Peaky Blinders Scores First Best Drama BAFTA TV Award Win; Steven Knight & Caryn Mandabach React

By Peter White, Nancy Tartaglione

Peaky Blinders
Caryn Mandabach Productions

Peaky Blinders has broken its drought and scored its first ever best drama BAFTA award, beating The Crown, Thandie Newton’s Line of Duty and Channel 4 and Netflix teen drama The End of the Fxxking World.

Creator Steven Knight and producer Caryn Mandabach were visibly in awe by winning the award. Knight thanked the cast, and said that its stars including Cillian Murphy, who have so far been snubbed in acting categories, will one day be up on stage themselves.

Mandabach, meanwhile, said the win was “deeply appreciated”. “This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me,” she added. “The BBC is the best.”

Speaking to Deadline, she said, “So grateful that we are appreciated by BAFTA voters, and of course by fans around the world. Special thanks to Steve, Cillian and our entire cast and crew. Artists all.”
Knight told Deadline: Peaky Blinders has become a phenomenon that has entered the culture in so many places. I’m so glad that this has been recognised but Cillian, Helen and Paul deserve to be recognized too.”

Season 4 of Peaky Blinders was the period gangster epic’s highest-rated ever and BBC Two’s most-watched drama of 2017.

While Peaky has a devoted fanbase, it has never previously clicked with the major awards bodies until this year. Season 2 was nominated for a Best Drama Series BAFTA and three Craft prizes, but came up empty. Season 3 had no nominations. The show, which airs on Netflix in the U.S., has never been recognized at the Emmys. It has, however, been rewarded for its craft, scoring five nominations at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards in March, including a writer’s nod for Knight.

The major award comes after Knight told Deadline earlier this month that next year’s Season 5 is not the last we’ll see of the Shelby crime family on the small screen with talks happening with the BBC on seasons 6 and 7. He also told Deadline that he’s been approached about a spinoff ballet version of the epic gangster series.

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