BRADFORD’S City Hall has a starring role as the House of Commons in the hotly-anticipated new series of Peaky Blinders.

The hit TV drama, returning this month, sees gang leader Tommy Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, blend crime and politics when he becomes an MP. Scenes at City Hall were shot in the Lord Mayor's office and the main entrance.

The Telegraph & Argus was invited to the set, where actor Cillian Murphy filmed a tense scene featuring Tommy and British Fascist leader Oswald Mosley, played by Hunger Games actor Sam Clafin.

"Tommy enjoys the corruption of politics, he's comfortable in that world. The Establishment is as morally bankrupt as the gangs," Cillian told the T&A. "This series feels like the inside of Tommy’s head. The last series saw external forces - the Mafia - but this series comes back to Tommy, who's still dealing with the aftermath of the First World War."

The global hit show, about Birmingham's gangster Shelby family, has spawned Peaky Blinders festivals and themed weddings. "I’m amazed at how much it’s grown," said Cillian. "It’s just really good writing."


Creator and writer Steven Knight said: "Tommy comes up against powerful enemies - but the biggest one is himself. This series starts three years after Series 4. It begins with the (economic) Crash - the family’s stocks are wiped out. Tommy becomes reckless, he takes risks.

"The question I want to ask is: can you escape where you came from? After WW1 Tommy was careless of himself, his ethics and morality. He was fearless, Godless, because of what he’d seen in the war. He had PTSD, and that will never go away. After the war he was frozen. Now he’s beginning to thaw out. He becomes more introspective; we learn more about him in this series."

He said filming at historic locations in Bradford gave the set authenticity: "We love this place, and the old cells. It's like a ready-built set."

Peaky Blinders has been shot in Bradford since the first series in 2013. Other locations include Little Germany, the Midland Hotel and St Andrew's Mill in Lidget Green. Fans from around the UK have flocked to Peaky Blinders location tours here, led by Bradford City of Film director David Wilson. "For such a high end TV drama, globally recognised, to film here is fantastic for Bradford," he said. "The crew have made repeat visits here because of the architecture and the film office, which helps with things like locations, transport, accommodation and road closures. Bradford is a key part of the Peaky Blinders story."

  • Peaky Blinders is on BBC1 on Sunday, August 25 at 9pm.