Matt Smith ‘had near-death experience’ while shooting new Netflix show ‘The Crown’

Season one of the royal drama is said to have cost £100 million to produce.

Matt Smith has revealed that he survived a near-death experience while shooting Netflix’s new period drama The Crown.

The former Doctor Who star plays Prince Philip in the lavish 10-part drama launching tomorrow (November 4). He was shooting a scene in South Africa with Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II, when the terrifying incident took place.

“These horses were being a bit frisky,” Smith recalls on tomorrow night’s episode of The Graham Norton Show.

“We were meant to get on them and trot off and have this lovely love scene, which didn’t even make the cut. In my stupidity I got on the horse and cantered around and then it just went. I tried to grab a branch and everyone was shouting, ‘Oh my God, don’t grab the branch!’ So I went under the branch and then down a ravine.”

Smith continues: “I was so scared. As it galloped towards a herd of zebra, a huge man grabbed it by the reins and saved my life.”

Created by renowned screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon), The Crown will eventually trace the rein of Queen Elizabeth II from her coronation to the present day.

Season one, which is said to have cost £100 million to produce, focuses on the young Princess Elizabeth as she is confronted with the possibility of becoming monarch and having to contend with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The show’s cast also includes Jared Harris, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Greg Wise, Eileen Atkins and Harriet Walter. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliott) has directed the first two episodes.