The sixth and final series of Peaky Blinders returns to the BBC tonight – with viewers said to be in for a truly explosive drama as Tommy Shelby and family are back on screen.
The Birmingham gangster drama is returning after two years away, and for the sixth season we will see Tommy and his family getting to grips with life in 1930s Birmingham as the world is on the brink of war.
Hollywood star Cillian Murphy returns as the head of the family Thomas Shelby, while Paul Anderson returns as brother Arthur, and actor Tom Hardy will also return for series 6 as Alfie Solomons.
READ MORE: Where is Peaky Blinders filmed? All the locations for series 6
The show’s creator Steven Knight has said there will be a “fitting tribute” in the series opener to actress Helen McCrory, who played matriarch Polly Gray since series 1, after her tragic death aged 52 in April 2021.
The series will premiere on the BBC from 9pm on Sunday February 27 and for the following six Sundays thereafter at that time slot, and will also be available to watch on the BBC iplayer.
The opening episode will see Tommy set off for North America, where the end of Prohibition brings new opportunities. But he faces new danger from an old adversary who is finally making his move.
Here we take a closer look at some of the main characters returning to the drama and where you’ve seen the actors before.
Who is in the cast?
Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby)
The head of the Shelby family, Tommy is head of the Shelby empire and in the most recent series was seen rising to prominence as an MP.
He failed to topple Oswald Mosley in the final moments of series 5, and will be seen back again.
Talking about series 6, actor Cillian Murphy says: “I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I would just say: Tommy is about to face enemies and demons more powerful than anything he’s ever faced before.
“It’s the mid 1930s, fascism is on the rise, the Shelbys are more powerful than ever.
“But demons are coming to reclaim Tommy Shelby.”
Away from Peaky Blinders, Tommy has a wealth of movie credits to his name, including starring in 28 Days Later, Inception, Cold Mountain and Batman Begins.
Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby)
The eldest of the Shelby brothers, Arthur is known as a tough guy with a soft center when it comes to his personal life.
Acting as his brother’s right-hand man, series 6 will see Arthur battling his booze demons.
The character has been played by 43-year-old actor Paul Anderson since series 1.
He has also enjoyed film roles in The Revenant, In the Heart of the Sea And Brimstone.
Sophie RundleAda Shelby
Actress Sophie Rundle returns as Ada Shelby, the only female of the Shelby siblings for series 6.
The widow will be back in her prominent role as Head of Acquisitions in the Shelby Company.
Talking about her role, Sophie says: “The women in Peaky are as tough as the men, they just happen to be wearing dresses, I think it’s as simple as that.
“The women in the show are a victim of the time that the show is set in — they weren’t as liberated as we are now. But they’re just as steely, just as tough… if not more so because they have to be to stay afloat.”
Actress Sophie, 33, has a number of film and TV credits alongside her role in Peaky Blinders.
She played Anna Walker in Gentleman Jack and starred in Bodyguard, The Bletchley Circle and Jamestown.
Natasha O’Keefe (Lizzie Shelby)
The wife of Tommy Shelby, Lizzie Shelby is mum to the couple’s young daughter as well as step-mum to Tommy’s son Charles from his previous relationship with Grace.
In series 5, we saw her being defended by Tommy when the villainous character of Oswald Mosley taunted him with the suggestion he had used her services as a prostitute in her past.
Actress Natasha, 35, will resume the role of Lizzie, and is known for her previous roles in other high profile dramas, including ITV’s Jekyll and Hyde, the BBC’s Sherlock, and films Filth and Svengali.
Finn Cole (Michel Gray)
We have watched the character of Michael Gray develop over the past few series of Peaky Blinders, as he joined the Shelby business before losing a fortune in the United States.
He is set to feature prominently again in series 6 alongside American wife Gina.
Actor Finn Cole, 26, has had previous roles in An Inspector Calls and Lewis, and has starred in TNT’s Animal Kingdom since 2016.
Anna Taylor-Joy (Gina Gray)
The glamorous Gina Gray was first introduced to viewers in series 5, as the scheming American wife of Michael Gray.
The couple were last seen being banished by Tommy over their manipulative moves, but are both set to have a prominent role in series 6.
Actress Anna, 25, was born in Miami but raised in London, and has won a number of awards in her career to date already including a Golden Globe for her standout performance in The Queen’s Gambit as chess prodigy Beth Harmon.
She has also appeared in The Miniaturist, Dark Crystal and Glass.
Tom Hardy (Alfie Solomons)
The character of Alfie Solomons will return for Peaky season 6, with movie star Tom Hardy back in the role.
Jewish gangster Alfie has long been an enemy of Tommy, but with Tommy aiming to overcome fascist leader Oswald Mosley in series 6, it looks likely that the two may unite in their aim to bring him down.
Actor Tom, 44, has had a lengthy film and TV career, with notable career roles in Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Rises and Venom.
Sam Claflin (Oswald Mosley)
The historical figure of Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, was first introduced in series 5 and was the subject of a failed assassination plot by Tommy at the end of the series.
As the drama resumes in the 1930s, the politician will be seen with his mistress Diana Mitford, who later became his wife, by his side.
Actor Sam, 35, is best known for playing Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games film series, as well as in films Me Before You, Adrift and The Nightingale.
Amber AndersonDiana Mitford
The historical figure of Diana Mitford is new to the action of Peaky Blinders series 6.
In real life, she was Mosley’s mistress, and he made her his second wife after the death of first wife Lady Cynthia Curzon in 1933, with Adolf HItler among the guests at the wedding.
Actress Amber Anderson will take on what is said to be a “dark role” in the new series as Diana.
Amber, 26, is known for previous roles in the 2020 film of Emma, and TV roles in Strike and The Riot Club.
Stephen Graham – character TBC
There has been much excitement among fans after it was confirmed that acclaimed actor Stephen Graham would be making an appearance in the sixth and final season of Peaky.
His role has been kept tightly under wraps, other than show bosses saying he will play “an historical figure” in the show, and that he is likely to be keeping his Liverpool accent in the role.
Stephen, 48, is known for a wealth of acclaimed TV and film roles, including in Line of Duty, This is England, Snatch, Gangs of New York, Time and Help and new movie Boiling Point.
Where to watch Peaky Blinders 6
Peaky Blinders returns to BBC One exclusively from Sunday, February 27 at 9pm.
It will also be available to view on the BBC iplayer.
It will then screen every Sunday for the next six weeks at the same 9pm timeslot on BBC One.
Previous series have been available on Netflix, but it has not yet been announced when series 6 will premiere on other streaming services.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.