The Return Of Peaky Blinders: But How Popular Is The Show?

The show which makes you want to gulp whiskey from finely cut glass and chain-smoke through a brick of tobacco is back – by the order of the Peaky Blinders, put your hands up and celebrate; it’s been a long 18 months for the show to return.

Tommy Shelby and co. manage to make the flat cap cool; rather than the image of everyone and anyone’s grandad donning the flat cap as they gather around the local version of the Garrison for their monthly get together, it’s instead the millennials who have adopted the flat cap since Peaky Blinders aired on BBC 2:

“This year we have seen the flat cap booming in popularity, undoubtedly thanks to the return of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders.

‘Sales have continued to rocket as the series progresses, peaking at +83% compared to last year the week that the third episode aired.”

— Holly Clark, John Lewis Mens Accessories Buyer, speaking to the Mirror

Despite the show’s following increasing Peaky Blinders merchandise, Shelby’s entourage is perhaps not as popular with the UK audience as is given off. Where shows such as Poldark average around six-million viewers, and Tom Hardy’s, Taboo, averaged three-million viewers per episode – even though it appeared highly divisive upon release – Peaky Blinders is way down the pecking order in terms of viewing figures compared to the fellow BBC productions.

What should be taken into account is these are figures from the audience at the time of viewing, and therefore numbers from catch up or watching the show on Netlix are not taken into account; but, the level at which similar shows trump the Peaky Blinders suggests it’s not as popular as fans would imagine.

Cillian Murhpy’s portrayal of Tommy Shelby is still excellent; the fact Murphy reflects similarly to Shelby – on some levels – in real life by representing a private figure, regularly declining public appearances and finding the celebrity lifestyle an awkward one is possibly the reason for the Irish actor’s brilliance in the gang leader’s role.

With some critics pinpointing weaknesses in the third series such as the Russian element devaluing parts of the show, the return to the conflict with the Italians in the fourth series and with Murhpy claiming series four is ‘the best one yet’, viewing figures could return back to the two-million mark upon its release on Wednesday night.

Roll on nine o’clock.