Extras: HOW FACTUALLY ACCURATE IS PEAKY BLINDERS?

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by Aveline MacQuoid on August 23, 2021

in Extras

How Factually Accurate Is Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders is one of the most successful dramas in recent times, as the viewing figures on the BBC have continued to grow with every season. However, the success of the show has led to a number of tours being established to show locals just how factually correct the drama actually is.

Of course, there are certain parts of the show that are true, while other aspects have been overplayed in order to create one of the most iconic shows on television. But, which factors in the show are actually factually correct?

The Peaky Blinders Were A Real Gang

First and foremost, the Peaky Blinders were a real gang in the West Midlands. The gang operated from the late 1800s until the early 1910s. There are many factors surrounding the gang that were true, most notably the clothing that they wore. The hats were a trademark of the gang, but contrary to popular belief, they didn’t have razor blades in the flat peak caps.

The crimes that the gang were a part of were similar to what we saw in the first couple of seasons, as they gained power through illegal bookmaking and having control over gambling. However, unlike in the drama, Billy Kimber, who was killed by Tommy in season 1, was actually originally a member of the Birmingham Boys, who overtook the Peaky Blinders.

Real Historical Figures

While the timeline may have been adjusted to incorporate real-life characters, there are a number of historical figures that are portrayed in Peaky Blinders. One of the main ones is undoubtedly Winston Churchill, who was open to working with the gang in the most recent season. However, while Churchill would have been a prominent figure during the time period, he wouldn’t have had a chance to work with the original Peaky Blinders.

Oswald Mosley is also another real-life character, who was the leader of the British Union of Fascists. However, his popularity soon vanished following the outbreak of World War 2. Jessie Eden, Charlie Chaplin and Darby Sabini are other real-life historical figures that appeared in the show. However, we could be set to see more real-life figures appear in the drama in the future.

Gang’s Reliance On Horse Racing

One aspect of the underground gangs that the drama gets complete accurate is the importance of horse racing. The sport was a hotbed for criminal activity, as gambling was illegal. However, such was the need for people to bet on the sport, gangs were able to run underground gambling operations, similar to what we saw in the opening two seasons of the Peaky Blinders on BBC. The Brummie gang were also one of the biggest in Birmingham when it came to underground betting, which enabled them to take control of the city.

For the first couple of seasons, horse racing was a very prominent factor in the show, but has recently taken a back seat as the show focuses more on Tommy’s political aspirations. However, we will be hoping to see more racing action in the upcoming season as the Peaky Blinders get back to basics to reassert their control in Birmingham.

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