Cork actor Cillian Murphy is back for Peaky Blinders finale

Peaky Blinders is back on our screens this weekend
Cork actor Cillian Murphy is back for Peaky Blinders finale

IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders, set almost a century ago in Birmingham

IF Peaky Blinders had to be summarised in a single word, it would be “chaotic” - or so says actress Sophie Rundle.

Her reflection comes ahead of the launch of the sixth and final series of the award-winning crime drama on BBC1 tomorrow (Sunday February27)  at 9pm - and starring our very own Cillian Murphy, from Cork as the gun-toting gangster Tommy Shelby.

Sophie, aged 34, who plays Shelby sibling Ada Thorne, stifles a laugh as she’s presented with some of the more obscure internet hearsay linked to the forthcoming series.

“Mr Bean in the Peaky Blinders world? I mean, that’s a cameo I think we all want to see,” declares Rundle, referencing one notable rumour from late 2020. It is one example of the Peaky fanbase’s appetite for new material.

And now, nearly two and a half years since the last series aired, the show’s loyal army of followers are once again chomping at the bit.

The fifth series ended on a huge cliff-hanger with Tommy holding a gun to his head, and the action picks up exactly where we left off, as we discover Tommy doesn’t die - but the Shelbys do gather together for a funeral, and it’s clear this death will cause a profound rift within the family.

The action then moves forward four years, as Tommy heads to America, where the end of prohibition is set to bring him some new opportunities.

Rundle says the fan art and content people have generated off the back of watching the show is “my favourite thing about being part of Peaky Blinders. This work generates new work and enjoyment and pleasure.

“People really do love this world - and that inspires them to generate their own content off the back of it and I love that.”

Our chat comes as the show’s creator, Steven Knight, unveiled a striking 42ft mural of Tommy Shelby on the side of a pub in Digbeth, Birmingham. Formerly an industrial neighbourhood where the term ‘Peaky Blinder’ was coined, the show is loosely based on a gang of the same name who were active in the city for about two decades during the late 19th and early 20th century.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” says Knight. 

“The thing has snowballed and, even now, more and more people are discovering it, which is the great thing about streaming - it doesn’t have its day and disappear.”

And disappear it will not, as the Shelbys are set to make their stage debut as part of the upcoming adaptation, Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby. Not only that, but Knight has previously noted his desire to transfer the Peaky Blinders’ tale onto the big screen.

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