Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy on the BBC2 period drama – video

“It’s a golden age for television,” says Murphy as Steven Knight’s new drama explores the madness and hedonism that followed the First World War


New BBC2 period drama Peaky Blinders transports us to Birmingham: 1919 and, as writer Steven Knight explains, the “madness after the First World War”.


These are characters who have been spat out of the war straight back into society, explains Cillian Murphy, who plays anti-hero Thomas Shelby. 

“The pace of it is something that could be considered challenging, but I just loved that,” says the Irish actor. “There’s no waiting around. You’re in that character. For me it’s the waiting around they pay you for. The other stuff is free.” 

On bringing the Peaky Blinders to life, Knight explains, “The thing is that in the 20s people stylised themselves… It’s not so much looking at a period similar to our own and then glamourising it or changing it – that’s what was there, that’s how people were behaving at the time.” 

See Murphy and Knight chatting to and get a glimpse of the show: 

Peaky Blinders starts tonight at 9pm on BBC2