Birmingham & Black Country

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy says Brummie accent 'sexy'

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Media captionHundreds gather for a red carpet screening of Peaky Blinders in Birmingham

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy has said the Birmingham accent is "sexy".

The Irish-born actor plays Thomas Shelby, ambitious head of a gangster family in the BBC drama.

He said the people of the city had been "very forgiving" of his own much-maligned attempts to imitate their accent.

Speaking at the premiere of the show's third series, Murphy, 39, said the Brummie brogue was "not ugly, it's quite sexy".

He said he would test out his vocal skills on Peaky Blinders' creator, Steve Knight, who was born in the city.

"I would call him up and leave messages on his phone and see if he approves," he said.

The star said it was "really helpful" to have local talent featuring in the second series and referred to Harry Kirton, who plays Finn Shelby, as "great talent".

Image caption Steven Knight, Cillian Murphy and Packy Lee attended the red carpet premiere in Birmingham's The Mailbox

Members of the show's cast stepped on to the red carpet on Wednesday at The Mailbox in Birmingham.

Other notable figures from the West Midlands joined them, including comedian Jasper Carrott, Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett and model Ricki Hall.

Image caption Gaite Jansen plays Princess Tatiana Petrovna

Gaite Jansen, who plays a Russian duchess, Princess Tatiana Petrovna, had a different accent dilemma: "I'm Dutch and had to do a Russian accent. I had a dialect coach who helped me study how to speak English with a Russian accent.

She admits she didn't know much about Birmingham: "I learnt a lot though. Now I love it. And I love that Steven Knight has made Birmingham like this Wild West."

Image caption Local talent Harry Kirton auditioned for series two as the youngest of the Shelby brothers, Finn

Steven Knight, who also writes the programme, said its makers hoped to do more filming in Birmingham when the fourth series goes into production.

"The locations that we have found have been North but the fourth series - which will happen - we will film far more in Birmingham," he said.

Image caption Gary Rowett, manager of Birmingham City FC
Image caption Jasper Carrott said he is a fan of Peaky Blinders
Image caption Many fans came to the event dressed in 1920s attire
Image caption Hundreds of fans descended on The Mailbox for the red carpet premiere
Image caption Cillian Murphy said Birmingham has been "forgiving" of his attempts to mimic a Brummie accent

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