Thomas Shelby, MP. Cynics might insist that all politicians are crooks, but making Birmingham’s bookie, smuggler and all-round crime kingpin a Member of Parliament was a particularly sardonic touch.
Vintage gangster saga Peaky Blinders (BBC Two) reached a climax of bravery with Leader Tommy (Cillian Murphy) winning the Birmingham South constituency for the Labor Party at a gallop. As always in this inventive, twist-packed drama, not everything was quite what it seemed.
The final of the fourth series began with a skillfully orchestrated 20-minute set during the long-awaited boxing match between gypsy fighter Bonnie Gold (Jack Rowan) and giant Cockney Goliath (Dino Kelly). The smaller man beat the bigger one, but a bloodier battle unfolded outside the ring, where the vengeful Mafia used the event as cover for an assault on the Shelbys.
There were gunshots, garrottings and the death of Tommy’s older brother, Arthur (Paul Anderson). Or so it appeared. In a typical Peaky Blinders rug, it turned out that Arthur had survived, but Tommy artfully used his apparent demise to end the gang warfare.
But the confrontations and the shocks have never ceased to occur. The two guest Hollywood stars – Adrien Brody as Italian gangster Luca Changretta and Tom Hardy as Jewish racketeer Cockney Alfie Solomons – were shot and killed by the Shelby siblings. Although, of course, there is no guarantee until the coroner’s reports are available.