The new drama series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, This Town, is now available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer, with the first two episodes having aired on BBC One.


It's Knight's latest project to be set in his hometown, Birmingham, and he has explained that the 1980s set story is, in part, inspired by his own real-life experiences.

Knight said: "I wanted to do something partly from my own experience, as I grew up in an environment not entirely dissimilar. The music was around at the time and for us it was ‘other’, it was different and everyone liked it.

"I’m not trying to set out to make a political or social point at all, but at this time a particular thing happened where a particular type of music attracted equally black and white people.

"They danced to and made that music together, not in order to prove a point and not as a consequence of any sort of pressure, but because that’s just what happened.

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"I thought that was quite an important thing to illustrate. It’s depicting working class life without any sense of sorrow or pity and, rather than that, seeing the glory and the glamour of it."

Levi Brown as Dante Williams in This Town, talking to a policeman with debris all around the street and riot police stood with barriers behind him
Levi Brown as Dante Williams in This Town BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos

Of course, the specifics of the story, which charts the lives of young aspiring poet and musician Dante and his family and friends, are fictional, but Knight based a key sequence on a real incident from the time period.

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He explained: "The setting and backdrop for This Town is 1981, Birmingham and Coventry. ‘81 was a time of turmoil and change in every sense – in society, in politics, but in music as well.

"This series opens with a riot and I hope the sense of ‘riot’ continues throughout the whole thing. The riot was a real thing, it happened in Handsworth, Birmingham and I’ve used that to introduce four very different characters who will come together."

One of the show's stars, Shyvonne Ahmmad, previously spoke exclusively with about the series, and explained how close it was to Knight's heart, describing it as his "love letter to Birmingham and the Midlands" and a "love letter to that time".

This Town is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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