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  • Writer's pictureJ.M.K.

Five Ways Peaky Blinders is Taking Over Britain

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Peaky Blinders tour Manchester

“This country is under new management …. by Order of the Peaky Blinders”.

This slight misquote sums up the Peaky Blinders phenomenon which has been sweeping the country the past few years but especially last year when the award-winning show made the leap from BBC2 to BBC1.

For those who don’t know, Peaky Blinders, a BBC show about a family of gangsters set in 1920s Birmingham (but mostly filmed in Liverpool, Manchester and Yorkshire), was first broadcast in 2013. It attracted a cult-audience of some 2 million which grew by word-of-mouth to some 3.3 million for Series 4, to say nothing of the worldwide audience who watch on Netflix. With its transfer to BBC1 in 2019, the audience grew to over 6 million, helped by its first advertising campaign on prominent posters in the Tube, main streets and bus stops.

Peaky Blinders tour Liverpool

However, whether you have ever watched a single episode or not, you are probably aware of the show thanks to the effects it has had on our country’s zeitgeist. Here are just five:

1/ The Peaky Blinders haircut There is no escaping the tonsorial effect of the show: the Peaky Blinders’ haircut is today one of the most popular hairstyles for men (and not a few women). Created by Peaky’s hair and make-up designer Loz Shiavo, when it was first premiered in Series One, the actors used to wear hats when out in public to avoid being laughed at; now she says there is no need as everyone is sporting the cut! For those who don’t know, the cut is extremely short around the back and front, almost shaved in fact but left in long textured layers on top, brushed forward and coming down across the forehead (a “high number one disconnected, top-heavy” to be technical). With the obligatory Peaky cap on, only skin is visible until the cap is removed. This haircut may have found favour with hipsters across the country but did you know it was originally designed for soldiers in WW1, as lice and nits congregated around the nape of the neck? Take a look at this article to see what we’re talking about.

2/ The Peaky Blinders cap Pity anyone who wore a flat cap before 2013 when the show began as no matter how long they’ve been sporting one, the standard remark on seeing one nowadays is “Ah, Peaky Blinders ” .............

To see the rest of this article, please visit the British Guild of Tourist Guides' site

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