‘Peaky Blinders’ creator wants skinheads for new BBC drama ‘This Town’

Steven Knights’ new show will tell the story of ska and two-tone music

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has put out a casting call for skinheads to star in his new BBC drama This Town.

Announced late last year, This Town “tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which exploded from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, uniting black, white and Asian youths”.

Levi Brown, Jordan Bolger, Ben Rose and Eve Austin will star as the four young leads, with filming beginning in Wolverhampton earlier this month. Casting agency Mad Dog 2020 has since appealed (via Birmingham Live) for “skinheads and people with shaved heads… in and around West Bromwich” to become involved with the show, but only if they “have good availability from now until the end of February”, when filming presumably wraps.


Announcing This Town last year, the BBC said: “Both a high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.”

The series will be co-produced with Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios, who are set to “bring in an exciting range of high profile musical artists to help lay the backdrop for Knight’s incredible story”. Kae Tempest is already confirmed to be involved.

“This is a project very close to my heart,” said Knight. “It’s about an era I lived through and know well and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with. It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”

“Ska music has such a huge impact on music and culture; in the 80’s and through to modern day,” added Alice Webb, Mercury Studios CEO. “Expect fierce new music as well as serious homage to classics of the time. It’s going to be unstoppable.”

Steven Knight is also due to work on a biography series about Enzo Ferrari (based on the book Ferrari Rex by Luca Dal Monte) for Apple TV+, and last year teased a Peaky Blinders feature film.


“I know exactly what’s going to happen, I know what the story is and I’m writing at the moment,” he said. “It’s a very specific story, that’s based on a true story from the Second World War and will be told in the Peaky way.”

Last September, Knight hinted that the Peaky Blinders story could continue with a brand-new series “if there is an appetite” for it.

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