanarajah (left) takes on the role of the disgraced BBC journalist (pictured right in 1995)
Doctor Foster star Prasanna, 41, is taking on one of the most controversial roles of the season as journalist Martin Bashir.
An entire episode in the upcoming fifth series will be dedicated to the shocking Panorama sit down which was viewed by more than 22 million people in the UK at the time and described by commentators in 1995 as a 'bombshell' that destroyed the image of a 'contented, caring and united' Royal Family.
An independent inquiry later found that Martin deceived Diana to get the interview and then lied to BBC managers.
He got a BBC graphic artist to produce fake bank statements that appeared to show payments by a newspaper group to an ex-member of staff of Earl Spencer, Diana's brother.
Dr Hasnat Khan - Humayun Saeed
Not previously featured on the show
Dr Hasnat Khan: Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed (left) will play Princess Diana's former lover (pictured right in 2004)
Humayun, 50, will reportedly play Princess Diana's love interest Hasnat Khan - who she branded 'Mr Wonderful' - in the highly-anticipated fifth series of The Crown.
As well as being an accoladed actor, the Pakistani film star is also a producer and co-founded the media production house Six Sigma Plus.
During their fling, which ended in the summer of 1997, Diana - who is said to have considered him the love of her life - met the surgeon's family and even considered converting to Islam.
Speaking in 2008, the surgeon broke an 11-year silence about the Princess to say, 'I found her a very normal person with great qualities.'
Mohamed Al-Fayed - Salim Daw
Not previously featured on the show
Mohamed Al-Fayed: Israeli actor Salim, 72, (left) takes on the role of the Egyptian businessman (pictured right in 1996)
Israeli actor Salim, 72, takes on the role of Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman famed for owning Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods department store and Fulham F.C.
Mohamed met Princess Diana in July 1986 when they were introduced at a polo tournament sponsored by Harrods and quickly became firm friends.
It was in the late Nineties that Diana grew close to Mohamed's son Dodi after he invited her to spend time with them on his yacht in the summer of 1997.
Dodi Fayed - Khalid Abdalla
Not previously featured on the show
Dodi Fayed: Khalid Abdalla (left) takes on the role of Mohamed's son and Diana's lover Dodi Fayed (pictured right in 1986)
Dodi, 42, takes on the role of Mohamed's son and Diana's lover Dodi Fayed.
He established himself as a playboy in the film industry and was often spotted at high-profile parties - and is rumoured to have dated film stars Julia Roberts and Winona Ryder.
Following the publication of photos showing Dodi and Diana getting close on a yacht in St Tropez, the pair ended their holiday and flew to Paris, where they tragically died.
Kelly Fisher - Erin Richards
Not previously featured on the show
Kelly Fisher: Welsh actress Erin Richards, 36, (left) plays Dodi's jilted American fiancée Kelly Fisher in the series (pictured right in 1997)
Welsh actress Erin Richards, 36, plays Dodi's jilted American fiancée Kelly Fisher in the series.
The model was also in St Tropez when photos of Diana and Dodi looking cosy were taken - and when they were released to the world, the pair split.
Weeks later, Kelly flew back to the US and organised a press conference in which she publicly accused Dodi of cheating on her and 'emotionally leaving her at the altar', before announcing she was suing the film producer.