The Peaky Blinders effect: Baby names, tourism and fashion

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Matteo (Luca Matteo Zizzari), Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody)

It's been credited with a boost for flat cap sales and more babies called Ada or Arthur.

Now tourism officials are pointing to the TV show Peaky Blinders as the reason more people are visiting Birmingham.

According to figures from the West Midlands Growth Company, 42.8 million people visited the city in 2018.

That's up slightly by 2.5% from 2017. But does the show really have fans so dedicated they're booking a holiday in the West Midlands?

West Midlands Growth Company's (WMGC) aim is to attract investment, jobs, visitors and business to the region.

It's suggesting it's not just the city that's benefitting from so-called "screen tourism", it's thought other parts of the West Midlands are seeing a boost too.

Screen tourism is where fans base a holiday on visiting locations related to popular films and TV shows.

The West Midlands overall, including towns like Wolverhampton, Coventry and Dudley as well as Birmingham itself, had a record 131.4 million visitors last year. That's a 2.6% increase on the previous year.

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley has been described as "home of Peaky Blinders" by Steven Knight, writer and creator of the BBC series.

Scenes from all five seasons were filmed at the museum - it's one of the many places people can visit to get a taste of life as a peaky blinder.

Tourists from overseas contribute £16.7m to the region as a result of screen tourism, according to WMGC.

This year Birmingham hosted the premiere of the new series of the show.

And on 14 and 15 September a Peaky Blinders festival will be taking place in Digbeth, Central Birmingham.

Image source, Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd

The real Peaky Blinders

From as early as the 1870s, inner-city Birmingham streets were filled with overcrowded slums and extreme poverty.

It soon led to an eruption of gangs and violence across the city.

Birmingham in 1919 was home to some of most violent and notorious gangs - there were murders, robberies, thefts and riots were a daily occurrence.

The BBC show, Peaky Blinders is based on those gangs from a century ago.

The show first came to air in 2013 and in 2016 there were reports of an increase in sales in flat caps - worn by the gang.

According to history, the nickname Peaky Blinders came about because the gang had razor blades carefully stitched into the front of their caps which could be used to blind their victims.

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