Cillian Murphy ‘very sad’ Covid stopped Helen McCrory reprising iconic Peaky Blinders role

Peaky Blinders: BBC release trailer for final series

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The final season of Peaky Blinders will see Cillian Murphy back as Tommy Shelby for one last time. However, the actor has spoken of his devastation to have filmed it without late star Helen McCrory, who played Polly Gray in the BBC show.

Helen died of cancer last April at the age of 52, while filming of Peaky Blinders was on hiatus.

The production had been shut down due to the pandemic in March 2020.

As a result, Helen was unfortunately too ill to take part in production when it restarted in January 2021.

Cillian opened up about this recently, as he shared what happened behind the scenes.

Speaking to Empire magazine, he said: “We were about to shoot and then the pandemic happened.

“If we had shot then, Helen would’ve been in the show, and that makes me feel sad.”

However, the star went on to assure fans that she would still be very present in the show.

He added in the magazine released now: “It’s a huge loss.

“She was the matriarch of the whole thing. As the character, but just also as her personality.

“But she’s still present in series six. Steve [Knight, creator] managed to keep her very, very present.”

A show spokesperson recently confirmed to The Sun that Helen didn’t film any scenes for the final series.

Elsewhere, Peaky creator Steven Knight said season six would act as a tribute to the star.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast earlier this week, he said: “The loss of the human being of Helen, who was such an incredible person… was a great tragedy for audiences.

“We just felt that the energy of Aunt Polly and the energy of Helen persisted throughout the production.

“Peaky will never be without the presence of Aunt Polly.

“We decided very early on that we needed to push on and that we needed to finish it.

“We hope that the series will be a testament to Helen.”

Helen’s death was confirmed by her husband Damian Lewis last year in a poignant Twitter post.

He shared: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly.

“God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives.

“She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

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