Liverpool doubles as Birmingham in primetime drama

A flagship BBC drama, part filmed in Liverpool, will hit the small screen on Thursday (12 September).

Peaky Blinders, BBC Two’s epic gangster saga, is set in Birmingham in 1919, but cast and crew spent three months in Liverpool as the midlands city couldn’t replicate the era.

Stars of the epic saga including Cillian Murphy (star of Dark Knight), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and Helen McCrory (Skyfall) filmed in two locations across the city – Stanley Dock was transformed into Garrison Lane in post-war Birmingham, and a street of derelict houses in Powis Street, one of Toxteth’s Welsh Streets, took on the early 20th century lookPeaky Blinders gang in Stanley Dock.

The production team worked closely with Liverpool Film Office, who helped source all the locations and made sure the filming ran smoothly.

Frith Tiplady, Executive Producer of Tiger Aspect Productions who filmed Peaky Blinders said: “When searching for locations we had to be mindful that most of the architecture from 1919 no longer exists in post war Birmingham.

“However, with invaluable support from the Liverpool Film Office we were able to help find similar locations which were a good match for the old industrial heartland of Birmingham.  

“Powis Street is where the art department were able to create our main street location for the series, so Liverpool is a huge part of Peaky Blinders.”  

Film Office manager, Lynn Saunders, said: “It was a real coup for the city to be able to provide two filming locations for this major BBC drama.

“They wanted to recreate the Victorian industrial heartland, and as soon as the producers saw Stanley Dock they realised this was the location to film.

“With around 120 cast and crew in Liverpool it was a great boost to the local economy, and the feedback we had from the Peaky Blinders team was that they really enjoyed their experience in Liverpool.

“We’re hoping the drama will be a huge success and they may return to film series two!”

Peaky Blinders starts on Thursday at 9pm on BBC2. The six part series follows rival gangs in Birmingham’s underworld as they battle for supremacy. 

Cillian Murphy plays Tommy Shelby who is a ruthless member of the Peaky Blinders – named after the practise of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps.