14 August 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
“The story will continue in another form”; Peaky Blinders to end on the BBC after sixth season
19 Jan 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Cillian Murphy and Anthony Byrne on set of Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders creator and writer Steven Knight has revealed that the forthcoming sixth season of his hit period drama will be the last, though it could return in a film format.

Having only recently resumed filming on the sixth installment due to the COVID-related production delays, Knight revealed the unexpected news having previously stating publically that he intended for the drama to have a seven-season run.

"My ambition is to make it a story of a family between two wars," he told the Digital Spy in 2018 ahead of season five. "I've wanted to end it with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in 1939. It'll take three more series to reach that point."

However, Knight’s plans have changed and fans will have to wait and see what is to follow the final season of BBC’s flagship drama, which is led by Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Knight has previously acknowledged that he had been “approached” to bring the Shelby family to the big screen. "A movie would be great... I wouldn't want to do it at the very end, but maybe in between two of the series," he told Digital Spy.

Irish Contingent

What we do know for sure is that Irish director Anthony Byrne has returned to helm the sixth series, having done so on Season five.  Byrne is the first director to be asked by Knight to return with all four other seasons hosting different directors. “It was a big deal and I was very touched that they did so,” Byrne told IFTN in a 2019 interview.

The show is led by Cillian Murphy who has turned his character, Thomas Shelby, into an iconic antihero. “If you were to sit down and design the best actor that you would want to work with then essentially, it's Cillian because he is a total professional,” Byrne said when discussing working with the Cork actor.

He shows up to work, he keeps himself to himself, he is always prepared, always ready, he is the first person to the set,” Byrne continued. “There is no ego; he just wants to be the best. If he is bringing that exemplary attitude to the set, well, then everybody else needs to follow that.”

Peaky Blinders has featured a wealth of Irish talent in front of and behind the camera over the years, from actors Aiden Gillen, Packy Lee, Ned Dennehy, Charlie Murphy and, more recently Daryl McCormack and Brian Gleeson – to director, David Caffrey, cinematographer Cathal Watters, editor Dermot Diskin, production designer Nicole Northridge, costume designer Lorna Marie Mugan, and post-production supervisor Dee Collier. 

Flagship Drama

Since its air date in 2013, the popularity of the BBC drama has increased significantly, causing a revival of the 1920s haircuts and clothing trends with over 3.6 million tuning in to the season four finale. As a result, the BBC moved the Birmingham-based period drama from BBC Two to BBC One ahead of the last season airing in 2019. A move, which saw the show's audience almost double with over 6 million viewers tuning in to watch the sixth series in the UK, and many more internationally with Netflix acquiring rights to the show.

Tom Collins: “For me it's all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores.”
Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
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