How is Peaky Blinders being impacted by coronavirus?

The BBC gangster epic announced it was postponing production - so when might we next see the Shelbys on our screens?

Peaky Blinders V Ep 6

After five successful series which saw the Shelbys see off several gang rivals, hit BBC show Peaky Blinders is following the lead of shows such as of Line of Duty, The Handmaid’s Tale and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series by delaying production in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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As one of the most-watched series on the BBC, many fans are understandably worried about a delay to the gangster epic – could we still see Tommy Shelby and co. in 2020?

Had Peaky Blinders already started filming?

Unlike most other delayed projects, Peaky Blinders holds the rare distinction of not having started filming at all.

Pre-production on the anticipated sixth season began in January, and filming was set to begin imminently in locations such as Manchester and Scotland.

When and why was filming on Peaky Blinders delayed?

It was announced that Peaky Blinders would be delaying production on Monday 16th March 2020, the same date that fellow BBC drama Line of Duty also postponed filming.

The shoot was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the encouragement of working from home if possible and the practicing of social distancing.

A BBC spokesperson told The Guardian: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, the producers – Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions – of Peaky Blinders S6 have postponed filming, and World Productions on Line of Duty S6 have suspended filming, both in consultation with and supported by the BBC.

“We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organization and Public Health England.”

When might filming on Peaky Blinders resume?

This is quite the question, as no suggestion was made by the BBC or the Peaky Blinders production team about just how long filming was postponed for.

Other delayed projects, such as The Batman and Netflix’s North American shows have opted for at least a two week hiatus, which seems like a reasonable length for Peaky Blinders to potentially postpone for.

It also lines up with medical advice to self-isolate for 14 days – the maximum incubation period of the virus.

Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby)

However, a new start date for filming on series six will most likely depend on advice from the government, which has steadily increased preventative measures.

On Monday 16th March, the same day Peaky Blinders was delayed, the government announced new measures encouraging working at home if possible and the avoidance of gatherings in public places – with no mention of a potential end date.

Filming will likely begin once these measures are lifted and the rest of the country are encouraged to return to work – which could be several weeks from now at least.

How long might this delay the broadcast of Peaky Blinders series 6?

As one of the few shows to not have done any filming whatsoever, Peaky Blinders may be one of the shows worst-affected by the pandemic.

There’s no telling when it will be deemed safe enough to resume production again, and even then there will still be a full six-episode filming schedule to complete. Post-production could also be affected.

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There was no set release date for the sixth series of Peaky Blinders, but there was hope it could return for its traditional Autumn broadcast in late 2020. However, with no end currently in sight over the virus-led disruption, it is far more likely the show will now return to screens in early 2021.