'E' for Euan, the film runner with access to Whitehall

Click to follow
The Independent Online

In an interview with ITV's Michael Parkinson, due to be aired tonight, Fry described the experience of filming the thriller, in which a terrorist blows up the Houses of Parliament, as "remarkable". Fry said: "We had tanks in Parliament Square, we had thousands of extras in Whitehall, huge cranes - it was an extraordinary thing to be right in the centre of government."

Mr Fry added: "How we got permission I don't know, and I was puzzling over this with the first assistant director. I said: 'How did you get permission? You can't usually get permission to do anything anywhere near seats of government, you know the secret service don't like it, plus civil servants don't like it.' And I said: 'That boy's familiar.' There was a boy in a sort of Day-Glo coat who was one of the assistant runners.

"I said: 'I'm sure I've seen him before' and he said: 'Yes, that's Euan Blair' and I said: 'Ah, that's how we got there.' Daddy, Daddy, can you please let them have permission to film?"

But with characteristically wry humour, Fry added: "No, I'm sure there was nothing like that."

Details of the 21-year-old Mr Blair's involvement with the film, the latest movie from the makers of The Matrix, first emerged last summer, when it was revealed that Whitehall had been sealed off in the early hours of two mornings to allow filming to take place.

But the location manager for the film, Nick Daubeny, denied that Mr Blair played any part in securing permission for filming.

Mr Daubeny admitted that he broached the subject with Mr Blair of asking his mother for help, but did not receive a reply and never pursued the matter.

Downing Street also denied that Mr Blair played any part in getting permission to film in Whitehall.

The £80m thriller, released this week, stars Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, as V, a freedom fighter plotting against a totalitarian government in a futuristic Britain.

David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, accused Tony Blair of hypocrisy for allowing his son to work on a film about Parliament being blown up, after his Government arrested a woman simply for making a protest in Whitehall.

Mr Blair, who made headlines six years ago for his youthful drunkenness, has done work experience on a number of films, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.