Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty suspend filming

Filming on two of the BBC’s biggest dramas has been postponed in response to the spread of COVID-19

Peaky Blinders Season 5 Episode 1
Photo: BBC Pictures

In the wave of disruption, cancellations and postponements caused by the global spread of COVID-19, the production companies behind Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, both currently in production on their sixth series, have halted filming.

As reported by The Guardian, a BBC spokesperson confirmed that Peaky Blinders’ Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions had suspended filming on the new series, as had World Productions for Line Of Duty. The decisions were taken “both in consultation with and supported by the BBC” in light of the spread of COVID-19.

“We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organization and Public Health England,” assured the corporation, in a statement subsequently reported by Variety and Deadline.

World Productions confirmed the news on Twitter:

The confirmation comes in the stead of announcements that other UK productions including Netflix’s English and Scottish location shoots on fantasy series The Witcher, and a series of shut-downs in the US including Riverdale, The Flash and more.

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Filming began mid-February in Belfast on BBC crime thriller Line Of Duty’s sixth series, which is set to welcome Kelly Macdonald as its major guest star. Approximately one month of filming has taken place at this point (around a quarter of the time it took to film series five between September and December 2018).

Only last Friday, Line Of Duty fans were recently treated to a very special mini-episode of the series in aid of fundraising initiative Sport Relief (donate here). The lovingly made spoof featured AC-12 regulars Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar interviewing a new potentially bent copper played by Jason Isaacs, whose legal representation (Lee Mack) left… something to be desired. Watch the ten-minute short here. It’s nice to be back with them, isn’t it?

Peaky Blinders’ postponement was also confirmed on the official Twitter account:  

Series six of the Birmingham-set period gangster story is due to continue exactly where series five left off, with Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby beset by threats from inside and out. In an unprecedented move for the series which usually welcomes a new director for each six-episode series, it’s continuing with the same director – Anthony Byrne – for two consecutive runs.

Our best wishes and support are with the teams working on those beloved series, and the many others forced into uncertainty by the pandemic.

As Vicky McClure Tweeted, look out for one another.