61 Peaky Blinders Facts You Probably Haven't Heard Of Before

Sakshi Thakur
Mar 20, 2023 By Sakshi Thakur
Originally Published on Mar 20, 2023
Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani
Read these amazing peaky blinders facts here on Kidadl.

Peaky Blinders is a powerful gang in England that started as an illegal bookmaking operation after the First World War.

The British film director and screenwriter Steven Knight created Peaky Blinders. He wrote it along with Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay.

The Peaky Blinders series follows the fictional crime gang loosely based on the real-life youth gang with the same name. The gang was active between the '80s to '10s. Endemol, Weinstein Company, and Netflix released the show around the world.

The main characters are Tommy Shelby, Arthur Shelby, John Shelby Elizabeth 'Polly' Gray. In 2021, they announced that Season six would be the last of this series with a spinoff movie.

the show's premiere was on BBC Two in 2013 until the fourth season. The creators moved it to BBC One for the fifth and sixth seasons. Read on to learn all about the series reception and audience reactions.

Audience Reception

Peaky Blinders series received critical acclaim from around the world. The cast of the show also received positive reviews.

The show received moderate attention among the audience in its first two seasons. With the premiere of season 3 in 2016, Peaky Blinders stood out on Netflix. The series has also gained a lot of fans because of the addition of Tom Hardy to the star cast.

  • Although the first season of Peaky Blinders series was Western, the second was a traditional gangster show inspired by the Godfather.
  • In real life, Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy are married. They have two children.
  • Michael Mann, who directed the famous 'Heat', is also a fan of this show. He apparently sent a mail to Knight to let him know that his wife watched seasons 1 and 2 in one weekend.
  • Many actors in Peaky Blinders were seen in 'Game Of Thrones, like Alexander Siddig, Noah Taylor, Richard Brake, and Donald Sumpter.
  • The first season is set only a few months after the first world war, in November 1918.
  • Around season 4, Cillian Murphy stated that he was still worried about getting the Birmingham accent wrong.
  • The American rapper Snoop Dogg is a fan of the series. When he was in London, Snoop Dogg met Steven Knight at a hotel for a three-hour meeting.
  • Episode 3 of Season 4 is named Black Bird, likely a reference from Gene Austin's Bye Bye BBlackbird.
  • Michael Gray (Finn Cole) and John Shelby (Joe Cole) are cousins in the series. However, the actors playing these characters are brothers in real life.
  • In the real gang, Thomas Gilbert was the oldest member. He partly inspired the creators to develop the character Tommy Shelby.
  • 'Michael' is the middle name of Thomas Shelby. However, in the last episode of season one, it is incorrectly written as Thomas J. Shelby.
  • Some viewers criticized the Birmingham accent in the series. Yet, the cast and crew stated that their accents were historically proper. Helen McCrory also voiced that her accent was from the '20s.
  • Cillian Murphy stated that he does not like his hairdo in the series,
  • The first scene of the first episode portrays Thomas Shelby on a horse, riding into town. It represents the Western in the West Midlands.
  • Season 4-Episode 2 saw Bonnie Gould, who wants to become a boxer. Jack Rowan is also an amateur boxer in real life.
  • One of the directors, Colm McCarthy, stated that the appearance of fire was intentionally included to symbolize the flames of hell.
  • Cillian Murphy smoked around 3000 herbal cigarettes by the end of Season 2. Currently, he has smoked about 6000 cigarettes.
  • Although the series has its fair share of violence, Steven Knight stated that he makes sure that every violent act has consequences later in the series.
  • The Faberge egg in Episode 5, Season 3, is famous as the Lily of the Valley egg. Peter Carl Faberge, a Russian jeweler, supervised the making of this egg.
  • West Midlands shown in the series are shot in Dudley's open-air museum, Black Country Living Museum. The museum has several industrial areas, shops, and houses.

Art direction

Grant Montgomery was the production designer for the show's every season on Netflix. He came up with 48 sets mimicking the Birmingham haunts of the gang. He created 120 sets in the second season representing the business activities of Tommy Shelby.

  • The show was not filmed chronologically. Hence, Cillian Murphy felt that Tommy Shelby would get unstuck in time.
  • The series is set in England's West Midlands. However, it was not filmed there as the area has changed significantly since the peaky blinders era.
  • Initially, the team created 48 sets at the Leeds' BBC Studio. Later, the sets increased to 120.
  • Although the show is set in the '20s, peaky blinders were strongest in the '90s. Also, the Birmingham gang seized the blinders.
  • Billy Kimber is based on a real criminal with the same name. He ran racecourses in the UK. At one time, he was also the biggest crime boss in the UK.
  • As Black Country Living Museum has become an integral part of the series, it is referred to as The Home Of The Peaky Blinders.
  • The real members of the gang served in the First World War. Henry Fowler could not see or speak for some time after the war.
  • Historians have pointed out that around the '80s, the term peaky was famously used in reference to an e-flat peak cap. Also, the term blinder was used to describe something with a high-quality appearance.
  • Knight stated that he approached Jason Statham and almost instantly picked him for the role. However, later changed his mind.
  • The Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's clips helped Helen McCrory with her accent.
  • Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy were villains in the Batman movie. In the Dark Knight Trilogy, Tom Hardy as Bane, and Cillian Murphy was Scarecrow.
  • Steven Knight stated that the westerns inspired him more than gangster movies.
  • David Bowie also contributed to the show's music and was a huge fan of Peaky Blinders.
  • The idea to hide razor blades originates from 'A Walk Down Summer Lane' novel by John Douglas.
  • Steven Knight said that he was partly inspired by stories he heard in childhood. Significantly, the one that his father told him.
  • The series is filmed in other regions of England like Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, and Bradford.
  • When Steven Knight's father was around eight, he was to deliver a message to his uncles, the Sheldons'. Knight's father reached their home to find eight well-dressed men seated around a table with guns in their pockets and money on the table.
  • Annabelle Wallis is an English actress playing an Irish character, whereas Cillian Murphy is an Irish actor portraying an Englishman.
  • Grant Montgomery is a fan of 'Drive', the 2011 crime-drama movie. So, he added a scorpion design for Darby Sadini's new rival gang, a bow to the design on the back of Ryan Gosling's jacket.
Audience praised Peaky Blinders for its stylish cinematography, acting, and writing.

