Who is Duke Shelby in Peaky Blinders Series 6, will he be in the film?

Find out more about the latest member of the Peaky Blinders Shelby clan

He first appeared in episode four of Series 6 the final series of the Birmingham inspired drama on BBC One.

And in the last ever episode Duke Shelby, played by Conrad Khan, proved himself as a member of the gang.

There’s been much talk of him appearing in a spin-off series or a Peaky Blinders film.

But who is Duke Shelby?

In short, Duke is Tommy Shelby’s illegitimate son. Ahead of World War II the gang leader ‘spent some time’ underneath a hazelnut tree at the gypsy gathering, The Appleby Horse Fair’.

Duke’s proper first name is Erasmus and - with Tommy and Duke’s mum meeting in 1914 and series 6 being set in 1934 - he is around 19 years old. He can’t read or write, but likes horses and is good at stealing things, which he proves as he steals Arthur’s watch.

Tommy learned of Duke’s existence when he went to visit his wild-living sister-in-law Esme Shelby (widow of his dead brother John) when his seven-year-old daughter Ruby fell sick.

Tommy feared the gypsies had put a curse on Ruby after he gave them a blue sapphire which he got from some Russian enemies who warned him it had been cursed.

Duke Shelby played by Conrad Khan

Where is Duke’s mum now?

Duke’s mother was called Zelda. She fell pregnant after he left to fight in the Great War in France. She later “died on the road”.

She told Duke that his dad was the Duke of Saxon Shaw and that she was a Romany Queen.

But Tommy tells Duke that Zelda actually stole his watch and chain. The reason it had ‘Saxon Shaw’ carved onto it was because Tommy stole it himself when he was a kid.

Zelda continued to wear the watch over her heart and was buried with it.

Tommy reveals that Duke’s grandfather shot him with a squirrel gun when Zelda fell pregnant which left him with a scar.

Duke Shelby played by Conrad Khan

What is Duke’s role in the Shelby clan?

Duke was accepted as a full member of the Sheby clan in the last ever episode of the Peaky Blinders drama screened for the first time on Sunday (April 3).

Earlier in the series, he had denied that he was a Shelby and appeared reticent towards his father.

He objects to violence shown by the gang in a betting shop in episode five after seeing Billy Grad forced to kill a referee who refuses to fix a football match.

Tommy agrees that Duke can work with horses and remain anonymous.

However, Tommy hints that’s his business will need Duke for his "dark" work in the future, suggesting that his other son, Charlie, will fulfil his "light" work, adding his affairs will need settling soon.

In the finale, Duke proves himself as a member of the Shelby gang as he helps Tommy to root out Billy Grade as a  traitor and exiles his uncle Finn from the family.

Duke Shelby (Conrad Khan)

What’s next for Duke Shelby?

Rumours are abounding that there will be a Peaky Blinders spin-off series and film - with many fans expecting Duke to play a prominent role in both.

Creator Steven Knight has confirmed that the saga will continue on the big screen with a film to conclude the story.

But there’s been no confirmation of a spin off series. We also don’t know who will be in the film yet. But Knight has previously confirmed that Tommy and Arthur would both be in it, telling  Digital Spy: "It’s impossible to say yet. But the film – yes.

Khan, who was seen with a Peaky Blinders haircut in the final scenes, has confirmed that he hopes his character will return for the film.

When asked about his character appearing the future of the shw, he revealed to RadioTimes.com: "I hope so. I hope so. [Steven Knight] hasn’t spoken to me about it. I don’t think he even knows in his mind what he wants to take it next. But yeah, who knows?"

He also gave some insight into how he would like to see the character of Duke progressing, saying: "I think he has kind of a fierce independence. He does have…a kind of a wild, feral, violent side to him. And I think as an actor that that’s quite fun to play sometimes. So maybe a bit of that, a bit of action. I enjoy doing the action."

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep the conversation going.