Peaky Blinders season five is suddenly looming quite large on the horizon – we’ve had the first look at Tommy Shelby’s nascent parliamentary career, and the series premiere is next Thursday in Birmingham – and obviously, everyone’s getting quite hyped.

According to series regular Packy Lee, though, the new series – which he reckons is “by far” the best to date – could split fans with some “big, big scenes,” and that there’s now “a lot more at stake” for the Shelby family.

Lee, who plays Johnny Dogs, was reflecting on how his role’s expanded over the seasons from what was supposed to be a single day’s filming, and why he’s stuck around for so long.

“I have asked them several times why they brought me back, and they said it was my energy, and the comic relief that came out of my character,” Lee told BelfastLive. “It is something they wanted to exploit. And believe me, they have exploited it in season five.”

Can’t wait for that. But what can you give away, Packy?

“I can’t give too much away, but there are a few funny scenes,” Lee went on. “And some big, big scenes which we don’t know how people are going to take them.”

That sounds extremely foreboding. Lee also said that there’s likely to be at least two more seasons after the upcoming fifth, with writer Steven Knight keen to hit a solid seven at least.

“The boss man wants to go to seven, maybe eight. So it could rumble on. That’s the beautiful thing of the show,” he said.

“It has taken off, which is great. We are excited by the new season. We always say the next one is going to be better, but this one is definitely, by far, the best. And I mean, by far.

“The reason the fans have fallen in love with Peaky Blinders is because of who the characters are, and what they do.

“I promise you, we haven’t lost that. There is now a lot more at stake.”

Intriguing. Completely unrelatedly but very endearingly, Lee, a Celtic and Liverpool fan, has also managed to become mates with Virgil Van Dyk while he was on a set visit with Simon Mignolet and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“He started explaining how he once played for Celtic and I was like, “I know Virgil, I know who you are. Let me show you my CV – did you know I was once in The Bill?”

Source – Tom Nicholson