Peaky Blinders Viewers In Tears Over ‘Heartbreaking’ Opening Funeral Scene And Helen McCrory Tribute

Polly Gray was written out of the BBC drama following Helen's death from cancer last year.

Peaky Blinders viewers were left in tears as the BBC drama returned to screens on Sunday night with a heartbreaking tribute to the late Helen McCrory.

The series six opener was dedicated to the actor, who died from cancer at the age of 52 last April.

Helen’s character – the Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray – was written out in the first episode of the final season, with Cillian Murphy’s character Tommy Shelby breaking down in tears after being informed that his aunt had been killed.

The funeral scene featured a specially commissioned portrait of Helen as Polly. The image was late shared on Twitter by the artist, who described painting it as “such an honour and huge responsibility”.

At the end of the episode, before the credits rolled, it was revealed that the instalment had been dedicated to Helen as a tribute flashed onto the screen.

“Dedicated to the memory of Helen McCrory OBE Polly Gray,” it read.

Viewers praised the “beautiful” opening scene and “exceptional” tribute on Twitter…

Earlier this month, Cillian Murphy opened up about the difficulties of filming the final season of the show, following the death of his co-star and friend.

The actor said he and the rest of the cast were left “reeling”, and confessed he had a “very unpleasant shooting experience” after Helen passed away.

“I’ve never lost anyone like that — who was young and a friend,” he told Esquire UK.

“It was very confusing. But she was magnificent. She was an absolutely magnificent person.

“We were just reeling throughout the whole thing. She was a dear, dear pal and she was the beating heart of that show, so it felt very strange being on set without her.

“The difficult thing to comprehend is that, if it wasn’t for Covid, there would be a whole other version of this show with Helen in it. But she was so private and so fucking brave and courageous.”

Helen played Polly Gray since the first series of Peaky Blinders, which aired in 2013.

Sunday’s episode drew 3.8 million viewers in the overnight ratings, beating the 3.7 million for the series five launch in August 2019.


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