Peaky Blinders

Ticket to timetravel: How Timewasters became a comedy hit

Samson Kayo (Horace), Kadiff Kirwan (Jason), Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Nick) and Adelayo Adedayo (Lauren) in Timewasters (Credit: ITV)

Timewasters has charmed critics and attracted healthy audiences with its mix of jazz, time travel and good jokes. Notably, it also has an all-black leading cast but, according to its creator, Daniel Lawrence Taylor, it is, “first and foremost”, a comedy.

Our Friend in the Midlands: Guz Khan on regional representation

Guz Khan

The West Midlands is my home and I bloody love it. So why do I barely see it on the big old telly? Don’t get me wrong, I know everyone from the Spaghetti Junction to Bolivia loves Peaky Blinders – it’s a great show – but it hardly feels like it’s created here.

I enjoy some gangster shizz set in my neck of the woods as much as the next former criminal but, as soon as some of the characters open their mouths, I’m hearing accents that sound like a Welsh guy who has spent considerable time in Berlin, not Small Heath.

Sam Claflin and Anya Taylor-Joy join Peaky Blinders

Sam Claflin, Anya Taylor-Joy and Brian Gleeson (Credit: BBC)

Series five, which began filming in Manchester last month, sees the devastating effects of the 1929 financial crash. Tommy Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is now a Labour MP and takes on the responsibility of not just his family, but the electorate as well.

Other new cast members to debut in the Bafta award-winning drama are Brian Gleeson, Elliot Cowan, Charlene McKenna, Andrew Koji, Daryl McCormack, Kate Dickie and Emmet J Scanlan.

Jack Rowan: I hit the jackpot with Peaky Blinders

Yet playing a villain in his first leading role was perfect for the 21-year-old newcomer. “I love it because it’s so far removed from who you really are,” he tells the RTS.

His chilling portrayal of teenage psychopath Sam Woodford secured Rowan a nomination for an acting award at this year's RTS Programme Awards alongside “two kings” Stephen Graham and Sean Bean.

“Even to be in the same sentence [as them] is beyond me, I’m just kind of pinching myself.”

Albert: making media in a sustainable future

This was the “win-win” message that Aaron Matthews – project manager at Albert, television’s sustainability initiative – brought to an RTS London meeting at the end of March.

Matthews explained that Albert certification – demonstrated by a logo displayed on a programme’s end credits – is proof that a “production has implemented sustainability best practice”.

Peaky Blinders and Riviera Cinematographers stress the importance of lighting

Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders (Credit: BBC)

Lighting is key to camera work, says cinematographer Laurie Rose. It’s essential to establishing a look or mood for a scene. “The important thing is to tell a story and create mood using light,” he explains. 

Between them Laurie and cinematographer Matt Gray have credits on shows as varied as Peaky BlindersBroadchurch and Riviera

Adrien Brody joins the cast of Peaky Blinders

The fourth series begins with Thomas Shelby's realisation that the Peaky Blinders are in danger of annihilation after he receives a mysterious letter on Christmas Eve.

With the threat of the enemy closing in on him, Shelby deserts his country house and high society lifestyle and returns to the streets of Small Heath, Birmingham, where he must fight for survival.