Peaky Blinders season 5 finale draws show’s highest ever ratings

The Cillian Murphy drama pulled in almost four million viewers

Peaky Blinders, BBC Pictures, SL

A record amount of UK viewers tuned into BBC’s Peaky Blinders for its series five finale – and that major twist.

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Overall, 3.84 million people watched the episode, blowing away the record previously set by episode three (3.76 million).

Furthermore, the first four episodes of the drama – starring Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory – have averaged a massive 5.9 million in seven-day consolidated viewing across all screens.

So, why has Peaky Blinders enjoyed so much recent success in the ratings? The epic gangster story from writer Steven Knight? The appearance of historical figures like British fascist Oswald Mosley (played by Sam Claflin)?

Although they provide some answers, a huge factor is the show’s move to BBC One, with series one to four of Peaky Blinders airing on BBC Two. On that channel, the highest viewing figure achieved was 2.4 million for the season four finale.

Although a sixth season of the drama hasn’t yet been officially greenlit, Knight previously revealed he is working on a sixth and seventh series.

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“My ambition is to make it a story of a family between two wars,” he explained before series five aired. “So 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.”