Peaky Blinders expert reveals everything the BBC got wrong about 'vicious, violent thugs' in Birmingham gang

PEAKY Blinders is inspired by the historic Birmingham-based gang of the same name – but how much of the action is grounded in truth?

The BBC thriller has amassed a loyal fanbase thanks to its slick acting, striking cinematography and twist-filled plots.

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However, Professor Carl Chinn, who has published two books on the Peaky Blinders' real life crimes, has pointed out a number of inaccuracies with the drama.

He told Express Online that while the show "entertains superbly… the historical reality was not glamorous.”

Specifically he insisted that the Peaky Blinders were “not antiheroes [but] vicious, violent thugs.”

He also took aim at the historical inaccuracies with the show's supporting characters.

For example Alfie Solomon, played by Tom Hardy, was “not an Orthodox Jew but a secular Jew” and Billy Kimber was “a burly Brummie not a Londoner”.

Meanwhile The Eden Club, where a vicious scrap erupted in early seasons, was depicted as a “fancy Soho-style nightclub but it was actually a gambling club that wasn’t attractive”.

Elsewhere, Chinn took issue with gang boss Charles ‘Darby’ Sabini, played by Noah Taylor, who was featured in season two of the show.

Sabini is portrayed as an Italian with a strong accent – a lie used by the real life gangsters of the time to whip up tensions with immigrant communities.

“He was portrayed from the start as a foreigner who fought in an ‘un-English way’ – Sabini and his gangs were English – but this Mafia idea took hold more because of his heritage," Chinn explained.

“People thought he came from Sicily but he came from London, his father was from Northern Italy and there was a story that he brought over 300 knifemen with him, which was ludicrous," he went on.

“He was an Englishman but because of his Italian name it was automatically assumed that he was a gangster who had Mafia connections – but he didn’t.”

The comments come after Mosley actor Claflin warned that Tommy Shelby would be "out of his league" in a "very, very juicy" season 6.


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In a similar vein, Michael actor Finn Cole teased a ‘downfall and addiction battle’ for the character in season 6.

Meanwhile his co-star and on-screen mother Helen McCrory, who plays Polly Gray, admitted that Polly had played a pivotal role in Michael's corruption and felt conflicted about who to side with in the power struggle to come.

Elsewhere, fans claimed that Tommy and Michael are secretly planning to take down Mosley together – and their feud is all for show.

Peaky Blinders seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix now.

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