After a short hiatus, Winston Churchill has reappeared in Peaky Blinders – but despite his signature fat cigar and bow-tie, the future Prime Minister is looking rather different as he observes Tommy Shelby’s performance in the House of Commons.
That’s because the role of Churchill has been recast. Again.
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As Peaky Blinders fans will remember, we first met Winston Churchill on a train in series one. The year was 1919, and he was receiving a report from Inspector Campbell (Sam Neill) on his mission to recover stolen military guns in Birmingham.
Back then, a more youthful-looking, slimmer Churchill was played by Andy Nyman. The actor has since starred in Hanna (as Jacobs) and Wanderlust (as James Marcham), and played a guard in Star Wars movie The Last Jedi. Here he is:
But by series two, he had morphed into Richard McCabe. It was now the early 1920s, and we caught up with the British politician in the middle of a life-drawing session – with a live model who left Inspector Campbell extremely flustered.
McCabe has since appeared in Harlots, Poldark, Collateral, and Doctor Thorne. It’s not clear why he didn’t return to the role, but he is currently filming roles in Julian Fellowes’ The English Game and in an untitled Game of Thrones prequel.
In his absence, a third actor will play Winston Churchill. It was previously announced that Neil Maskell had joined the cast for series five, but now we know exactly what role he plays…
The year is now 1929, and Churchill has spent a decade watching Tommy’s career from afar. But the distance between the two men has recently closed with the election of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) as an MP.
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Maskell’s recent credits have included Cleaning Up, No Offence, and Humans. Here’s the real Winston Churchill in the late 1920s, alongside Maskell as he appears on screen:
Churchill is not the only character to have been re-cast in Peaky Blinders series 5.
The role of Isiah Jesus was originally played by Jordan Bolger, who has been replaced with Daryl McCormack. Journalist Michael Levitt has also been recast, with Elliot Cowan taking over from Jonty Stephens.
Peaky Blinders airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.