Olivia Colman has spoken of her relief that the news is out that she will replace Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

The Broadchurch star will take over the role of the monarch for the third series of Netflix’s blockbuster royal drama after Foy bows out at the end of the second.

Colman, who will next be seen in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s big screen version of Murder On The Orient Express, told the Press Association she had been keeping the secret of her casting for “quite a long time”.

Loading article content

Colman plays the maid of Dame Judi Dench’s character (Twentieth Century Fox)

She added: “It’s amazing how many people knew because I kept on getting texts going ‘Oh my god!’ and I would be like ‘I’m not! I’m going to lose the job, they are going to think it’s me! I haven’t said a word!’

“I’d tap tap ‘I’m not, I’m not, where did you get that from?’

“But I think maybe among The Crown lot some people knew but I’ve kept it quiet for a very long time and I’m quite pleased it’s out now.”

Colman said she has not yet started preparing for the role as she is still filming thriller Them That Follow.

Asked if she had started watching footage of the royal, she said: “Not yet, I’ve got to cut off my son’s arm in the Appalachian mountains next so I will do that first and then I will get into the Queen.”

She also admitted she had not read any Agatha Christie when she landed her role in Murder On The Orient Express.

Asked when she first came across the author, she said: “I was 43 when I got a job on Murder On The Orient Express.

“I did see the ’74 film but so long ago I can’t really remember it. I’ve never read Christie, that’s awful.

“I do love a whodunnit, which again is remarkable why I’ve never read them.

“It makes no sense, I’m just as baffled as everybody else, but I do love the ‘I think I know, I think I’ve got it, I’ve totally got it’ and I never get it right.”

Murder On The Orient Express is released in UK cinemas on November 3.