*We've been unable to source an image of Peaky Blinders. We would be happy to credit you if you can provide us with a royalty-free image of a Rottweiler Lab. Please get in touch with us at hello@kidadl.com.

Commercial success

Peaky Blinders was heavily appreciated for its cast, design, and story after the release of Season 3. Critics also compared is series to 'Boardwalk Empire', an American show, which is also set in history with a similar theme. Leonard Cohen and David Bowie also received high praise for their work on the show's music.

  • Episode 4, Season 4, named dangerous stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Aiden Gillen. All three were also seen in the 'Dark Knight Rises.'
  • Soundtracks in the show are covered mainly by the Rattlesnakes, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Frank Carter, Royal Blood, Nick Cave, and The Bed Seeds.
  • Before the premiere of season 5, Cillian Murphy stated that filming for the series has been a rollercoaster, and his character is exhausting to play.
  • Charlie Murphy, who plays Jesse Eden, and Sophie Randall, who portrays Ada Shelby, previously worked together in 2014 in 'Happy Valley.'
  • Cillian Murphy stated that it takes him about a month to regain the Birmingham accent after not speaking for a while.
  • Dennis Lehane and Stephen King have watched the Peaky Blunders series.
  • In the show, the gang members are in their 30s and even older. However, the real gang was made up of street kids with an average age of 18. Some members were younger than 18.
  • In the real peaky blinders gang, David Taylor, a 13-year-old, was arrested for having a loaded handgun.
  • The Shelby Company Limited's Gin bottle reads 'distilled for the eradication of seemingly incurable sadness.'
  • By the end of season 4, Cillian Murphy also became the show's executive producer
  • It is believed that razor blades in their caps allowed the peaky blinders to use as a weapon. However, Gillette introduced the first replaceable razor blades in 1903.
  • While playing Thomas Shelby, Cillian Murphy is seen smoking a lot. However, these cigarettes are herbal
  • Cillian Murphy learned the accent by going to Garrison pub with his Birmingham friends. He would record himself speaking and play that later to learn.
  • After Tom Hardy joined the series, it became the third production where Murphy and Hardy were seen together. The other two productions were the 'Dark Knight Rises' and 'Inception.'
  • The series set the stage for actors to debut, like Benjamin Zephaniah made his debut as Jeremiah Jesus. Zephaniah is a Brummie poet in real life.
  • Due to this series, Birmingham city saw a boost in tourism, with about 42.8 million tourists visiting Birmingham in 2018. Also, between the show's debut and 2017, there was an almost 26% increase in tourism in the city.
  • In the series, Tommy Shelby shoots and kills Billy Kimber. However, in reality, in a nursing home, Billy Kimber died of old age at 63.
  • Harry Curtin, who plays Finn Shelby, is the only one originating from Birmingham in the whole star cast.
  • Tommy Flanagan, who is seen as Arthur Shelby Senior, is 11 years older than Cillian Murphy.
  • Sam Neill and Annabelle Wallis worked with each other in 'The Tudors.' Sam Neill played Cardinal Wolsey, and Annabelle Wallis played Jane Seymour.
  • 'Peaky Blinders: The King's Ransom' is a virtual reality game yet to be released.
  • Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt helped Sam Neill with his accent.
  • Season 5's first episode aired in 2019, becoming the best debut with 3.7 million viewers.
  • Red Right Hand is the theme song of the series, a track by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.


Is Peaky Blinders based on true facts?
Peaky Blinders is based on true events in real life. However, it also has been fictionalized for dramatic reasons.

When does Peaky Blinders return?
The final season of Peaky Blinders has been released. However, filming for the Peaky Blinders movie starts in 2023 and will release around 2024.

What does OBE mean in Peaky Blinders?
OBE is Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Why is it called Peaky Blinders?
The gang's habit of sewing razor blades into their flat caps' peaks is the inspiration behind the term Peaky Blinders.

What is Peaky Blinders all about?
Peaky Blinders is classified in the crime-drama genre about the Romani and Irish Traveller family of Birmingham in England.

Who is Polly in Peaky Blinders?
Elizabeth 'Polly' Gray (nee Shelby) was the Shelby Family's matriarch. She was Anna Gray and Michael's mother. Polly was also the aunt of Finn, Ada, John, Thomas, and Arthur Shelby.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g86y6b6YUk – 00:27 – 30:10






See All

Written by Sakshi Thakur

Bachelor of Science

Sakshi Thakur picture

Sakshi ThakurBachelor of Science

Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

Dolly Chhatwani picture

Dolly ChhatwaniBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

A skilled professional-client manager, Dolly brings a wealth of experience to any team. Holding a Master's in English Literature, she has worked in various customer relations and operations management roles throughout her career. With a degree in both English and Psychology, she is passionate about promoting mental health. Dolly is an avid reader, particularly of classic literature, and enjoys writing book reviews. Additionally, she maintains a food blog and is active on social media.

Read full bio >