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'Wimp' Cillian gets tough again as Peaky plays Blinder on BBC

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Hardman: Cillian Murphy in BBC2’s ‘Peaky Blinders’

Hardman: Cillian Murphy in BBC2’s ‘Peaky Blinders’

Hardman: Cillian Murphy in BBC2’s ‘Peaky Blinders’

CILLIAN Murphy is set to reprise his starring role in Peaky Blinders, after BBC chiefs ordered a third season of the award-winning period drama.

The Cork-born actor has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of gang leader Thomas Shelby in the first two series of the gritty drama, which is set in post-World War I Birmingham.

The second season, which finished earlier this month and which also saw the introduction of actors Tom Hardy and Noah Taylor, saw the Shelby family expand its empire into London as the 1920s began to roar.

But after announcing a third series of the hit show, which regularly pulled in audiences of about 2.4 million, Steven Knight, the BBC2's drama's writer and creator, promised the best is yet to come.

He said: "The story of the Peaky Blinders is just beginning and in series three life will become more lucrative, more dangerous and more international.

"Expect births, marriages and deaths and a further expansion of the Shelby empire."

Peaky Blinders has been nominated for six BAFTAs and won the 2013 Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series.

Speaking recently of his hardman role, slightly-built Murphy commented: "I'm really a wimp. It's nice to play a guy who's tough. Tommy Shelby is properly tough."

The 38-year-old father-of-two also revealed he's busier than ever, having recently just completed his starring role in a month-long run of Enda Walsh's play Ballyturk at London's National Theatre.

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