The Crown actor Salim Daw speaks of deep sadness at Al Fayed’s death

The actor who has portrayed Mohamed Al Fayed on The Crown has spoken about the “deep sadness” he feels over the businessman’s death.

Salim Daw stars in the fifth series of the Netflix series where Mr Al Fayed is depicted as getting to know Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Egyptian-born businessman, who had owned Harrods department store and Fulham Football Club for a while, died on Wednesday at the age of 94 – with his passing “peacefully of old age” announced on Friday by his family.

In a Sunday Instagram post, Daw wrote: “I was deeply saddened to hear about Mohamed Al Fayed’s passing. A giant, who came from nothing and became everything. For two years I portrayed him on “The Crown”.

“Such a rare and a distinctive character. I can only hope my portrayal of him did him justice. I feel that I knew him, even though we have never met. It is no coincidence that he passed on my birthday.

“My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Daw, 73, is set to return as Mr Al Fayed in the upcoming sixth series of The Crown, which is expect to depict the Paris tunnel car crash.

Both Mr Al Fayed’s son Dodi and Diana died in the same Paris car crash in August 1997.

He spent the next decade repeatedly claiming they were murdered in a plot by the security services and the Duke of Edinburgh before being forced to reluctantly concede defeat after a high-profile six-month inquest in 2007 and 2008.

Unlawful killing verdicts were returned by a jury for both Diana and Dodi, and the blame was pinned on the drink-driving of their chauffeur Henri Paul.

Mr Paul, who also died in the crash, was employed by the Paris Ritz hotel, which Mr Al Fayed purchased in 1979.