Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has revealed his sadness at filming the final series of the hit drama and how much he misses Helen McCrory.
The sixth and final series of the Birmingham-set gangster drama is due to begin screening on BBC1 before the end of January.
But one major character will not appear, after Helen – who played Aunt Polly, the lynchpin and matriarch of the Shelby family – died from cancer in April, aged 52.
Speaking of his loss and the future of Peaky Blinders, Steven told BirminghamWorld: “There were lots of sadnesses on the last day of filming, for various reasons.
“It was emotional without Helen. It was the loss of the human being that was the main thing. She was such a fantastic human being. She was so full of life, that’s the terrible irony. The loss of the actor was a tragedy. She was so good and such a fundamental part of Peaky, but we had to go on.
“I feel it’s just the end of the beginning rather than the final end, because we’re going to make a film and create a dance show. There are so many people who love the show around the world, who are so passionate about it, that as long as that’s out there we will continue to make stuff.”
Brummie Steven was speaking at the launch of the latest Peaky project, in conjunction with Rambert, founded as a ballet company in 1926.
The world premiere of Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby will be staged at Birmingham Hippodrome. The show will run from September 27 to October 2 before a UK tour.
As well as creating the dance show, Steven reveals he has started writing a Peaky Blinders film which will carry on the story of the Birmingham gangsters when the TV series has finished. And he plans to shoot it at his own studios, the planned Mercian Studios which would cover a 38-acre site in Digbeth.
He revealed: “The film will be shot in Birmingham. I wanted to film more of the last TV series in Birmingham, but it turned out to be too hard because of Covid restrictions and people being in bubbles. But we did make it to the Black Country Living Museum as we had to really – it’s our Midland home.”
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