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If he doesn't hit someone with a glass or release hell with a Lewis machine gun, our Tommy still finds the time to pursue a more than healthy love life

Hoera for anyone who likes a bit of eye gushing, a tight accelerator, a carrot or two, a good stitch and a tightly cut three-piece suit.

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Because Peaky Blinders, the ruthlessly violent and bloody BBC gangster drama that follows the lives, times and dodgy cohorts of the Shelby family in Birmingham, returns next weekend.

Judging by the reactions of fans who have already watched the trailer for the fifth series, it is probably a bigger hit than ever.

If he doesn't hit someone with a glass or release hell with a Lewis machine gun, our Tommy still finds the time to pursue a more than healthy love life

If he doesn't hit someone with a glass or release hell with a Lewis machine gun, our Tommy still finds the time to pursue a more than healthy love life

Written by Steven Knight (who co-created Who Wants To A Millionaire?), And starring everyone from Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory to Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley, the BAFTA winner is from a slow burner to a huge hit attracted up to four million viewers per episode.

And, as Jane Fryer discovers, from Shelby-themed weddings to music festivals and spin-off gins, Peaky craziness is becoming global.

The series so far …

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Thomas Shelby (Murphy), leader of the Peaky Blinders, is the ruthless but admirable and intelligent star of this orgy of Twenties Midlands cruelty.

As the maker Knight puts it: "Tommy is one of those who came back from (World War I) terribly damaged, who were spit back into society without any help.

"And many brought their weapons home. There were many guns in the area at the time. Tommy has a huge disregard for authority – everything he was told is a lie. & # 39;

In four series we have seen Tommy fight with an Italian mafioso and a crusade police – while we find time to make pacts with the IRA, a gang of gypsies and even Churchill.

The new series begins after the stock market crash in 1929, with Shelby newly installed as Labor MP for Birmingham South.

Thomas Shelby (Murphy), leader of the Peaky Blinders, is the ruthless, but admirable and intelligent star of this cruelty of the orgy of the 1920s in Midlands.

Thomas Shelby (Murphy), leader of the Peaky Blinders, is the ruthless, but admirable and intelligent star of this cruelty of the orgy of the 1920s in Midlands.

Thomas Shelby (Murphy), leader of the Peaky Blinders, is the ruthless, but admirable and intelligent star of this cruelty of the orgy of the 1920s in Midlands.

How it started

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The show is set in Toxteth, Liverpool (and in the Black Country Living Museum) in Small Heath, Birmingham and has a predominantly British cast.

Thanks to a distribution agreement with Netflix (and the addition of Tom Hardy in series two), the series quickly gathered fans in the United States and worldwide.

A true story?

Knight based the series on the gang that terrorized or not Birmingham in 1919, when it was the largest industrial city in the world.

He was inspired by stories his father told him about his gangster uncles.

Although the Peaky Blinders are so named for the razor blades hidden in the tips of their flat caps, in real life Tommy and Co have previously relied on boots with steel tips, belt buckles, knives and their bare hands.

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Yet it is the show's attempts to struggle with real historical events that hold it true.

The rise of trade unions; the violent campaign of the IRA; Russian aristocrats fleeing the communist revolution. . . Peaky Blinders is a history lesson about steroids.

Although the Peaky Blinders are so named for the razor blades hidden in the tips of their flat caps, in real life Tommy and Co have previously relied on boots with steel tips, belt buckles, knives and their bare hands

Although the Peaky Blinders are so named for the razor blades hidden in the tips of their flat caps, in real life Tommy and Co have previously relied on boots with steel tips, belt buckles, knives and their bare hands

Although the Peaky Blinders are so named for the razor blades hidden in the tips of their flat caps, in real life Tommy and Co have previously relied on boots with steel tips, belt buckles, knives and their bare hands

Real ladies man

If he doesn't hit someone with a glass or release hell with a Lewis machine gun, our Tommy still finds the time to pursue a more than healthy love life.

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In the first series we saw him fall head over heels for sultry blonde Irish barmaid Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis. They eventually get married and have a son, Charles.

