Joe Cole on leaving ‘Peaky Blinders’: “It’s Cillian Murphy’s show”

The actor played John Shelby, Tommy's younger brother

Joe Cole has spoken of his decision to leave Peaky Blinders, describing it as “Cillian’s show”.

In an interview with Metro, the actor explained his trajectory from Peaky Blinders into Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London.

“I’ve spent the last few years turning down gang-related shows because when a show does well you get offered quite a lot of them,” said Cole.


“I actually chose to leave Peaky Blinders because I wanted to explore new avenues and new characters and new stories.”

The actor went on to describe his time on the show, in which he played John Shelby, the third-youngest Shelby brother opposite Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy.

“With Peaky Blinders I never really got out of the gates in that role,” Cole said. “It’s Cillian’s show really.”

Asked about his own favourite TV shows, the genre remained at the forefront of the conversation. “I grew up on gang shows,” Cole said.”I grew up on The Wire. The Wire was my favourite show, Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos are other ones.

Following season 5 of Peaky Blinders, NME produced a deep-dive chat show, Speaky Blinders. The show feature interviews with Peaky Blinders Steven Knight and musician Anna Calvi who composed the score.


Season 6 of Peaky Blinders is currently in pre-production, with no news on a confirmed release date yet. Knight described season 6 as “a tragedy”, and Stephen Graham is set to join the cast, with Julia Roberts also in talks.