8 Things About The Peaky Blinders Series

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8 Things About The Peaky Blinders Series


The long-running series Peaky Blinders is now back for a fifth season. With the show set in the early 19th century after the First World War, based on a real-life urban street gang in Birmingham, England, there are some things that remain true to real life, and some that are purely fiction. Here are some things that you may not have known about Peaky Blinders.


Photo Credit: Flickr


1. A small-time Victorian gang

The real Peaky Blinders operated during the Victorian era in the 1890s. They were a small-time gang that inflicted petty crimes on the public, opposite to their flashy, big-time, on-screen counterparts. Their crimes included theft of a bike, and breaking into a drapers shop. They were known for their slick way of dressing, flat caps, suits, and all.


Photo Credit: Go Social


2. Other true-to-life characters: Billy Kimber and Darby Sabini

Billy Kimber was a real-life accountant that managed racecourses around the UK. Although, unlike the series, Kimber was not murdered by any of the Shelby brothers of the Peaky Blinders gang, but rather, passed away in his nursing home in Torquay at the age of 63. In addition, Darby Sabini was known as one of Kimber’s main rivals, more than the Peaky Blinders themselves.


Photo Credit: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base


3. There were no razor blades in the Peaky Blinders caps

In the series, the Peaky Blinders were notoriously known to have blades tucked in their caps as weapons during gang fights. The real Peaky Blinders, on the other hand, did not carry blades in their caps. During the 1890s, razor blades were somewhat of a luxury, and the idea to place razor blades was actually just taken from a novel, “A Walk Down Summer Lane” by John Douglas.


Photo Credit: @finn_cole on Instagram (via Go Social)


4. John and Michael are real-life brothers

Among the most notable characters in the series included John Shelby, original Shelby brother of the Peaky Blinders, and Michael Gray, cousin to the Shelby brothers, son of Polly Gray, and aunt of the Shelby brothers. These characters were played by real-life siblings, actors Fin Cole (Michael) and John Cole (John). It was thanks to John that Fin got the role, as he was busy studying for his A-Levels, known as high school or pre-university, at that time. John persuaded producers to look at Fin’s audition tape.


Photo Credit: Flickr


5. Ozzy Osbourne inspired the cast accents

Actress Helen McCroy, who portrays Polly in the series, revealed that her Birmingham accent was based on the Black Sabbath frontman’s accent. McCroy watched endless videos of Ozzy Osbourne.


Photo Credit: Pexels


6. Cigarettes are not smoked on set

Throughout the series, the main character, Thomas Shelby, is seen smoking several times each episode. People have begun to wonder just how many cigarettes Shelby smokes per episode. The actor playing the character, Cillian Murphy, reveals that he isn’t smoking real cigarettes, but actually herbal rose cigarettes, inhaling a total of 3,000 each series. 


Photo Credit: Go Social


7. The show was filmed in Liverpool

Despite the major setting of the film in Birmingham, the majority of the film takes place in Liverpool. Specifically, in Toxteth, Liverpool. Along Kinmel Street, South Street, and Powis Street, the area was transformed by set designers to look like the 1920s.


Photo Credit: Flickr


8. Jason Statham was supposed to be cast as one of the characters

The series featured a star-studded cast, including famous Hollywood talents Adrien Brody, Tom Hardy, and Cillian Murphy. On top of this, British actor and cockney hard man, Jason Statham, was intended to join the crew, especially as Peaky Blinders director, Steven Knight, had already worked with Statham in previous films. However, conflicts in schedules prevented the actor from shooting in the series.




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