After Grace was shot in series three, Tommy finds comfort with a Russian grand duchess and a rich widow. He then resumes a romance with former prostitute Lizzie Stark (Natasha O & # 39; Keeffe), with whom he has a daughter, Ruby.

A lot of gore

The crew of Blinders has always had a preference for the strange bloodbath – a touch of the eyes and the strange ear cut off – but in series five it goes even further.

When Helen McCrory saw the opening scenes last month during a screening in Birmingham, she had to look away. "I find it disgusting, unnecessary violence," she said. & # 39; It is. . . no, not unnecessary – disgustingly violent. But it is and it should be. & # 39;

Knight insists that he is happy with the general levels of gore, because Peaky Blinders abides by the rule that "every act of violence has a consequence in the story," to prevent it from becoming enchanting.

In the first series we saw him fall head over heels for sultry blonde Irish barmaid Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis. They eventually get married and have a son, Charles
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In the first series we saw him fall head over heels for sultry blonde Irish barmaid Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis. They eventually get married and have a son, Charles

In the first series we saw him fall head over heels for sultry blonde Irish barmaid Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis. They eventually get married and have a son, Charles

Shivering style

Murphy loathes Tommy's haircut because it takes months to grow out. But hairdressers insist that not because "The Rachel" (the style that is popular in Friends by the character played by Jennifer Aniston) has a TV role that has influenced trends in tonality, saying that fans of all ages wear the 'Tommy Shelby Special'.

Herbal cigarettes

Whether he cuts someone or makes love, Shelby often smokes and smokes at least 3,000 cigarettes per series, according to the props team. However, they always have a spicy rose flavor, because Murphy is a non-smoker in real life. McCrory says the cast is left behind with bits & # 39; black & # 39; in their nostrils.

An accent like Ozzy

Even experienced cast members struggled to control the accents.

McCrory, an actress with one of the coolest, happiest voices in the company, said she had only cracked her Birmingham accent after watching "endless" video clips from Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne.

Murphy captured his on a "pretty drunk Saturday" with Knight in the Garrison pub (shown in the show).

Sam Neill, 71, born in Northern Ireland but moved to New Zealand when he was seven, enlisted the help of fellow actor friends James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to perfect the growl of Belfast from detective Chester Campbell.

Beckham cuts a line in peak-like perfection

David Beckham and his sons have embraced the look and Becks & # 39; co-label, Kent & Curwen, has a new collection in collaboration with the show

David Beckham and his sons have embraced the look and Becks & # 39; co-label, Kent & Curwen, has a new collection in collaboration with the show

David Beckham and his sons have embraced the look and Becks & # 39; co-label, Kent & Curwen, has a new collection in collaboration with the show

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Even critics admit that the sleek style of the show is something to see.

Episode after episode is full of slow-motion recordings, sharp scenes, a soundtrack with rock music and enough fireworks to match a volcano – as well as the sharpest outfits on TV.

Men have refurbished baker's boys' hats and pressed themselves into three-piece suits.

David Beckham and his sons have embraced the look and Becks & co-label, Kent & Curwen, has a new collection in conjunction with the show – called The Garrison Tailors, in a nod to the Shelby family pub.

Lookalike & # 39; mob & # 39; life

Scott Blower, a gardener from Sale, Greater Manchester, is so similar to Tommy Shelby that fans (of both sexes) go crazy when they see him – even abroad.

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"I was harassed," Scott recalled, 47. "Even on the plane, people thought I was him. It was crazy. & # 39;

He has embraced the parable with a job in a Peaky Blinders-themed bar, where he is paid to walk around in full clothing from the 1920s.

Even his girlfriend, Nicola Stones, admits that she fell for him for the first time when he was dressed as Tommy.

