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Poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah has died aged 65

Poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah has died aged 65

Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65

Poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65.

His family said he passed in the early hours of 7 December 2023.

Zephaniah – who has produced music, appeared in radio and TV, and was a bestselling YA novelist – played Jimmy Jesus in the BBC drama.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour just eight weeks ago.

Poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

A statement posted on his social media channels read: "It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our beloved husband, son and brother in the early hours of this morning the 7th December 2023.

"Benjamin was diagnosed with a brain tumour 8 weeks ago.

"Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed.

"We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news.

"Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world so much.

"Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.

"Thank you for the love you have shown Professor Benjamin Zephaniah."

His family said he passed in the early hours of 7 December 2023.
Instagram/@officialbenjaminzephaniah

Fans and people who knew the actor have been paying their tributes on social media.

"Such heartbreaking news that Benjamin Zephaniah has died. I remember studying his poetry at school and was lucky enough to watch him recite it live," one person tweeted.

"What an energy he had. Brilliant too of course in Peaky Blinders as Jeremiah.

"A sad loss. Thoughts with his family and friends."

Another added: "I met #BenjaminZephaniah on the set of the first season of #PeakyBlinders. He brought very welcome humanity, humility and of course his unique creativity to the show.

"To speak with him was refreshing and memorable and a welcome diversion amidst all the surrounding drama! RIP."

"I am truly shocked," wrote a third.

"Benjamin Zephaniah's success with poetry inspired so many fellow dyslexic people.

"He appeared in TV shows such as The Bill, The Comic Strip Presents... and, of course, Peaky Blinders.

"Anti-racist to the core, he turned down 'Empire' honours. Rest in power."

"This news really saddens me. I’m a big fan. I was lucky enough to meet him and tell him how much I liked his poetry and what he stood for. My heart goes out to his family and friends," another added.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Topics: Peaky Blinders, Celebrity