Hollywood actor Sam Neill was in the district yesterday, filming a major gangster drama.

The BBC TV series, called Peaky Blinders, follows the antics of a family of criminals and the police chief on their trail.

Filming has been taking place in Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. This week cast and crew members were filming on location at Dalton Mills in Keighley. Film crews and equipment were also spotted at historic Undercliffe Cemetery and Peel Park.

The story is set in 1919 in the slum neighbourhoods of post-war Birming-ham where returning soldiers, Communist revolutionaries and criminal gangs all fight for survival.

The drama centres on the Shelby family whose gang is known as the ‘Peaky Blinders’, so-called because they sew razor blades into the peaks of their caps. They make their money from off-track betting, protection and robbery.

Sam Neill plays a police chief arriving from Belfast to clean up the city. The cast also includes Cillian Murphy, as the gang boss, and Helen McCrory, who plays the Shelby family matriarch.

The big budget production is the first project to receive financial investment from Screen Yorkshire’s new Yorkshire Content Fund.

Peaky Blinders was created by Steven Knight who said: “The story I want to tell is based on family legend and historical fact. It is a fiction woven into a factual landscape which is breathtakingly dramatic and cinematic.”

e-mail: emma.clayton@telegraphandargus.co.uk