Two real Peaky Blinders are shown above. Knight based the series on the gang that terrorized or not Birmingham in 1919, when it was the largest industrial city in the world. He was inspired by stories his father told him about his gangster uncles

Two real Peaky Blinders are shown above. Knight based the series on the gang that terrorized or not Birmingham in 1919, when it was the largest industrial city in the world. He was inspired by stories his father told him about his gangster uncles

Two real Peaky Blinders are shown above. Knight based the series on the gang that terrorized or not Birmingham in 1919, when it was the largest industrial city in the world. He was inspired by stories his father told him about his gangster uncles

Cashing in

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There have been countless Peaky Blinders-themed weddings, parties and even funerals.

The Jockey Club at Newmarket organized the first official Peaky Blinders Race day this month.

An official Peaky Blinders music festival will take place in Birmingham next month with acts such as Primal Scream, Anna Calvi, Slaves and Mike Stinner from The Streets.

Enthusiasts can also get Peaky Lego figures, mugs, T-shirts, pajamas, duvet covers, beer, beer and spiced gin and sign up for Peaky bus tours in both Liverpool and Birmingham.

The aunt who puts Tommy in place

The Peaky Blinders may spend their days hatching evil plans to destroy their enemies, but each Shelby plan underlines a deep-rooted belief in the interest of family.

All Tommy does is ensure that the Shelby family – who were once desperately impoverished nobodies – continue to exert influence.

While Tommy is plotting in London, his aunt Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) more than fills his boots.

Indeed, it often seems that it is the females of the Shelby clan who have the real power – with "Aunt Pol" positioning herself as the family mat and sister of Tommy Ada (Sophie Rundle), one of the few brave enough is to challenge him.

While Tommy is plotting in London, his aunt Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) more than fills his boots

While Tommy is plotting in London, his aunt Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) more than fills his boots

While Tommy is plotting in London, his aunt Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) more than fills his boots

Bowie lifted his cap

David Bowie was a huge fan and once sent a picture of himself to Cillian with razor blades in his cap.

In response, the actor sent him a flat hat from the show and, in series three, in honor of the deceased singer, Tommy appears in a hospital bed similar to that of Bowie & # 39; s music video Lazarus.

Singer Ed Sheeran, actors Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise and directors Michael Mann and Steven Spielberg are all big fans.

Rapper Snoop Dog arranged a three-hour meeting with Knight at London's St Martin & # 39; s Lane hotel to talk about gang culture.

In good company

When it was first broadcast in September 2013, critics called the show a "new Boardwalk Empire" (the successful Sky Atlantic gangster series in Atlantic City).

But Knight threw his idea on Channel 4 for the first time in 2001, years before.

Knight does not watch TV dramas & films, and has therefore never seen the Sky show or a number of other top shows with which Peaky Blinders has been compared, such as The Wire.

Peaky the musical

A book – titled Commissioned by The Peaky Blinders: The Official Companion To The Hit TV Series – will be available from October.

A film, musical and even a ballet are also potentially tense future spin-off projects.

And if that wasn't enough, Knight is now planning a £ 100 million £ 100,000 film and television studio in the West Midlands.

To be continued…

Knight, who has written every episode of Peaky Blinders (and has already written the series six and seven), says the last series will end when the air strikes sound sirens of the Second World War.

Star turns around in the back streets of Brum

Tom Hardy played the Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons and his real wife, Charlotte Riley (both pictured above), played May Carleton

Tom Hardy played the Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons and his real wife, Charlotte Riley (both pictured above), played May Carleton

Tom Hardy played the Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons and his real wife, Charlotte Riley (both pictured above), played May Carleton

Cillian Murphy, the 43-year-old film star 28 Days Later and Batman Begins, shuns celebrity and quietly lives with his artist wife Yvonne McGuinness in his native Ireland.

Helen McCrory, 50, is married to Homeland actor Damian Lewis. Tom Hardy played the Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons and his real wife, Charlotte Riley (both pictured above), played May Carleton.

Sophie Rundle, star of Gentleman Jack and The Bodyguard, plays Ada Thorne, born Shelby: the only sister of the Shelby brothers.

Michael Gray, Polly & # 39; s son and Tommy & # 39; s brother John Shelby are played by real-life brothers, Finn and Joe Cole.

Hunger Games star Sam Clafin joins some of Britain's most popular actors for series five.

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