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There's Some Really Interesting Sh*t You Probably Didn't Know About 'Peaky Blinders'

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

There's Some Really Interesting Sh*t You Probably Didn't Know About 'Peaky Blinders'

I don't want to jinx it, but I reckon this series of Peaky Blinders is shaping up to be the best, the addition of Hollywood actor Adrien Brody to the cast has been amazing. And I honestly can't wait to see what's unfolding in Birmingham next - something I never thought I'd say.

Credit: BBC

Peaky Blinders now has an army of fans, partly due to the fantastic cast and partly down to the brilliant writing and stylish visuals, and people are equally as interested in the history of the 'real Peaky Blinders' the fabled gangsters that roamed the streets of Birmingham with razor blades in their flat caps.


This particular fact, however, is likely to be bollocks. Birmingham journalist and historian Carl Chinn, who has written a book about the real Peaky Blinders, says the men were actually around in the 1890s, not the 1920s when the show is set. Adding that razor blades were a luxury item back then and 'much too expensive for the Peaky Blinders to have used'.

Having said that, there are some very interesting, lesser-known facts about the show, check them out:

Some of the characters are based on real people

While Cillian Murphy's character Tommy Shelby is fictional, Billy Kimber and Charles Darby Sabini were real people, with Kimber being one of the most powerful gangsters in the UK at the time.


Photographs of the real Kimber were recently shared by Chinn, ahead of the publication of his new book:

Credit: Carl Chinn/Brewin Books

He doesn't look scary, does he?


The cast got some unusual celebrity help to with their accents

Sam Neill, who was born in Northern Ireland but grew up in New Zealand, said he got help perfecting a Northern Irish accent from his mates James Nesbitt and Liam 'Taken' Neeson, two pretty good coaches, I should imagine.

Meanwhile, Helen McCrory picked up her Brummie accent by watching 'endless' clips of Ozzy Osbourne, one of Birmingham's most famous exports. Bloody hell, that must have been hard going, though, mustn't it?

Whereas Murphy just went on a 'quite drunken Saturday' night with writer Steven Knight, at the real Garrison pub, and learnt his that way. That's my kind of learning, to be honest.


Most of the show isn't even filmed in Birmingham

Despite being set in Birmingham, most of the outdoor scenes are shot in Liverpool, Manchester. This is mostly because Birmingham looks very different to how it did back in the 1920s. CGI is also used to 'blend' the locations and make them look more traditional.

They get through loads of cigarettes while filming

Tommy is barely seen without a ciggie hanging out of his mouth, so it probably comes as no surprise to learn that the team get through a LOT during filming, which has got to be hard for poor Murphy who doesn't even smoke in real life.


"I don't smoke," he told the Birmingham Mail. "But people did smoke all day and night then."

To keep his nicotine and tar intake an acceptable level, Murphy said he smokes 'herbal rose things'. And if you're wondering how many they get through in a series it's about 3,000, according to the show's prop team.

Two of the stars are brothers

The guys who play John Shelby (Joe Cole) and Michael Gray (Finn Cole) are brothers in real-life. Joe landed the part of John in the very first series, with Finn joining the cast a year later.

The pair have previously acted together in 2012 British film Offender. I can imagine their mum is pretty bloody proud.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/Peaky Blinders

Topics: TV and Film, BBC, UK Entertainment, Peaky Blinders, Cillian Murphy

Claire Reid
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