Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has opened up about the new series after the death of Helen McCrory in April 2021.

McCrory, who died aged 52, played Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray in the BBC drama, which is going to air in early 2022. 

 “It was a terrible, tragic loss that happened while we were shooting," Knight said.

“And the loss of such an incredible human being is the main thing. The loss of such an incredible actor is awful.

“She was right at the heart (of the series). There are three central characters – she was one of them.

“And it’s a challenge, and was a challenge, to keep going with the story without her. But we knew that she would have wanted that to continue. So that’s what we did.”

McCrory's husband Damian Lewis announced her death on social media, revealing she had a short battle with cancer. 

The actress starred in Peaky Blinders from the first series which aired in 2013. 

The upcoming series will be the last, however, there are plans to create a film and dance show.

Line Of Duty star Stephen Graham, who played Detective Sergeant John Corbett, will be joining the cast for the final series.

Knight described the Liverpudlian star as one of the show’s best actors, adding: “I really wanted to use him as a character and there was a particular Scouse character that becomes part of the story – and who else would you cast?”

“I think he’s just happy to be using his own accent.”

Series 1-5 of Peaky Blinders can be streamed on BBC iPlayer and Netflix.