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Thomas Shelby MP’s final appearance in the Commons wasn’t what you’d call conventional. He met Mitford on the famous green leatherette seats, requesting support for his housing bill – while outlining his leverage on an artfully folded paper plane. Let’s raise one last whiskey to Sarah Hughes, much-loved previous custodian of this blog. Her posthumous memoir, Holding Tight, Letting Go, was published last week. Wonder what Lady Sarah would have made of this finale? The notoriety and style of the gang earned them great levels of attention; their ability to exercise control, flout the law and exhibit their winnings remains a cultural and historical phenomenon still garnering attention today. Whilst the power of the Peaky Blinders faded with time, their namesake lived on in popular culture. Peaky Blinders, now a hit television programme, may be a fictional story of the Birmingham underworld but it is based on the very real existence of a gang by the same name based in the Midlands in the late nineteenth century. He mulls this over. “Well, it felt like enough for me to try to give a performance. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing if the premise is the star of a movie, if it’s a good premise. If the job is to serve the concept the best you can, I’m totally down with that.”

Peaky Blinders recap: series six finale – a thrumming Peaky Blinders recap: series six finale – a thrumming

As the youth gang culture began to take over the streets of Birmingham, entire areas fell under the control of the groups with “land grabs” a common source of rivalry between gangs. Mooney was a major instigator of these activities and soon the Peaky Blinders became a singular entity, operating in favourable areas and communities in Birmingham.If Murphy is to be believed, he has barely even started. “Early on, I read that it takes 30 years to make a good actor,” he says. He has been at it for a quarter of a century now. “So hopefully I’m approaching … well, something.” This summer, he will be the main attraction at the Manchester international festival, where All of This Unreal Time, a new film in which he stars (and which teams him with the musician Jon Hopkins and Grief author Max Porter), will be screened as part of an immersive installation. He will also turn 45 a few days after we speak, so I wish him a happy birthday as we wrap up. “Oh, God,” he groans, as though he has just been reminded of a large outstanding bill. “Yeah. Thanks.” Here’s to a few more sitting-down roles. “I’ll take that all right.”

Peaky Blinders - Every Episode Ranked - IMDb Peaky Blinders - Every Episode Ranked - IMDb

Eileen Walsh, Murphy’s co-star in Disco Pigs, tells me that acting in that play “felt dangerous, and yet at the same time we were safe because we trusted each other so much”. They went from sweaty, sellout runs in Cork and Dublin to the Edinburgh fringe and beyond. “We felt we could do anything. It was like being inside a firework.”

Laurence has won numerous awards in his journalism career, including the BSME Talent Award’s Best Deputy Editor, the PPA's 30 Under 30, and the New Editor and Editor of the Year at the AOP and BSMEs. He led Digital Spy to win PPA's Digital Content Team of the Year twice, along with the British Media Awards’ Brand of the Year in 2021. Laurence has been a broadcasting contributor on television and radio, including KISS, Heat Radio, BBC Radio London, Radio 5 Live, and BBC Breakfast. He is also a visiting lecturer at various universities teaching journalism, including City, University of London, Nottingham Trent, Staffordshire University and London Metropolitan. Peaky Blinders’ as they were known, has become an infamous name although the exact origins of it remain a mystery. Some believe it to have originated from the barbaric practice of stitching razor blades into the peak of their caps, although this might be a more fantastical theory as others suggest the luxury item of a disposable razor blade would not have been commonplace at the time. Another theory is that Peaky Blinders derives from the use of the cap to disguise their faces from the victims so they could not be identified. Cillian Murphy, star of the new horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, is something to behold: X-ray eyes at once penetrating and ethereally blue, cheekbones so pronounced you could stretch out and go to sleep on them. Unfortunately, the beholding will have to wait. We have barely exchanged greetings over Zoom when his voice breaks up, the screen freezes and the room falls silent. A quiet place, indeed.

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